March 26 Legislative Roundup: Marijuana in California, Hawaii, Georgia

California’s legislative effort to provide a temporary tax cut for recreational marijuana advances, Hawaiian legislation addressing patient reciprocity is referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, and a Georgia initiative to amend the state’s Low THC Oil Patient Registry gets a vote.

Marijuana policy is in a constant state of legislative flux. While some states have legalized cannabis for medicinal use, others have passed laws allowing for recreational consumption. In either event, elected officials around the country are routinely proposing, updating, and modifying their legislative agendas to reform America’s marijuana laws. In an effort to keep our community informed, Marijuana.com will now provide a weekly update on the legislative efforts of our elected officials.

While the politics of cannabis ebbs and flows in 2018, the legislative calendar for America’s lawmakers is packed with marijuana legislation.

California

Last Thursday, legislation that would cut the recreational marijuana sales tax rate from 15 percent to 11 percent and suspend all cultivation taxes for threes years, was referred to the Assembly’s Committee on Revenue and Taxation. Assembly Bill 3157, co-sponsored by Rob Bonta (D- 18th District), Ken Cooley (D- 8th District), Reggie Jones-Sawyer Sr. (D- 59th District), Tom Lackey (R- 36th District), and Jim Wood (D- 2nd District), would temporarily modify the current tax structure so California’s legal adult-use market can compete against black market sales.

Hawaii

Last Friday, a bill addressing medical marijuana reciprocity, THC potency, and employment metabolite testing was referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. In addition to allowing authorized medical marijuana visitors to access Hawaiian dispensaries, House Bill 2729 would allow the Department of Health to extend the maximum period of validity of any written certification to three years for those with chronic medical conditions.

Georgia

Georgia House Bill 65, passed by the Senate on Friday with a 29-16 vote, would broaden the legal parameters for medical marijuana use and would allow state-sanctioned patients to utilize low THC oil to combat a host of debilitating diseases. After first receiving the proverbial green light from elected officials in George’s House of Representatives (156-6), HB 65 is now headed for the governor’s desk where Zell Miller will either sign or veto the bill.

On the calendar

Marijuana legislation will receive a hearing this week in Colorado, Arizona, Montana and New Hampshire.

Colorado’s Senate Business Labor and Technology Committee will consider SB 211 on Monday at noon. The legislation would authorize and permit licensing for marijuana consumption within specific clubs.

Before Arizona’s Senate Rules Committee at 1 p.m.  Monday, House Bill 2067 addresses doctors that offer unlawful medical marijuana recommendations. Considered a partisan bill, HB 2067 was passed by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on March 14, by a 5-2 vote.

A Missouri bill seeks to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp. HB 2034, passed by the House of Representatives in late February, will receive a hearing today at 2 p.m. before the Missouri Senate’s committee on Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources.

On Tuesday, New Hampshire’s SB 380 will receive a hearing at 1:15 p.m. before the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs. The legislation seeks to amend state law governing the use the of medical marijuana for therapeutic purposes, “clarifying certain information on the registry identification cards and designated caregivers for minors.”

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