Call Fire system, cannabis legalization, cannabis regulation, DE, Delaware, Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network, Delaware Cannabis Policy Coalition, First State, HB 150, House Appropriations Committee, House Health and Human Development Committee, legalization bill, New Mexico, New York, phone bank, phone banking, Virginia, virtual lobby week, volunteer
#18, automatic expungement, cannabis legalization, cannabis regulation, Connecticut, Delaware, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Gov. Ralph Northam, HB 2, home cultivation, legalization law, New Mexico, New York, NM, Rhode Island, SB 2, special session, The Cannabis Regulation Act, Virginia
It’s been an incredible couple of weeks for cannabis policy reform, Kate!
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham just signed two bills that will end cannabis prohibition in the state! The first, HB 2, legalizes cannabis for adults, while companion legislation, SB 2, allows for automatic expungement of past cannabis convictions and pardons for those currently incarcerated for low-level marijuana offenses.
The state legislature passed the two measures during a special session called by the governor, who has been a vocal champion of cannabis policy reform. With Gov. Grisham’s signature, New Mexico is now the 18th state to legalize adult-use cannabis and the fifth to do so through the legislative process rather than by voter initiative.
The Cannabis Regulation Act (HB 2) legalizes, regulates, and taxes cannabis for adults 21 and older, allowing for personal possession of at least two ounces and home cultivation of six plants. You can read a summary of the new law here.
Congratulations to all of the lawmakers and advocates who made this victory possible!
New Mexico’s success comes on the heels of a win in Virginia, where just last Wednesday, the legislature gave final approval to Gov. Ralph Northam's requested amendments — to speed up legal possession and home cultivation to July 2021 (versus 2024) — to a legislatively passed legalization bill. On March 31, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also signed cannabis legalization into law. And, MPP’s work continues on legalization efforts that are still alive and well in the Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island state legislatures.
We’re up to 18 legalization states — and a record high of 68% of Americans support legal cannabis — so momentum is undeniably on our side. But there’s still work ahead, and each victory is hard-won. Make sure you sign up for our state-specific alerts and follow us on Facebook and Twitter so we can keep you informed about how you can help.
#17, adult-use legalization bill, amendments, automatic shielding of convictions, cannabis legalization, cannabis regulation, economic benefits, Gov. Ralph Northam, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, home cultivation, legalization, new jobs, New Mexico, racial justice, regulated market, Tax and Regulate, tax revenue, VA, Virginia
With the legislature's approval of Gov. Northam’s amendments, Virginia becomes the 17th state to legalize adult-use cannabis.
Today, the Virginia Legislature gave final approval to Gov. Ralph Northam's amendments to the adult-use legalization bill, making Virginia the17th state—and the first in the South—to legalize cannabis! It is also the fourth state to pass legalization through its state legislature, as opposed to via voter referendum.
Per Gov. Northam's amendments, personal possession and cultivation of cannabis will now become legal for adults on July 1, 2021, and the state will begin laying the groundwork for the regulated market beginning this summer. You can read our summary of the legislation here.
As a 15-year Virginia resident, a 10-year MPP veteran, and a mother of three, I’m proud of the steps our state is taking to end the failed policy of prohibition and replace it with an equitable law allowing responsible adults to use cannabis. Legalization will bring about economic benefits for our state by creating new jobs and generating tax revenues; it will mean better public health and safety outcomes for our communities by limiting youth access and protecting adult consumers by giving them access to regulated products; and, perhaps most importantly, it will have a valuable impact on racial justice by ending the unequal enforcement of marijuana laws, allowing for automatic shielding of convictions, and addressing the disproportionate harm caused to Black and brown communities by decades of prohibition.
Several other states legislatures are seriously considering legalization this year. Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island’s legislatures all have ongoing, viable legalization efforts. Meanwhile, we anticipate New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to sign a legislatively approved legalization bill into law any moment now.
If you like what you see here, please consider making a donation to MPP today so we can continue fighting for new legalization laws and working to tweak existing ones.
automatic expungement, cannabis legalization, cannabis regulation, Elon University, Marijuana Justice and Reinvestment Act, medical cannabis, Medical Cannabis Program, Medical Marijuana, NC, North Carolina, poll, SB 646, Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, South, Virginia
SB 646 would legalize cannabis for adults and create a medical cannabis program — write your elected officials and urge them to support the bill!
