Washington State Passes Interstate Cannabis Commerce Bill
Washington’s Senate Labor & Commerce Committee approved a bill to set the state up to allow interstate cannabis commerce, reported Marijuana Moment. Now, the legislation moved to the Senate Rules Committee.
Sponsored by Sen. Ann Rivers (R), the measure would give the governor authority to enter into agreements with other legal states to permit imports and exports between state-licensed marijuana businesses. In addition, products that come from out-of-state businesses would be required to comply with Washington’s regulations, including those related to packaging and labeling.
The legislation would only take effect under one of two conditions: 1) if there’s a federal law change “to allow for the interstate transfer of cannabis” between legal businesses, or 2) if the U.S. Department of Justice issues an opinion “allowing or tolerating” cannabis commerce across state lines.
Sen. Karen Keiser (D), the committee chair, said that it was important to take “early action” on the measure, especially given that it “seems to have pretty substantial support.” However, Sen. Rebecca Saldaña (D) said they “need to make sure that we actually address social equity” in the industry first.
Will U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Sign Cannabis Legalization Bill?
The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) could become the next jurisdiction in the U.S. to legalize cannabis.
Sponsored by Sen. Janelle Sarauw (I), the legislation is not meant to be an economic panacea for the territory, even if it might bolster tourism and help straighten up the existing medical cannabis program, reported Marijuana Moment.
However, Sarauw said, during a phone interview with MM, that it would be “foolish” of Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) “not to sign it,” especially given his repeated campaign pledges backing the reform.
The measure seeks to legalize recreational cannabis while substituting the medical cannabis law. “I combined both of them so they can move parallel to each other,” she said. “The major difference in the recreational piece is that a recreational piece allows for a greater component around social equity in the territory.”
Virginia Lawmakers Consider Updating Cannabis And Hemp Product Laws
In Virginia, anyone with a medical cannabis card can buy a full range of cannabis products regulated by the State Board of Pharmacy.
While some stores sell unregulated delta-8, others offer a variety of CBD products, which is not against current cannabis laws because it is derived from hemp. While it is legal to grow up to four cannabis plants at home, although seeds remain illegal to sell.
Virginia’s stance on cannabis is more than a little bit confusing, even in the eyes of many legislators who write the state’s laws, reported a local news outlet.
Missouri Regulators Seeks To Implement A Micro License Program, Chief Equity Officer Will Be Announcing Soon
Although the constitutional amendment legalizing adult-use cannabis in Missouri won voter approval last November, it drove a wedge between social justice activists on the issue of racial and economic equity.
Some believe the new law will empower minority marijuana business owners, while others worry it will entrench an untrustworthy and unfair business licensing system, reported the Missouri Independent.
Under the law, the state must have an equity director for its marijuana program by February 6, a position meant to ensure that the social and economic equity requirements of Missouri’s new cannabis law are met.
The chief equity officer will oversee a micro license program designed to boost opportunities in the industry for businesses in disadvantaged communities. Officers’ responsibilities include leading communication about the program and conducting reviews “to certify microbusinesses are eligible applicants and in good standing for licensure.”
Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis City NAACP chapter, was among those who pushed for the creation of a chief equity officer position as part of the legalization campaign.
Texas Plans To Approve More Dispensaries Despite Maintaining Full-Ban Cannabis Prohibition
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) recently announced it’s now accepting applications for Compassionate Use Program (CUP). The application window will remain open until April 28. More information on the selection process will be made available at a later date, the agency said.
“The department will issue only the number of licenses necessary to ensure reasonable statewide access to, and the availability of, low-THC cannabis for patients registered in the compassionate-use registry,” the agency said in its release.
The state plans to approve more dispensaries but maintain its ban on full-fledged cannabis, reported the Green Market Report.
Under Texas law, only cannabis products with 0.5% THC by weight are legal, and there are just eight qualifying medical conditions that make patients eligible for MMJ in the state. As a result, there are only about 8,000 active medical cannabis patients in the state, which has some industry insiders in Texas worried that the customer base is still too low to support additional dispensaries, reported the Dallas Morning News.
However, Democratic state Sen. Jose Menendez of San Antonio is pushing in the state Legislature to legalize full-potency medical marijuana.
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