Tax and Regulate

Vermont House passes bill to legalize, regulate cannabis sales!

Attend your town meeting next week and speak to your representatives about their votes on S. 54!

Yesterday, in a historic 90-54 vote, the Vermont House approved the bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis sales. S. 54 passed in a final voice vote today, and it will now return to the Senate. Next, we expect the Senate will work with the House to resolve differences before sending a final version of the bill to Gov. Phil Scott’s desk.

Since the House did not pass S. 54 by a veto-proof majority, it’s especially important that we thank the representatives who voted in favor and speak to those who voted “no.” The legislature is off for Town Meeting next week, so that will be an ideal time for you to speak with your state legislators. Please take a moment to see how your representative(s) voted and plan to attend your town’s meeting on Tuesday, March 3!

If you’re not able to speak to your representative(s) in person, you can look them up here and either email or call them to follow up on their votes.

You can read an updated summary of the bill here.

Vermonters have already waited far too long for legal, regulated sales of cannabis. Please share this message with your family and friends!

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Tax and Regulate

R.I.: Ask your state legislators to amend and pass Gov. Raimondo’s legalization proposal

Click here to send a letter to your state senator and representative.

Earlier this year, Gov. Gina Raimondo submitted her annual budget proposal to the General Assembly. Like last year’s, the proposed legislation includes a plan to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults’ use. You can read a summary of it here.

We’re happy to see the governor once again leading on this issue, and as we advocated last year, this year’s legislation does more to address the harms created by decades of marijuana criminalization, including the creation of a Community Equity and Reinvestment Council. However, we also have significant concerns about the proposal as currently written.

We are asking members of the General Assembly to amend the legislation in three key ways:

  • In case of a conflict with federal law, the law should establish a privately run system of retail stores as a back up to replace state-run establishments.
  • Legislators should remove the ban on people with prior drug felonies from owning and operating a marijuana business.
  • The law should allow adults to cultivate a small number of plants in their residences.

With these amendments, we believe the governor’s proposal would be greatly improved and would urge state legislators to pass it.

Will you send a letter to your state representative and senator right now asking them to advocate for these changes and the passage of marijuana legalization in Rhode Island this year?

Thank you.

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont: House vote on legalizing, regulating cannabis sales expected this week — act now!

Bill passes final committee — urge your representatives to vote in favor.

Today, Vermont’s House Appropriations Committee approved S. 54 in a 6-5 vote. The bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis sales appears likely to receive a vote in the full House later this week.

Please contact your representatives now and ask for their support!

The House has amended the bill, including by changing the tax rate to a flat 20% (in the Senate’s version, it’s 16% plus a 2% local option tax), but none of the House’s changes should be considered final. Assuming the bill passes the House, it will proceed to a conference committee, where members of the House and Senate will work to resolve their differences and agree on a single version of the bill to send to Gov. Phil Scott’s desk.

You can read an updated summary of the bill here.

Vermonters have already waited far too long for legal, regulated sales of cannabis. After you contact your representatives, please share this message with your family and friends!

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Prohibition

N.H. House votes to legalize cannabis with two-thirds majority!

Urge your senator to support HB 1648!

Last Thursday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of HB 1648, the bill that would legalize possession and limited cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older in New Hampshire. The bill passed with a veto-proof 236-112 majority. Next, it will be scheduled for a public hearing by the Senate, which has rejected previous cannabis legalization bills.

Please email and call your senator’s office and tell them New Hampshire should not be an island of prohibition!

Since Gov. Chris Sununu opposes legalization, it will be difficult to pass this bill in 2020. However, if 16 of the state’s 24 senators can be convinced to support the bill, it will be possible to override a potential veto. Gov. Sununu and all 24 senators will face re-election in November, so it’s important for them to understand that cannabis legalization is more popular than the legislature or any of the state’s best-known elected officials.

A summary of HB 1648 is available here.

After you contact your senator, please share this message with your family and friends.

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Tax and Regulate

New Mexico: Legislature adjourns without advancing legalization

Please reach out to your lawmakers in support of legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults!

The effort to legalize cannabis for adult use in the Land of Enchantment will now shift to 2021.

Unfortunately, the legislature wrapped up its 2020 legislative session yesterday without advancing SB 115 — a bill that would have legalized, taxed, and regulated cannabis for adults and provided automatic expungements of past cannabis convictions.

Keep up the pressure by taking a moment to let your lawmakers know you want them to support ending marijuana prohibition and replacing it with sensible regulation!

This year’s effort fell short when the Senate Judiciary Committee decided (6-4) to table SB 115. The bill was approved (4-3) by the Senate Public Affairs Committee, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) — who made legalization one of her 2020 legislative priorities — supported the bill.

Poll after poll has shown that the majority of New Mexicans support legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adults, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham again voiced her support for getting it done.

Urge your lawmakers to support legalizing, taxing, and regulating cannabis for adult use. Then, forward this message to your friends and family in New Mexico and encourage them to do the same.

 

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Medical Marijuana

W.Va.: Battle brewing over effort to allow whole plant cannabis

Tell your elected officials to support reforming West Virginia’s outdated cannabis policies!

West Virginia’s 2020 legislative session is underway, and several cannabis-related bills have been introduced, including bills to improve the medical cannabis law, to decriminalize possession, and to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis for adults’ use.

It is unlikely that a legalization bill will be seriously considered in 2020, but there appears to be a much better chance that legislators will support improving the medical cannabis program. West Virginians have been waiting far too long for safe, legal access to medical cannabis, so it’s encouraging to see that bipartisan leaders in the Senate — Majority Leader Tom Takubo (R-Charleston) and Senator Ron Stollings (D-Madison) — have introduced SB 752, a bill that would allow patients to grow their own cannabis until an adequate supply can be established through the dispensaries.

