Op-Ed: State-By-State Breakdown Of Marijuana's Retail Potential
Author Jeff Hill provides an in-depth overview of the rapid pace of legislation state-by-state and at the federal level, offering insight into the possibility of selling marijuana for retailers across the country
Here's the latest update on the political dynamics at the state and federal level where it concerns various levels of legalization of marijuana. Grab a glass of wine, put your feet up and let it wash over you. Bottom line: progress on mostly every front.
At the State Level:
The New Mexico Senate approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession by a vote of 30 to 8.
New Jersey Governor included $60 million in revenue from legalizing marijuana in his new budget. In a speech, he said he would not sign a cannabis bill that doesn’t include expungements of prior records.
Former Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper, who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, is considered “the father of cannabis in the U.S.” He was the mayor of Denver who made a lot of the early work in Colorado happen.
A Missouri representative filed a bill that, if passed by lawmakers, would ask the state’s voters — 66% of whom approved medical marijuana last year — to go back to the ballot to repeal it.
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) said he’s “pushing very hard” to make sure marijuana legalization is enacted this year.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) tweeted to encourage people to attend his administration’s marijuana legalization listening events.
West Virginia Senate sent a medical cannabis banking bill to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice (R).
The Georgia House of Representatives approved a bill to allow in-state cultivation and sales of low-THC medical cannabis.
A majority of the South Dakota Senate voted to approve a bill to legalize industrial hemp, but it fell short of a required two-thirds margin and will be brought up again on Wednesday.
Former New Jersey Goveror Chris Christie (R) said he doesn’t think a candidate’s support for marijuana legalization will drive voters to the polls.
Texas’s agriculture commissioner is pushing for hemp legalization.
The Virginia Supreme Court is being asked to force judges to dismiss marijuana cases in line with a local policy instituted by the Norfolk commonwealth’s attorney.
The Oklahoma Senate Rules Committee unanimously approved a medical cannabis regulation bill.
The Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to add new qualifying conditions for the state’s limited medical cannabis law.
The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee defeated a bill to prohibit medical cannabis in jails.
The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on a medical cannabis bill on Wednesday.
The North Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee chair has drafted a marijuana decriminalization amendment that could be attached to broader legislation.
The Florida Senate is scheduled to take up a bill allowing patients to smoke medical cannabis on Thursday.
Hawii regulators announced that out-of-state patients can now buy medical cannabis.
At least 12 marijuana bills are scheduled for committee hearings on Wednesday, with more happening later in the week.
At the federal level:
Sen Cory Booker (D New Jersey) a presidential candidate, tweeted, “It’s not enough to legalize marijuana at the federal level — we should also help those who have suffered due to its prohibition.”
Sen Roy Wyden (D-OR) said, “If you can buy [hemp and CBD] at Costco, you ought to be able to grow it in Oregon, so our farmers end up winning and farmers in Canada and China aren’t laughing all the way to the bank.”
Rep Ro Kanna (D) tweeted, “Any plan to legalize cannabis must include criminal justice reform and restorative justice. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the #MarijuanaJusticeAct with @CoryBooker.”
The Vice President, Mr. Pence visited a Drug Enforcement Administration facility where 30,000 pounds of marijuana is being stored.
The Department of Defense disputed a report saying it considers investing in marijuana companies a violation of its anti-drug policies, saying that it “continues to research the topic.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to audit marijuana businesses.
Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Don Yound (R-AK) will file legislation to deschedule marijuana and require the federal government to study the impact of state cannabis laws on Thursday.
Rep Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “U.S.-based marijuana companies are going overseas to conduct research because of our strict federal marijuana laws. My Marijuana Justice Act would legalize marijuana at the federal level and provide a path for our nation to become innovators in the expanding cannabis industry.”
House legislation to regulate marijuana like alcohol was the fifth-most-viewed bill on Congress.gov last week.
An international perspective
New Zealand’s government reported that a planned marijuana legalization referendum in 2020 will cost $2.2 million to carry out.
Special thanks to Marijuana Moment for their help with this.
For more from Jeffrey, read the original article here, and check out the many articles he has written regarding the intersection of healthcare, cannabis and fitness, as well as the enormous potential of this category, on medium.com/@jeffreyhill2.
Lead image: stock photos from Ryland zweifel/Shutterstock