Cannabis Reg. Update: MN Approves Hemp-Derived THC For Adults, South Africa Marijuana Bill, Actions In LA, OH, GA

Minnesota To Allow Small Amounts Of THC In Food & Beverages 

Minnesota lawmakers approved several hemp industry measures on Sunday, sending them to Gov. Tim Walz’s (D) desk for signature. Among the approved regulations is a measure that would allow up to 5 mg of hemp-derived THC to be legally sold in edibles and drinks to those 21 and older, reported Star Tribune.  

"It's really good for retailers, because it provides [legal] certainty, and also for consumers because you have safety mechanisms in place," said cannabis attorney Susan Burns.

Other proposals in the bill include allowing CBD in food and drinks, forbidding products that look similar to brands or products advertised to children and “packaged in a way that resembles the trademarked, characteristic, or product-specialized packaging of any commercially available food product.”

The legislature organized amendments created by the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy to align the statutory definition of hemp with the federal one.

Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Bill To Loosen Harsh Cannabis Laws 

Lawmakers advanced four cannabis-related bills to the full Senate on Tuesday, aiming to relax the state’s stiff drug policies, writes The Advocate.

One bill, HB 755 seeks to enable medical marijuana patients to own bongs, pipes and other paraphernalia. The other, HB 1028, proposes decriminalizing possession of paraphernalia for non-patients and setting up a maximum fine of $50.

A third, HB 629 would prohibit police from searching homes based on the smell of cannabis, while House Bill 774 would enable expungement of records for marijuana possession six months after conviction, versus the current five years.

Ohio Approves 70 New Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses Via Lottery  

Ohio plans to more than double the number of its medical marijuana dispensaries, as regulators approved 70 new licenses on Monday, reported

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy confirmed these licenses were selected via lottery. Around 230 different entities submitted nearly 1500 applications.

Georgians Choose Cannabis Legalization Via Ballot Question 

The majority of voters in Georgia said yes to a recreational cannabis legalization ballot measure on Tuesday, reported Marijuana Moment

The state Democratic party leadership came up with nine non-binding advisory questions for the ballot this year.

“Should marijuana be legalized, taxed, and regulated in the same manner as alcohol for adults 21 years of age or older, with proceeds going towards education, infrastructure, and health care programs,” is one of the questions.

The cannabis-related proposal was leading 80% to 20% on Wednesday morning with 95% of counties having submitted their votes.

South Africa Cannabis Bill Criticized Over Several Issues 

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) presented its submission on the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill to parliament on Tuesday, revealing its support for the legalization of marijuana for private, commercial and medical use in the country, reported IOL.

The parliament broadened the subject of the bill to 1) enable commercial activities in relation to adult-use cannabis; 2) provide for the growing, possession and supply of cannabis plants and cannabis by organizations for religious and cultural purposes on behalf of their members and 3) respect the right to privacy for an adult individual to consume marijuana for palliation or medication.

These additions were approved on March 31st, by the national assembly. The bill is now being reviewed in the second round of public participation meetings.

Cosatu highlighted its support of the bill's proposals, noting that it requires more work, as the draft version is “unrealistically bureaucratic and cumbersome” in some matters. Furthermore, Cosatu said that the current version is still too limiting and does not broadly decriminalize marijuana use.  

Another thing that concerned Cosatu is that the bill seems contradictory and unclear on the government's stance regarding commercialization, reported IOL.

“It indicates clearly how cannabis can be produced for personal use. It is clear on how it can be used for medical use,” Cosatu said. “It is not clear on how it can be produced, sold and used for commercial use. This will send confusing signals to the public, commercial producers and law enforcement organs.”

Photo: Courtesy of Ndispensable on Unsplash

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketsCinncianti.comCosatuGeorgia cannabisIOLlouisiana cannabisMarijuana MomentMinnesota cannabisOhio CannabisSouth Africa CannabisStar TribuneSusan BurnsThe Advocate
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Florida, in a new venue in Hollywood, on April 16 and 17, 2024. The two-day event at The Diplomat Beach Resort will be a chance for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to network, learn and grow. Renowned for its trendsetting abilities and influence on the future of cannabis, mark your calendars – this conference is the go-to event of the year for the cannabis world.

Get your tickets now on – Prices will increase very soon!