Please contact your elected officials and urge them to support SB 752!

SB 752 would allow patients and caregivers to apply for “compassion certificates,” which would temporarily authorize them to possess up to 12 mature plants and 12 seedlings per patient. The bill would also make other beneficial changes, such as eliminating the restriction on selling cannabis flower at dispensaries and permitting regulators to enter reciprocity agreements with other states.

After you write your legislators and follow up with a phone call, please forward this message to your family and friends!

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Tax and Regulate

The clock is ticking on New Mexico’s legalization bill — act now!

Ask your state lawmakers to support SB 115 to legalize cannabis for adult use!

With just eight days left in 2020’s short legislative session, the New Mexico Legislature is considering SB 115, which would legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adults.

Last year, the House approved a legalization bill, but it was defeated in the Senate Finance Committee. Make sure SB 115 doesn’t meet a similar fate: Please take a moment to email your state senator and representative and ask them to support SB 115!

The Senate Public Affairs Committee approved the bill (4-3), and it must now clear both the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Finance Committee before heading to the Senate floor.

SB 115 would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower and purchase cannabis products from licensed retailers. The bill also provides for automatic expungements of past cannabis convictions.

Although Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) supports legalization and has included it in her 2020 legislative agenda, SB 115 must clear the legislature to make it to her desk. Keep the pressure up by contacting your lawmakers and asking them to support SB 115!

It is past time the Land of Enchantment end cannabis prohibition and replace it with sensible regulation. A poll commissioned by the governor-appointed marijuana working group found that three out of four voters in the state support legalizing cannabis for adult use.

After you email your legislators, please forward this message to your friends and family in New Mexico and encourage them to do the same.

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Tax and Regulate

Minn. Legislature convenes — ask lawmakers to make legalization a priority

Write your legislators and sign up for MRMR’s February 18 lobby day!

Lawmakers convened in Saint Paul today for the first day of their 2020 legislative session. It’s the perfect time to let your legislators know you want them to help end the disastrous war on marijuana.

Help create a groundswell of support:

1. Write your lawmakers. You can use our free software to email your legislators in support of replacing marijuana prohibition with legalization and regulation for adults 21 and older.

2. Join our allies’ lobby day. Register here to join Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Regulation’s lobby day. It’s next Tuesday, February 18 from 12:30 - 4:00 p.m.

3. Spread the word. Forward this email or share the links on social media.

In nine of the 11 states that legalized marijuana, voters did so directly. But Minnesota doesn’t have a citizen initiative process. In The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, only the legislature can change state law — or place a measure on the ballot to do so.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D) recently outlined principles for his cannabis legalization bill, which he aims to shepherd through the House this year. While his leadership and “Be Heard on Cannabis” tour gives the issue’s prospects a boost, Minnesota has long, arduous committee process. It’ll take all hands on deck to make sure the bill makes it through the House.

So, please, let your legislators know voters want them to end the failed war on marijuana and replace it with thoughtful regulation. Then, sign up for MRMR’s lobby day and spread the word.

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General

MPP is making news in the New Hampshire Primary

With the majority of Americans now supporting marijuana legalization, and with legalization being a key component of broader criminal justice reform — a top issue among voters — primary constituents want to hear where candidates stand on our issue.

As MPP’s director of federal policies, I am currently on the ground for primary week in New Hampshire, attending campaign events and town halls all over the state and relentlessly pursuing the Democratic presidential hopefuls concerning their positions on cannabis.

From Claremont to Nashua, I am engaging with the candidates and working to raise the profile of marijuana policy reform in the presidential election. It’s important that we hold candidates accountable for their positions, and last week, I recorded a short conversation with Joe Biden in which the former vice president appeared to shift from his typical opposition to fully legalizing marijuana.

"I think it is at the point where it has to be, basically, legalized," Biden said in the recording, though it’s unclear whether the former vice president’s position on marijuana legalization has officially changed. You can hear the whole exchange, featured on Politico, here.

Although it sounded like Biden was on the verge of endorsing legalization (as all the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have, Bloomberg excepted), he failed to clarify his position and ultimately, only made it more unclear. As I told Marijuana Moment, “it turned out to be a big nothing.”

At the conclusion of our taped dialogue, however, I urged Biden to raise the issue with the American electorate, discuss it on the debate stage, and address the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws.

These on-the-ground efforts are just one of the ways MPP is working to drive the conversation on federal marijuana policy, both nationally and locally. Help us continue these kinds of exchanges and keep injecting marijuana policy reform into the discussion by making a donation today.

— Don Murphy, Director of Federal Policies

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Tax and Regulate

Vermont legalization bill passes another committee

Urge your representatives to support S. 54!

The Vermont Ways and Means Committee approved S. 54 this week in an 8-3 vote. The bill to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis sales appears likely to receive a vote in the full House within the next couple of weeks.

Please contact your representatives now and ask for their support!

The House has amended the bill, including by changing the tax rate to a flat 20% (in the Senate’s version, it’s 16% plus a 2% local option tax), but none of the changes are final. Assuming the bill passes the House, it will proceed to a conference committee, where members of the House and Senate will work to resolve their differences and agree on a single version of the bill to send to Gov. Phil Scott’s desk.

You can read an updated summary of the bill here.

Vermonters have already waited far too long for legal, regulated sales of cannabis. After you contact your representatives, please share this message with your family and friends!

Read more