Now that the Virginia General Assembly has voted to legalize cannabis for adults, legislators in other southern states are taking notice and seeking to emulate Virginia’s success. Yesterday, North Carolina Sen. Jay Chaudhuri introduced SB 646, titled the Marijuana Justice and Reinvestment Act. The bill would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis for adults 21 and older. It would also create a medical cannabis program and provide for automatic expungement of past cannabis offenses.
You can read the full text of SB 646 here.
This bill would bring North Carolina’s cannabis policy out of the dark ages and into the 21st century. A poll conducted by Elon University in late January 2021 found that 54% of North Carolina residents support legalizing cannabis for use by adults, and 73% support making cannabis legal for medical use.
After you write your state legislators, please share this important news with your family and friends!
adult-use legalization bill, amendments, cannabis legalization, cannabis regulation, employment protections, expungements, Gov. Ralph Northam, HB 1862, home cultivation, medical cannabis patients, possession, requested changes, sealing of criminal records, Tax and Regulate, VA, Virginia, Virginia General Assembly
The governor’s proposed amendments would also speed up expungements and sealing of criminal records; urge lawmakers to support the amendments!
As expected, Gov. Ralph Northam has asked the Virginia General Assembly to amend the adult-use legalization bill so possession and home cultivation will become legal on July 1, 2021 instead of waiting until 2024. The governor also requested other changes, including an amendment that would expedite the process of expunging and sealing criminal records, beginning as soon as state agencies are able to do so. Legislators will meet to consider these changes beginning on April 7.
Unfortunately, Gov. Northam did not request an amendment to the provision that would criminalize bringing small amounts of cannabis into Virginia. We will continue to raise awareness about this problem with the law and work to get it changed in 2022.
In other positive news, Gov. Northam signed HB 1862, a bill that will protect medical cannabis patients from being disciplined or fired by their employers for using cannabis away from work.
After you email your elected officials, please share this news with your family and friends!
16th state, cannabis legalization, cannabis regulation, community reinvestment, Connecticut, Delaware, Empire State, equity, expungement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, home cultivation, marijuana legalization, Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), New Mexico, New York, NY, Rhode Island, Tax and Regulate, victory, Virginia
New York just legalized adult-use cannabis!
Last night, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) received final approval from state legislators, and earlier today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo officially signed the legislation into law, making New York the 16th state to end cannabis prohibition and the third to adopt a legalization policy via its state legislature.
Under the legislation, adults over 21 may possess up to three ounces of cannabis and 24 grams of concentrate, plus adults can grow a maximum of three mature plants and three immature plants once regulations are adopted. Legal possession of up to three ounces is effective immediately. Additionally, the law includes provisions for automatic expungement, community reinvestment, and measures to ensure the industry includes communities that have been disproportionately targeted by cannabis enforcement. Our summary of the MRTA is available here.
We expect this to be a record-breaking year for legalization in state legislatures. Until today, only two state legislatures had ever passed cannabis legalization — Illinois and Vermont, both efforts led by MPP. Now, we may see two legislatures pass legalization this WEEK alone.
Adding New York to the list, 38% of Americans now live in a legalization state. But, that means 62% do not, despite more than two-thirds of Americans supporting legalization. We need your help to change that, so please support our work to pass more bills through state legislatures by making a donation today.
Congratulations to the Empire State on this huge victory, and kudos to all the advocates who worked to make it possible!
adult-use legalization and expungement bills, amendments, botanical cannabis, cannabis legalization, dispensaries, expungement, flower, Gov. Ralph Northam, HB 2218, HB 2312, legalization, medical cannabis, Medical Marijuana, patients, SB 1333, SB 1406, VA, Virginia, whole-plant cannabis
The governor has until March 31 to act on the legalization and expungement bills — write him and urge him to fix the legalization bills today!
Good news! This week, Gov. Ralph Northam signed legislation (HB 2218/SB 1333) that will allow registered patients to obtain whole-plant, “botanical” cannabis from medical cannabis dispensaries. The new law, which takes effect on July 1, will make it possible for patients to use cannabis in whatever form they find to be most helpful.
