Rec. Marijuana Bill In MN, NY Cannabis Programs, OK MMJ Measure, Costa Rica Weed Bill, MMJ In KY

Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill

Chaired by DFL Rep. Ginny Klevorn of Plymouth, the House Committee approved a recreational cannabis legalization bill, reported Marijuana Moment. Sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (D) and Sen. Lindsey Port (D), the measure, which advanced first by their respective chambers, was approved by the House State and Local Government Finance and Policy Committee, becoming the fifth House panel to move the legislation in recent weeks.

“Minnesotans are ready for this change,” Stephenson said. “Our current laws are doing more harm than good.”

Once the measure is enacted, adults 21 and older could buy up to two ounces of cannabis and cultivate up to eight plants at home. Consumers could possess up to two ounces up to two ounces of cannabis flower in a public place. Moreover, they would also pay a special 8 percent tax on cannabis products on top of the regular sales tax.

Stephenson guaranteed to the committee members that there would be provisions on where businesses selling marijuana products could set up their stores. "There is expected to be a distance requirement away from schools, playgrounds, and parks," per CCX Media.

NY Marijuana Compliance Program & A MMJ Tenants Bill

The New York State Office of Cannabis Management announced the beginning of its ten-week program about cannabis compliance, reported News 10.

The webinars, which include topics from cannabis business accounting, labor laws, agricultural human resources, environmental controls, track and trace, lab testing, and recall plans, to good manufacturing practices, are supported by the State University of New York, SUNY Morrisville and Cornell University.

“Cannabis education and the advancement of agricultural sciences is crucial for a growing market, for traditional and legacy growers, people of color and minority populations, and those hindered by wars on drugs,” said Dr. Daniela Vergara Emerging Crops Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension. “Cornell is pleased to partner with OCM to support inclusivity and equity in a new industry.”

'Making Housing Safe For Tenants' Program

NY Senate Housing Committee recently approved a bill to protect tenants who consume medicinal cannabis. Sponsored by James Sanders Jr., Bill S2263, which was referred to the NY Housing, Construction, and Community Development on Jan. 19, would prohibit the eviction of tenants for the certified medical use of medical marijuana. Its current status is "Floor Calendar,” per the NY State Senate website.

“These bills reflect the challenges New Yorkers face in securing access to the affordable, safe, secure housing they need,” said Senator Kavanagh.

Oklahoma Cannabis Measure For MMJ Growers

State Senator Bill Coleman (R) proposed a measure to give municipalities more control over where medicinal cannabis growers might be allowed to set up operations, reported The Journal Record.

“Currently, Oklahoma’s statutes are confusing as to whether municipalities have the power to decide if they want marijuana grows in their communities, so this gives them control of such decisions for businesses licensed after Nov. 1,” Coleman said. “This should be a decision left up to local authorities as they have to deal with the increased crime, the odor, and other dangers like large building fires that endanger not only other businesses but residents as well.”

Once enacted, Senate Bill 801 would allow towns and cities to adopt zoning to limit or prohibit the operation of new businesses involved in the licensed cultivation, processing, manufacturing, or storage of medical marijuana.

In addition, “any marijuana businesses licensed before Nov. 1, 2023, would be allowed to continue operating until such time as they might lose licensing issued by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA),” per an official announcement.

Costa Rican Plans to Modify Adult-Use Cannabis Bill

The government is ready to file "a substitute text to the recreational marijuana bill after obtaining feedback from different institutions," reported the Tico Times.

Among the institutions are the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Costa Rican Drug Institute (ICD).

According to Natalia Diaz, Minister of the Presidency, the legislation will be developed in coordination between these entities. “We will include the general observations that several institutions have made. The idea is to present a new draft to resolve the issues,” Diaz said.

If the draft is considered, "companies that grow or industrialize cannabis for recreational purposes will be able to operate under the Free Trade Zone regime. Consumers could go to clubs, coffee shops, and other businesses to buy these products," per the local media outlet.

Medical Cannabis Cards In KY

Lauren Bratcher, deputy director of Kentucky NORML announced that certain businesses are taking advantage of Kentucky's medical cannabis system.

The state is one month into an executive order allowing narrow legal protections for people who use medical marijuana, but there’s still a lot of confusion around this, reported Fox 56.

“Most of the time I talk to people, and they have a misunderstanding about what this actually does for them, and then they are confused and they say what do you mean,” said Bratcher. “You will not be able to take this paper and take it to Ohio to a medical market and purchase it in a medical dispensary, ok? Because Kentucky does not have a medical program.” 

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Is Back! 

The most successful cannabis business event in the world, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference returns to Miami for its 16th edition. This is the place where DEALS GET DONE, where money is raised, M&A start, and companies meet investors and key partners. Join us at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel in Florida on April 11-12. Don’t miss out. Secure your tickets now as prices will go up soon.

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The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

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