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Regulatory Update: Minn., Va. Gear Up For Weed Legalization; Iowa Trims Medical Fees; Col. Issues First Rec Delivery Permit

February 12, 2021 11:46 am
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Regulatory Update: Minn., Va. Gear Up For Weed Legalization; Iowa Trims Medical Fees; Col. Issues First Rec Delivery Permit

Minnesota Legalization Bill Goes Before House Committee Next Week

Minnesotans are one step closer toward the legalization of marijuana.

Cannabis reform legislation in the Gopher State is poised to receive its first hearing in the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee on Wednesday, Feb.17.

House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler filed a bill earlier this month to allow adults 21 and older to buy and possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, Marijuana Moment reports.

The legislation also allows the cultivation of up to eight plants (four could be mature, or have between five or seven blades per leaf).

Speaker Melissa Hortman co-sponsored the bill, which is identical to a legislation Winkler filed last year.

Winkler highlighted that existing cannabis laws in Minnesota “are doing more harm than good,” pointing out that a “responsibly regulated market is better than an illegal market.”

Panel chair Rep. Zack Stephenson says he is well aware of how much the state spends on cannabis restrictions.

“We ought to be strategic in where these resources are going so we can be efficient in how we address more pressing public safety needs,” Stephenson added.

Iowa Approves Bill To Slash Medical Marijuana Fees

Cannabis business owners in Iowa may get a bit of financial relief if the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the University of Iowa, reach a compromise when it comes to slashing medical marijuana patient and provider fees.

Senate Study Bill 1177 is poised to trim fees medical cannabis producers pay to $2,000 a year and set up an income tax deduction for expenses related to production or dispensing medical cannabis.

In addition, the legislation proposes for sale taxes coming from medical cannabis to be used for paying state administration and testing.

The bill would also decrease the price patients pay for a medical cannabis card from $100 per year to $10 every two years.

Lawmakers came to an agreement on a Senate subcommittee held on Thursday to consider changing the fees and some other parts of the legislation, according to Marijuana Moment.

The changes would address concerns brought up by Representatives of the IDPH and the University of Iowa that run State Hygienic Lab by enabling the program to continue covering state administration and testing costs.

Last year, the Iowa legislature banned the manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of smokable hemp products, to enhance law enforcement on the marijuana black market.

Colorado Issues First Rec Marijuana Delivery License To Aurora Dispensary

Colorado has awarded High Country Supply, which is doing business as Colorado Harvest Co., with its first recreational marijuana delivery permit, Marijuana Business Daily reported.

Colorado Harvest is located in Aurora, in the Denver metro area.

The company noted it expects to launch delivery by March 1, or once it gets city approval.

Marijuana regulators in Colorado kicked off the issuance of medical marijuana delivery licenses last year as part of the state’s new law.

Six MMJ transport licenses have been granted to date, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Virginia — One Step Closer To Marijuana Legalization

The Virginia House of Delegates and Senate recently supported two bills to legalize recreational cultivation, sale and use of marijuana.

Sales are poised to launch in 2024. The legislation would allow the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older.

The House approved its bill (HB2312), in a 55-42 vote, with two abstentions on Friday, while Senate voted its proposal (SB1406) 23-15 later that day.

Governor Ralph Northam has introduced both bills in mid-January. Since then, they have been revised and amended on several occasions.

Per Marijuana Moment, Virginia House lawmakers altered the legislation to match the House version.

The Senate is poised to follow suit and then send the bill for a review to a conference committee consisting of members from both chambers.

The House version of SB1406 has passed by the House General Laws Committee on a 16-5 vote.