Cannabis Regulatory Update: Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, West Virginia

Delaware Cannabis Legalization Bill Passes House Committee

The House Health and Human Development Committee in Delaware voted Wednesday in favor of a bill, HB 150, to legalize cannabis, writes Marijuana Moment.

The bill, proposed by Rep. Ed Osienski, passed in a 10 to 5 vote, having seen a “vocal opposition” from some Republicans.

“This act allows adults over the age of 21 to legally possess and consume under one ounce of marijuana for personal use,” Osienski said, “and creates the legal framework to license and regulate a new industry that will create well-paying jobs for Delawareans while striking a blow against the criminal element, which profits from the thriving illegal market in our state.”

The bill proposes the development of a regulated commercial cannabis program, and tax sales at 15%, but prohibits home grow, reports the outlet.

Furthermore, the measure would enable the expungement of past cannabis convictions and create social equity programs for licensing matters.

Illinois House Committee Votes For Cannabis Decriminalization

The House Criminal Judiciary Committee in Illinois approved House Bill 3085 in 10-8 vote on Tuesday, moving it to the House floor. The bill proposes for the decriminalization of all cannabis possession regardless of the amount, reported The Center Square.

Furthermore, if the bill turns into law it would automatically expunge any criminal record for those convicted for cannabis possession.

“It’s been a burden on brown and Black families for over 50 years, this artificial war perpetrated on our community for the benefit of others,” state Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago stated. 

Flowers highlighted that while dispensaries have no limits on the amounts they can sell, consumers have been restricted having set purchase and possessions limits. What’s more, all adult-use cannabis dispensary owners are white, reports the outlet.

Minnesota Cannabis Legalization Measure Passes Fourth House Committee

Minnesota cannabis legalization bill passed a fourth House committee on Wednesday, reports Marijuana Moment.

The measure, which would enable adults to buy and own up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and grow up to eight plants was submitted last month by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D), Speaker Melissa Hortman (D) and other lawmakers. 

The bill passed in 8 to 5 vote, and is now sent to the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee for consideration, writes Marijuana Moment.

“Legalization of adult-use cannabis is coming to Minnesota one time or another,” Winkler said. “The question is not whether we are able to stop the trend. The question is whether we are well-prepared to do this right from the beginning.”

“We’ve heard consistently that a cannabis marketplace is an opportunity for small- and medium-sized Minnesota businesses to be successful, to create jobs and opportunity throughout Minnesota,” Winkler added. “And we want to make sure that people who have been most adversely affected by the war on drugs have an opportunity not only to have criminal records expunged and to have their records cleared, but to have an opportunity to participate in the growth of a new business at the very foundation.”

The measure calls for social equity, proposing a diversity in license issuance to avoid corporation dominance. Furthermore, it would enable cannabis records expungement.

NJ Cannabis Panel Appoints First Black Male Member

New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission appointed its first Black male member, Charles Barker, on Wednesday, writes Marijuana Business Daily.

The state governor Phil Murphy appointed Barker, a lawyer and a constituent advocate for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, and also a member of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

The appointment came because the NAACP questioned the panel’s makeup, and Murphy last month approved the law that demands a minimum one member of the board to be from a national organization that fights against historical oppression of minorities, reported the outlet.

West Virginia Senate Adds Edibles To Medical Cannabis Program

West Virginia Senate voted Wednesday in favor of a bill, SB 950, which proposes including edibles to the list of cannabis forms that can be legally dispensed under the state’s medical cannabis program, writes The Dominion Post.

The bill was sponsored by five Democrats and passed in a 26 to 8 vote, moving further to the House of Delegates. The opposition mostly came from Republicans.

With this measure edibles would be added to the existing list – pills, topical, oils, tincture, liquid or dermal patch, nebulizer or vaporizer.

To address the worries across the nation of accidental child ingestion, the Health Committee added the following clause: “The sale of edible marijuana products including, but not limited to, the distinct shape of a human, animal, or fruit, or any shape that may entice children shall be prohibited."

Senator Robert Karnes, however, didn’t find the clause much helpful, opposing the bill and saying "If it’s got sugar in it or it tastes like its got sugar in it, it's enticing to children."

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