Friday 22 March – State By State Digest: Federal, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee

FEDERAL

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue issues warning for hemp farmers

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator Bruce Summers said last week that the agency will aim to complete the hemp production regulations by fall 2019, in time for states to submit plans for the 2020 spring hemp planting season.

 

House Committee to Vote on Cannabis Banking Bill Next Week

 

ARKANSAS

Arkansas marijuana entrepreneurs took note as the state Senate passed two bills aimed at restricting medical cannabis’ desirability to children by limiting certain edibles and restricting MMJ advertising.

The two bills passed Tuesday codify rules already spelled out by the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.

Arkansas Senate passes medical cannabis bills affecting edibles, advertising

 

FLORIDA

Cannabis company (MedMen) sues Miami Beach over restrictions on medical marijuana dispensaries

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article228081379.html

A cannabis company is taking Miami Beach to court after its efforts to open a medical marijuana dispensary on Alton Road were thwarted amid fears that the area would become a marijuana hub.

Los Angeles-based MedMen is suing the city over new restrictions on how close dispensaries can be to each other. The company says the restrictions violate a state law preventing local governments from limiting the number of medical marijuana dispensaries.

In a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, the company challenged an ordinance the Miami Beach City Commission passed last month requiring at least 1,200 feet between dispensaries, which amounts to roughly one dispensary every four blocks. Dispensaries were already limited to four small areas of the city and have to be at least 500 feet from schools.

The restrictions effectively limit the number of dispensaries that can be built in Miami Beach to seven, according to MedMen’s calculations. State regulations require local governments to choose between banning medical marijuana dispensaries altogether or applying the same restrictions to dispensaries that they apply to pharmacies. They can’t limit dispensaries to a specific number.

 

HAWAII

Hawaii Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Decriminalization Bill In Joint Committee Hearing

 

MASSACHUSETTS

You can’t own more than three pot shops, but these companies are testing the limit — and bragging about it

https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/special-reports/2019/03/21/seahunter/okkkbXkh38kTkH9HDiiFXL/story.html

But in his focus on the healing qualities of marijuana, Leidy offered little about the company’s actual, larger ambition. Despite the high-minded speech that October night in 2017, Sea Hunter had largely taken over operations of the nonprofit, Herbology Group, as part of a much broader strategy to capitalize on the state’s new recreational pot market and become a dominant player in Massachusetts and beyond.

In a state where no firm is legally permitted to own — or control — more than three stores that sell recreational pot, Sea Hunter is poised to test that limit. It has boasted to investors that it operates or has significant power over a dozen or more marijuana retail licenses. But you won’t see the name “Sea Hunter” on the shops; instead, they will carry names like Herbology, Verdant, and Ermont.

 

NEW JERSEY

NJ marijuana legalization: ‘We’re not there yet,’ Phil Murphy says of legal weed vote

https://www.app.com/story/news/local/new-jersey/marijuana/2019/03/21/new-jersey-marijuana-legalization-phil-murphy-legal-weed-vote/3236960002/

Will next Monday be the day New Jersey votes to legalize weed? Or will it simply be another self-imposed deadline that blows by without action?

The future of New Jersey marijuana legalization is murky, at least as it relates to a potential legislative vote on March 25. Gov. Phil Murphy, for whom marijuana legalization was a major campaign platform, said Thursday that the measure still did not have enough votes to pass.

“This is still going to be close,” Murphy said. “We’re not there yet.”

Murphy, legislative leaders and powerful cannabis industry lobbyists have spent much of the last week trying to convince lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans alike — to support the measure.

 

This is what’s in N.J.’s landmark marijuana bill

Adult-use marijuana legalization is likely to be voted on by the entire state Legislature as soon as early next week. But since the bill was finalized Monday night, many lawmakers are concerned they haven’t been given enough time to thoroughly digest and assess its major points. What’s more, this measure is the first of its kind in the country and if it passes, could become model legislation for other states looking to legalize and set up a functioning cannabis economy. The ten other states that so far have legalized marijuana have done so by a ballot referendum or, in Vermont’s case, by legislation that didn’t allow for regulated sales.

 

New Jersey governor: Push to legalize recreational marijuana is short on votes

NEW YORK

Back in January 2019, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a fast-track way of legalizing marijuana in New York, by proposing an adult-use recreational marijuana law as part of the annual budget approval process. However, in a stunning turn-around, on March 20, 2019 Cuomo admits his strategy was perhaps a bit aggressive and he dropped his proposal to legalize recreational marijuana through the budget process.  Instead, Cuomo hopes that the law will be passed outside of the budget process and before legislature adjourns for the year in June.  (Good luck since us NY’ers have a part-time legislature).

Click here to read more about Cuomo’s realization — To think you can pass a complicated and comprehensive law in less time than it takes to grow a mature plant, “you got to be smokin’ somethin’, no?”

So much for Cuomo’s cliched timeline to have a law in place by “420” (Cuomo proposed to have the law in effect by the first of April 2020 (yes folks, “4/20”)).

Craig Delsack / Law Offices of Craig Delsack, LLC
Serving the Canna Business Community Corporate ∙ Technology ∙ Media ∙ Real Estate 250 West 57th Street, Suite 401 New York, NY 10107 Tel., Text, or Fax: +1 (212) 688-8944

 

RHODE ISLAND

RI law enforcement leaders disagree on marijuana legalization

https://www.wpri.com/politics/ri-law-enforcement-leaders-disagree-on-marijuana-legalization/1865184497

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WPRI) — The superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police said Wednesday he supports Gov. Gina Raimondo’s plan to tax and regulate recreational marijuana, telling lawmakers the bill addresses some law enforcement concerns about public safety.

Col. James Manni, who was sworn in earlier this month after being nominated by Raimondo, testifed before the House Finance Committee in support of Article 20, the 126-page section of the budget that addresses both recreational marijuana and changes to the current medical program.

“Rhode Island will be dealing with this issue regarding public safety because Massachusetts has already legalized marijuana to our north, and Connecticut is on track to our south,” Manni told the committee.

He praised the more restrictive elements of the legislation, including a limit on product potency and a ban on home growing.

“This policy will stifle the illicit market,” Manni said.

 

TENNESSEE

Medical marijuana sponsor says governor will sign bill, but Lee’s office says otherwise

https://www.wkrn.com/news/local-news/medical-marijuana-sponsor-says-governor-will-sign-bill-but-lee-s-office-says-otherwise/1864392264

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – One of the state Senate sponsors of legalizing medical marijuana says Governor Bill Lee will sign her bill, but the governor’s office carefully disputes that characterization.

“The last time I was with him, he assured me he would sign this bill,” Senator Janice Bowling told News 2 on Wednesday.

She indicated it was about two weeks ago during an economic development trip with the governor to her district.

Lee has repeatedly voiced opposition to legalizing medical marijuana or cannabis both in his campaign and most recently on Feb. 11.

“I think we ought to expand the use of low THC CBD oils first to alternative treatments before we go there,” the governor told News2 that day.

Senator Bowling says she was a “strong no” on medical marijuana before learning that so many people in her district wanted it, for diseases ranging cancer to Parkinson’s, to ease pain.

The senator thinks the governor has made the same realization.

“I think it’s important for the people to know that he pretty much has come full circle,” Senator Bowling said. “He recognizes that as the bill is written now– he can support the bill.”

Go to Source
Author: Sean Hocking
Puffin’ On Some Good New?! Share Some…

About admin