Cannabis Reg. Update: GOP And DEM Officials Quarrel Over Marijuana, New Legalization Efforts In MS, CA, PA & LA

Connecticut Gov. Lamont’s GOP Opponent Calls For Attorney General Investigation After Tweet and Song Celebrating Legal Marijuana

Bob Stefanowski (R) wrote a letter asking state AG William Tong (D) to investigate whether Gov. Ned Lamont (D) broke a state statute by sharing a video of a song that mentions the state’s cannabis legalization law, reported Marijuana Moment.

“I write to request that your office investigate statements made in a recent video released last week by Governor Ned Lamont’s administration promoting the accessibility of marijuana in Connecticut,” the letter says. “The Office of the Governor on June 5, 2022, using state taxpayer resources, asserts the following as part of a promotional series about Connecticut.”

Stefanowski was swift to respond saying earlier that “our governor should not be encouraging kids to smoke marijuana.”

However, the Connecticut jingle by Rusty Gear, titled “First-Ever Connecticut Country Song,” doesn’t advertise any cannabis products. Instead, it references a policy change that Lamont enacted last year by signing the bill to legalize recreational marijuana.

Here’s How Many Mississippians Want To Get Medical Cannabis Card, A Lot

Over 1800 Mississippians have already submitted applications to obtain medical marijuana cards, just one week after the program launched, reported Mississippi Today.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed legislation in February making Mississippi the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana (MMJ).

“If you can shop on Amazon you can probably work through the portal,” said Kris Jones, the director of the state’s new MMJ program.

Jim Craig, director of the Office of Health Protection, said ”It looks like it will be the end of the year that we see products.

Licensing for medical cannabis dispensaries is expected to kick off on July 1 through the state Department of Revenue, according to WLOX.

Sacramento BIPOC Rally Asks For Tax Relief

Marijuana business owners are experiencing the toll of high taxes. A group of more than fifty BIPOC cannabis entrepreneurs, patients and lawmakers brought it to attention on Thursday as they rallied on the steps of the California capitol in Sacramento, reported High Times.

The demonstration organized by Supernova Women, an Oakland nonprofit that seeks to create opportunities for Black and Brown people in the space, was an answer to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recently released proposed state budget.

The demonstrators called for the elimination of the cannabis excise tax for licensed social equity businesses, among other changes to the state’s cannabis regulations.

Newsom (D) presented an updated budget proposal last month and called for eliminating the state’s marijuana cultivation tax to combat the illicit market.

Major changes include setting the cultivation tax rate at zero beginning July 1, 2022, shifting the point of collection and remittance for excise tax from distribution to retail on January 1, 2023 - maintaining a 15 percent excise tax rate, and “strengthening tax enforcement policies to increase tax compliance and collection and reduce unfair competition.”

Medical Marijuana 280E Tax Relief Amendment Gets Green Light In Pennsylvania Committee

PA lawmakers approved an amendment that would allow MMJ businesses to receive state tax deductions for expenses. Currently, these tax deductions are banned under federal law.

The amendment from Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R) was approved by the House Finance Committee as part of a broader tax code reform bill, reported Marijuana Moment.

“Currently, without this amendment, the medical marijuana industry is, we believe, unfairly targeted,” Rep. Kevin Boyle (D) said. “So this amendment to the bill is a serious upgrade to the overall legislation.” 

Louisiana Lawmakers Advance Several Marijuana Reform Bills To Gov.’s Desk

Lawmakers sent four cannabis reform measures to Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) to be signed into law, reported NORML.

House Bill 988 mandates, “No state employer shall subject an employee or prospective employee to negative employment consequences based solely on a positive drug test for marijuana,” if they are holders of the state’s medical cannabis card.

House Bill 629 would prohibit police from searching homes based on the smell of cannabis; HB 755 seeks to enable MMJ patients to own bongs, pipes, and other paraphernalia.

Another bill awaiting the Governor’s approval is HB 137, which seeks to provide immunity from criminal prosecution to medical cannabis patients from other states.

“These are common-sense reforms that will provide further protections and freedoms to patients and others and they ought to be enacted swiftly by Gov. John Bel Edwards,” said Paul Armentano, NORML’s deputy director.

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