Tax and Regulate

N.H.: Legalization bill introduced in House!

We will need two-thirds majorities to overcome Gov. Sununu's veto threat — email your state legislators today!

Rep. Renny Cushing's legalization bill has been introduced in the New Hampshire House with a bipartisan slate of 11 cosponsors, and it has been assigned a number: HB 481.

Please email your state representative(s) and senator today and encourage them to support HB 481, the bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis.

It's encouraging that new House Speaker Steve Shurtleff believes the bill can pass even though Gov. Chris Sununu has threatened to veto it. However, a veto override will only be possible if legislators hear from large numbers of their constituents in support of such a bill. If you receive a response from a legislator, it would be very helpful if you could share it with us via email.

HB 481 has been referred to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, and a public hearing has already been scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5, in Room 204 of the Legislative Office Building (33 N State St., Concord). Check out our summary of the bill here, and please plan to attend the hearing, if possible, on February 5.

After you email your state legislators, please forward this message to your family and friends!

 

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Medical Marijuana

Ohio: Medical cannabis dispensaries open today

At least five shops are now approved to open, with more on the way

Ohio has now approved five dispensaries to begin serving patients, with most announcing they are opening for the first time today, January 16. This is the final major milestone for a program first adopted by lawmakers in 2016, and a relief to those patients who can now get access.

According to the state's website, CY+ and Ohio Valley Natural Relief LLC are opening in Wintersville. There are two shops owned by The Botanist, one in Canton and one in Wickliffe included in the approval list, along with The Forest Sandusky in Sandusky, Ohio. The state's recently updated list is available online here. Many additional dispensaries are expected soon.

While Ohio has one of the most carefully regulated programs in the country, it hasn't been without challenges. Confusion over patient protections since the law was adopted continued throughout the process, and the high regulatory hurdle the state set for operators took longer to implement than many expected – with the state missing its final deadline last September. The program's launch is a relief.

We wish to thank the many supporters who contributed to the bill's passage and adoption following our voter initiative. MPP is pleased that the voter initiative we initiated in 2014 jump-started a serious effort in the legislature to pass such a measure, with today's sales being the final result. Thanks everyone!

Please forward this message to friends, family, and supporters. The big day has finally arrived Ohio!

 

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Tax and Regulate

R.I.: Governor Raimondo backs legalizing marijuana

On Sunday, Gov. Raimondo announced that she will be including a plan to legalize and regulate marijuana for adult use in her upcoming budget. This endorsement represents an exciting breakthrough in our years-long effort to end marijuana prohibition in Rhode Island.

Detailed legislation will be available soon. For now, what we know is that the governor aims to establish the most tightly regulated legalization program in the country. Check out this article to read more about the plan.

While we may not agree with all aspects of the proposal – including the ban on home cultivation – we commend the governor for spearheading this initiative. In the coming months, we expect a robust discussion within the General Assembly, and there may be opportunities to amend the legislation.

One thing is for sure: Legalization will finally have the hearing it deserves this year. It's going to be an interesting session, so be sure to stay tuned for more updates on how you can help ensure that legalization crosses the finish line this year.

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Medical Marijuana

South Carolina: New medical cannabis bill introduced today!

If you're a South Carolina resident, click here to send a message to your lawmakers in support of a medical cannabis program.

Sen. Tom Davis introduced a new bill today that would establish a medical cannabis program for seriously ill patients in South Carolina. The text of Senate bill 366 is available here. Sen. Davis' office sent out a summary of the bill, and we have our own as well. Rep. Peter McCoy is expected to file his own version in the House soon.

You lawmakers need to hear from you. Click here to forward a message asking for support.

Sen. Davis and Rep. McCoy sponsored medical cannabis bills in 2018, and in many respects this year's effort will pick up where last year's left off. Measures in both chambers passed out of committee last year, but time ran out before floor votes could be taken. Given the groundwork laid since then, we hope to see a bill pass and be presented to the governor for his signature in 2019.

At the same time, there are signs of increasing support among members of the GOP. Members of the Charleston County GOP voted yesterday in support of a resolution asking the state legislature to adopt a medical cannabis measure for patients in South Carolina. Based on recent polling, 63% of Republicans in the state support such a program.

2019 could be the year patients finally get a program they deserve! Make sure your lawmakers hear from you, and please forward this message to friends, family, and supporters in South Carolina.

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Tax and Regulate

Announcing Maryland 2019 Cannabis Legalization Lobby Day

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, February 5 and register today!

Maryland's 2019 legislative session is underway and discussion of legalizing adult-use cannabis has already begun. Please join the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition's lobby day event to demonstrate that Marylanders want the General Assembly to pass legislation to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older this year.

What: Maryland 2019 Cannabis Legalization Lobby Day
When: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 (7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
Where: House Building, Room 170, Annapolis, Maryland
Register here.

Prior to meeting your elected officials, we will provide you with an information package including appointment times and locations and suggested talking points.

It is important your lawmakers hear from as many constituents as possible. Help us send a strong message to the General Assembly to end prohibition in 2019 by joining us in solidarity, and sharing this message — or the Facebook event — with your family and friends in Maryland.