Gov. Northam has until March 31 to take action on the adult-use legalization and expungement bills. Unfortunately, as we informed you previously, the legalization bills still include one very bad provision that would criminalize bringing small amounts of cannabis into the Commonwealth from other jurisdictions. Both HB 2312 and SB 1406 would create a new criminal penalty, punishable by up to a year in jail, for entering Virginia with less than five pounds of cannabis. The bills do not include an exception for one ounce or less of cannabis.
We are also asking Gov. Northam to move the effective date of legalization from 2024 to 2021. If you haven’t already done so, please write Gov. Northam today and encourage him to request these important amendments.
If you’d like to read MPP’s letter to Gov. Northam, click here.
After you write Gov. Northam, please share this message with your friends and family in Virginia.
amendments, cannabis consumers, cannabis legalization, cannabis regulation, criminal penalty, fix, Gov. Ralph Northam, HB 2312, importing, legalization bills, letter, new penalty, one ounce or less, possession, recriminalization, SB 1406, small amounts of cannabis, VA, Virginia
Virginia must not criminalize “importing” small amounts of cannabis — write the governor today!
The Virginia House and Senate deserve a round of applause for completing work on the adult-use legalization bills and advancing them to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk. Although we are disappointed by the fact that cannabis will not become legal until January 2024, we are pleased that the final bill does not criminalize sharing of cannabis between adults or increase penalties for public consumption and underage possession.
Unfortunately, both bills still include one very bad provision that would criminalize bringing small amounts of cannabis into the Commonwealth from another jurisdiction. Both HB 2312 and SB 1406 would create a new criminal penalty, punishable by up to a year in jail, for entering Virginia with less than five pounds of cannabis. The bills do not include an exception for one ounce or less of cannabis.
Gov. Northam is expected to ask the legislature for amendments to the bill, so we are urging him to seek an amendment to this provision. Bringing one ounce or less of cannabis into Virginia for personal use should not be a criminal offense, and it needs to be exempted from this new penalty.
Please write Gov. Ralph Northam today and encourage him to request an amendment to this provision. If you use Twitter, please also consider re-tweeting MPP’s tweet to Gov. Northam, or adding your own tweet to ask him to fix the law and avoid re-criminalizing cannabis consumers.
MPP has sent Gov. Northam a letter urging him to request this amendment. To read it, click here.
After you write Gov. Northam, please share this message with your friends and family.
This past weekend, the Virginia Legislature sent a legalization bill to their governor. D.C. legalized personal possession and cultivation back in 2014, and proposals to regulate and tax cannabis sales in the District were also introduced this week.
It’s time for the Maryland General Assembly to meet the moment and follow suit. But we need your help. Can you take a minute to email your lawmakers and ask that they prioritize legalization THIS SESSION?
If Maryland does not move forward with legalization this year, people will continue to be needlessly arrested and criminalized, consumers will only have access to the unregulated and dangerous illicit market, and the state will miss out on generating hundreds millions of dollars in tax revenue.
After you write your lawmakers, please share this action on social media to help us spread the word, then forward this message to your friends and family in Maryland and encourage them to do the same.
Together, we can end prohibition in 2021!
Next, the bill will proceed to Gov. Northam’s desk — thanks to all who contacted legislators!
After several days of wrangling over details, legislators from the Virginia House and Senate have agreed to terms on a final version of the adult-use legalization bill. Today, both chambers voted to approve the compromise.
The legislation will now advance to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam, who supports legalization. The governor could either sign the bill or request amendments, which would then be considered by the legislature.
You can read a summary of the final bill here.
Possession and cultivation of cannabis will not become legal for adults until January 2024, but the state will begin laying the groundwork for the regulated market beginning this July. Legislators did fix some of the issues we raised in a previous email, such as making it clear that adults will be able to share cannabis with other adults and not increasing penalties for underage possession, but they did not do everything we asked.
We are disappointed that the bill still criminalizes bringing any amount of cannabis into Virginia from outside the Commonwealth’s borders. However, that provision and many others do not take effect until 2024. It is also one of many provisions that requires another vote from the legislature in 2022. We’re relieved that we will have other opportunities to improve this policy before it goes into effect.
This is a huge step forward for cannabis policy in Virginia. Thanks to all who contacted legislators!