Dispensary Compliance Updates as of June 17th

by Stu Waters,

This Month

In Iowa, a bill raising the THC limit for medical cannabis products has passed the state Senate. The bill would also allow both physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to recommend cannabis therapies.

In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that would pause medical marijuana legalization and devote resources to further study. Nevertheless, Ivey has indicated she may support medical cannabis legislation if it is limited in scope and tightly regulated.

In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey signed a bill that requires product testing for contaminants under the state’s medical marijuana program. Considering the fact that the state’s 2016 legalization initiative was narrowly defeated, there’s a decent chance of a November 2020 ballot bill succeeding.

California’s Senate Health Committee has approved a bill that regulates CBD in food products. This departs from the state’s current policy of banning hemp-derived CBD in food and dietary supplements, potentially opening up new market opportunities for hemp agriculture and CBD processing.

Delaware’s House Revenue and Finance Committee has cleared a recreational marijuana bill to advance to the full chamber. This plan would legalize recreational cannabis for adults over the age of 21 and place a 15% point-of-sale tax on all cannabis transactions. Similar legislation failed in 2018, and the current governor has expressed skepticism for the prospect of statewide recreational legalization.

Nevada governor Steve Sosloak has signed a bill creating a pilot program for marijuana banking. The same bill also forbids employers from refusing job applicants because of failed drug tests due to cannabis use. 

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill regulating the production of industrial hemp and CBD. However, he has not shown great support for expanding medical cannabis in the past, and it’s not likely that a new bill will succeed in the state’s Senate chamber.

Vermont’s senate has approved a bill that would double the amount of cannabis an individual can carry without risking jail. There is ongoing legislation to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana in the state, but these kinds of bills have historically faced challenges in the state senate.

Looking Ahead

In North Dakota, there is a campaign to legalize recreational marijuana being prepared for the state’s 2020 elections. The state already made an attempt in 2018, but it was not successful.

In Arkansas, two separate campaigns are collecting citizen signatures to make cannabis legalization part of the state’s 2020 ballot.

Connecticut’s governor, Ned Lamont, has expressed support for cannabis legalization and would likely sign a legalization bill if it passed the state legislature. However, the state’s 2020 legislative session was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s unlikely that marijuana legalization would be a high-priority item if a special summer session is called.

Cannabis stakeholders in Idaho are collecting signatures to put medical marijuana legislation on the state’s 2020 ballot. Governor Brad Little has expressed support for hemp bills in the past, with the stipulation that law enforcement amendments are included.