We look forward to seeing you February 5. Together, we can end prohibition in 2019.

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Tax and Regulate

N.H.: Medical cannabis, expungement bills scheduled for hearings TUESDAY AFTERNOON!

After the hearings, a public discussion about cannabis legalization will take place Tuesday evening in Peterborough.

The New Hampshire legislative session has begun, and several bills to improve the therapeutic cannabis program have already been scheduled for public hearings on Tuesday afternoon, January 15. There will also be a hearing Tuesday afternoon on a bill that would enable annulment of criminal convictions for possessing three quarters of an ounce or less of marijuana.

The public is welcome to attend these hearings. For each bill, there will be a sign-in sheet where people can register their support or opposition. Any member of the public can also sign up to testify — please let me know at msimon@mpp.org if you would like to testify so we can coordinate.

WHAT and WHEN: Public hearings on these bills in the House Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs, on Tuesday, January 15:

1:00 p.m. — HB 335, relative to therapeutic cannabis dispensary locations
1:30 p.m. — HB 174, relative to alternative treatment center licenses
2:00 p.m. — HB 364, permitting qualifying patients and designated caregivers to cultivate cannabis for therapeutic use
2:30 p.m. — HB 366, adding opioid addiction, misuse, and abuse to qualifying medical conditions undertherapeutic use of cannabis

Public hearing in the House Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety, on Tuesday, January 15:
2:30 p.m. — HB 399, relative toannulment of arrests or convictions for possession of a certain quantity of marijuana

WHERE: Legislative Office Building, 33 N State St., Concord. The medical cannabis bills will be heard in Room 303, and the annulment bill will be heard in Room 204.

In other news, the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript will be hosting a public discussion about legalization on Tuesday evening. Here are the details:

WHAT: Community Conversations, a discussion series that is free and open to the public. This week's program will focus on cannabis legalization and feature panelists from both sides of the debate.

WHERE: Monadnock Center for History and Culture, 19 Grove St., Peterborough

WHEN: 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, January 15

We expect that the legalization bill will be introduced very soon. Please share this message with your family and friends, and stay tuned for updates!

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Medical Marijuana

Last chance: Cultivate Utah's cannabis community

Today is your last chance to register for NCIA's Utah Industry Social for less than $25 a ticket. This event is a great opportunity to connect with other cannabis professionals in a fun cocktail-hour setting. Tickets include appetizers, hosted bar, local music, and classic games.

Utah Industry Social
January 29, 2019
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Salt Lake City
The Falls Event Center

Register now!

Register before midnight January 11 to get your tickets 15% off (regular price $25)
OR join NCIA for complimentary tickets.

 

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Tax and Regulate

Va.: Legislature is now in session; decriminalization and legalization bills introduced

If you live in Virginia, contact your lawmakers and ask them to support marijuana reform bills this session!

The Virginia General Assembly convened to kick off its 2019 legislative session on Wednesday, and several efforts are being made to reform the state's marijuana policies.

Two bills, HB2079 and SB997, have been introduced to decriminalize marijuana, making simple possession a civil fine of $50 for a first violation instead of an offense punishable by up to 30 days in jail. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) also pushed for marijuana decriminalization in his State of the Commonwealth speech.

Additionally, two bills, HB2371 and HB2373, have been introduced to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana in the state for adults 21 years of age or older.

Ask your lawmakers to support marijuana policy reform!

Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C. have stopped jailing their residents for possession of modest amounts of marijuana, and 10 of those states and D.C. have legalized marijuana for individuals over 21. Polling has shown that almost eight out of 10 Virginia residents support replacing criminal convictions with a fine, and 62 percent favor ending marijuana prohibition all together.

Contact your lawmakers today and urge them to make marijuana policy reform a priority in 2019. Then, share this message with your friends and family in Virginia.

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Medical Marijuana

W.Va.: It's time to reform marijuana laws

If you live in West Virginia, urge your elected officials to support cannabis policy reforms in 2019!

West Virginia's 2019 legislative session began yesterday, and several bills are expected to be introduced in the coming days to reform marijuana laws, including a bill to improve the medical cannabis law, a decriminalization bill, and an adult-use legalization bill.

Please email your delegates and senators and urge them to support reforming marijuana laws in 2019!

Legislative leaders have already begun discussing possible reforms, including ways of addressing the banking issue that has prevented rollout of the medical cannabis program, but we must help convince legislators that there is an urgent need to take action.

After you write your legislators, please forward this message to your family and friends!

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Medical Marijuana

Tennessee Legislature convenes: Put medical cannabis on the agenda

If you live in Tennessee, let your lawmakers know Tennessee patients deserve a compassionate medical cannabis program.

Yesterday, newly elected and returning lawmakers convened for the first day of Tennessee's 2019 legislative session. Since the legislature adjourned last year, voters in Utah, Oklahoma, and Missouri enacted medical cannabis laws, bringing the number of medical cannabis states to 32.

But even though 81% of Tennessee voters support medical cannabis, patients either needlessly suffer or risk arrest to find relief from cannabis. Let your lawmakers know you want them to change that.

After your use our automated system to send a quick note to your elected officials, please share this message with other compassionate Tennesseans.

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