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New Jersey Attorney General Orders Marijuana Cases to Be Dropped Following Legalization Bill Signing
The day after New Jersey’s governor signed bills to legalize and decriminalize marijuana, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal directed prosecutors to drop cases for cannabis-related offenses and issued separate guidance for police on how to proceed under the updated laws.
For the law enforcement-focused guidance, Grewal’s office urged police to “familiarize themselves with the three new laws” Murphy signed as it relates to marijuana. He described six cannabis-related activities that are no longer illegal under state law:
-Simple possession of 6 ounces or less of marijuana, 2C:35-10(a)(4)(b);
-Simple possession of 17 grams or less of hashish, 2C:35-10(a)(4)(b);
-Being under the influence of marijuana or hashish, 2C:35-10(b);
-Failure to properly dispose of marijuana or hashish, 2C:35-10(c);
-Possession of paraphernalia for marijuana or hashish, 2C:36-2; and
-Possession of marijuana or hashish as a motor vehicle operator, 39:4-49.1
Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Second House Committee
A second Minnesota House committee approved a bill on Tuesday that would legalize marijuana in the state—though several other panels are expected to take up the legislation over the course of the next few weeks before it reaches the floor.
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D), Speaker Melissa Hortman (D) and other lawmakers filed the measure earlier this month. It would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to eight plants, four of which could be mature.
The House Labor, Industry, Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee passed the measure in a 7-5 vote. This comes one week after the Commerce Finance and Policy Committee advanced the legislation. It will next head to the Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy Committee.
North Dakota House Approves Marijuana Legalization Bill
The North Dakota House on Tuesday approved a bill to legalize marijuana—a measure that’s being sponsored by a Republican lawmaker who is opposed to the policy change but prefers the legislature sets the rules rather than leave it up to activists via a ballot measure.
The chamber advanced the legislation, which narrowly cleared the Human Services Committee last week, in a 56-38 vote. Lawmakers also passed a separate, complementary bill to establish the tax structure for a recreational cannabis market, 73-21.
HB 1420 would allow adults 21 and older to possess and purchase up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use, but home cultivation would not be allowed. Meanwhile, lawmakers on Monday rejected a separate proposal to place the question of legalizing adult-use marijuana before voters as a 2022 ballot referendum.
Rep. Jason Dockter (R) is the chief sponsor of the House-passed legalization bill. It calls for legal cannabis sales to begin on July 1, 2022.
South Carolina Voters Support Legalizing Medical Marijuana by a Five-to-One Ratio, New Poll Finds
South Carolina voters support legalizing medical marijuana by a ratio of five to one, according to a new poll.
As lawmakers consider bills to enact the policy change this year, the survey shows 72 percent of respondents back the reform, while just 15 percent are opposed.
Rep. Bill Herbkersman (R) and Sen. Tom Davis (R) prefiled companion versions of that legislation in December. The next month, the measures were formally introduced and referred to the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee and Medical Affairs Committee, respectively.
Under the proposal, patients would be eligible for medical marijuana if a physician certifies that they have at least one qualifying condition such as epilepsy, autism, chronic pain, glaucoma, or post-traumatic stress disorder. The House version stipulates that doctor could make the recommendation for any condition they see fit.
Missouri Extends Deadlines After Most Medical Marijuana Businesses Failed to Open on Time
The majority of Missouri’s medical marijuana businesses recently have been granted extensions after failing to meet a one-year operating deadline, state authorities told the Springfield News-Leader this week.
That means roughly 260 out of 370 licensed marijuana companies won’t have to be open for business until as late as September, rather than one year from the time they were licensed as required under state regulations, authorities said. Marijuana program documents provided to the News-Leader in early January and early February show that roughly 20 more cannabis companies have also asked for deadline extensions.
The question of whether a company gets an extension carries high stakes because, under state rules authorized by the constitution, a marijuana venture’s “license or certification may be revoked” if a licensed facility “has not passed a commencement inspection within one (1) year.”