California A Step Closer To Interstate Marijuana Trading
California officials are seeking to expand the authority of local and state-compliant cannabis companies to ship cannabis goods to other states.
Nicole Elliott, executive director of the California Department of Cannabis Control, urged Attorney General Rob Bonta to issue a written opinion on whether the interstate export and transport of cannabis is legal under the U.S. Constitution, reported Green Market Report.
Elliot's request builds on the fact that SB 1326 by Sen. Anna Caballero (D) which set the stage for interstate cannabis commerce from California to other legal states as long as the federal government allows for it through legislation or a Justice Department waiver, took effect on Jan. 1. 2023.
The bill, which Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law in September, "has created a pathway to allow California cannabis licensees to engage, for the first time, in commercial cannabis activity with cannabis businesses licensed in other states," the official wrote in the letter.
Bonta is now expected to sign off the move as legal, after which Gov. Newsom would be allowed to negotiate deals with other governors.
Thousands Of Rhode Islanders To Clear Their Records As Part Of Marijuana Policy Reform
Rhode Island kicked off recreational cannabis sales in December, some six months after it became the 19th state in the country to end marijuana prohibition. The state will now begin clearing eligible marijuana records, reported The Providence Journal.
On Friday, RI Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell laid out court rules in an executive order under which thousands of Rhode Islanders could potentially have their marijuana-related records expunged.
The document shed light on the court's procedures for clearing misdemeanor and felony marijuana possession charges as well as civil violations from people's records.
Jared Moffat, state campaign manager of the Marijuana Policy Project, said that "tens of thousands of people" will benefit from the policy reform.
"Our coalition worked hard to ensure automatic record clearance would be included in the law, and this executive order is the crucial first step in that process," Moffat added. "Rhode Island is contributing to an encouraging trend we're seeing in more and more states, where legalization policies are coupled with efforts to undo the decades of harm caused by prohibition. "
Nebraska Senator Files Recreational Marijuana Bill
Meanwhile, in Nebraska, lawmakers are continuing to push for marijuana policy reform.
A bill filed by State Sen. Terrell McKinney (N) earlier this month would allow those 21 and older to possess, process, transport, buy or give away up to one ounce of recreational cannabis.
Under Legislature Bill 634 (LB634), a total of six cannabis plants could be legally cultivated at home.
Moreover, the measure also seeks to set up a regulatory and tax framework for marijuana sales as well as to create a process to expunge past criminal marijuana-related records.
A separate measure from Lincoln's Anna Wishart (D) - LB 588 – which was also filed in January, seeks to legalize medical marijuana as well.
Illinois Announces New Opportunity For Cannabis Dispensaries
Illinoisans seeking to venture into the cannabis industry have a new chance to do that.
As reported by ABC7 Chicago, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation said it's ready to issue 55 additional cannabis dispensary licenses. The applications can be submitted online via the department's website by Feb. 14.
"Illinois is committed to having the most accessible and equitable cannabis industry in the nation, and we look forward to issuing additional social equity licenses and cementing our status as a national leader," Gov. JB Pritzker said.
Tax Reforms in Virginia Make it Easier for Cannabis Businesses to Deduct Business Expenses
Virginia legislators greenlighted measures that would give marijuana businesses the right to certain state tax deductions, which they are prohibited to do on a federal level, under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code - 280E, reported Marijuana Moment.
The legislation from Sen Adam Ebbin (D), who also sponsored a separate measure that seeks to establish a framework for creating a retail marijuana market in the Commonwealth, was approved in the Senate in a 40-0 vote.
A companion measure from Del. Jeffrey Campbell (R) advanced through an Appropriations subcommittee in a 7-1 vote.
Photo: Benzinga Edit of photo by Morgan Lane and Tim Foster on Unsplash
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