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Mississippi Senate Approves Alternate Medical Marijuana Program, Hours After Defeating It
After failing to gain the needed three-fifths vote in a first try Thursday night, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann (R) of Mississippi held the Senate over into Friday morning and it passed a legislative alternative to the medical marijuana program voters approved in November.
The measure will take effect only if the courts strike down the voter-passed Initiative 65 medical marijuana program, which is now in the state constitution but faces a challenge in the state Supreme Court. “Trigger language” was added to the Senate bill in an amendment on Thursday.
The bill would tax medical marijuana, with a 4 percent excise at cultivation, and with a sales tax patients would pay. In an effort to gain more support, the original 10 percent sales tax was amended to 7 percent on Thursday night. Most of the taxes collected would go to education, including early learning and college scholarships.
Under GOP Plan, Medical Marijuana Would Not Be Legal In South Dakota Until Late 2022, At Earliest
It looks like the nearly 70% of South Dakota voters who marked yes on Initiated Measure 26 to legalize medical marijuana back in November will have to wait at least another year.
That is because the Legislature’s Republican leaders have a nine-page amendment pending that would push all the 2021 dates back 12 months into 2022.
Those top Republicans and Republican Governor Kristi Noem, who opposes marijuana, want time so a proposed 22-person panel can start analyzing what IM 26 does not adequately address.
Their plan, offered Wednesday in the House State Affairs Committee on HB 1100, would take effect June 30. The panel’s deadline for recommendations to the Legislature would be January 15.
Lawmakers then would use the 2022 legislative session for patching holes.
South Dakota Governor Threatens to Veto Any Legislation That Legalizes Recreational Marijuana
Meanwhile, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Thursday she would likely veto any bills that allow recreational marijuana use this year, despite some GOP lawmakers weighing whether to move forward with legalization.
A circuit court judge ruled Monday that a constitutional amendment passed by voters to legalize recreational marijuana would have violated the state’s constitution. But marijuana legalization has stayed on lawmakers’ agenda with pro-marijuana groups planning to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Some have argued the Legislature should legalize it this year, regardless of the high court’s ruling, because it would reflect the will of voters and allow them to craft the policy.
But Noem remains an ardent opponent of marijuana legalization, saying at a news conference she would “not be inclined” to sign a bill legalizing it for recreational use.
Kentucky Lawmaker Files Legislation That Would Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use for Adults
A state representative from Northern Kentucky has filed legislation that would legalize adult recreational use of marijuana.
Campbell County’s Representative Rachel Roberts (KY-District 67) says that the legislation would also decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of cannabis and provide free expungements for those convicted of a marijuana-related misdemeanors.
On the regulatory side, the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board would oversee four types of licensing – cultivator, processor, tester, and retailer – and each license would require an annual renewal
Home growers would pay $250 for a permit, which would allow them to have up to five mature plants and five immature ones. All other licensees would have to pay fees based in part on their size.
The proposal, called “House Bill 467”, will be considered during the remainder of the General Assembly’s 2021 legislative session, which ends late next month, according to a release from Roberts’ office.
Texas Would Study Psilocybin and MDMA to Treat PTSD and Depression Under New Bill
A Texas lawmaker introduced a bill on Wednesday that would require the state to study the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine in the treatment of certain mental health conditions.
The legislation from Rep. Alex Dominguez (D) would mandate that the Department of State Health Services conduct the study in collaboration with the Texas Medical Board and report on its findings by December 1, 2022.
Researchers should “evaluate and determine whether alternative therapies are effective in treating the mental health and other medical conditions” such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, chronic pain and migraines, the text of the bill, HB 1802, states.
The study should also “compare the efficacy of the alternative therapies with the efficacy of treatments currently used for the mental health and other medical conditions,” it continues.