Weed Laws Update: Delaware Moves Toward Legalization, Security Clearance And Past Cannabis Use & More

As the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference returns to Miami (April 11-12) bringing together top CEOs, investors, leaders, advocates and politicians, let's scroll through the latest regulatory changes in the space.

Delaware Marijuana Bill's Sponsor Confident He Will Override Gov's Potential Veto This Year

Delaware House panel has advanced a measure from Rep. Ed Osienski (D) that would set up a regulatory framework for the commercial adult-use cannabis market in a 4-0 vote, on the heels of the full chamber passing a complementary measure to legalize the possession of cannabis for recreational use on Tuesday.

HB 2, the regulations bill, headed to the floor on Thursday, reported Marijuana Moment. After that, the next stop for both measures is the Senate Health Committee.

Meanwhile, cannabis advocates are worried that Governor John Carney might veto the legislation after all, given his earlier statements.

"I do not believe that promoting or expanding the use of recreational marijuana is in the best interests of the state of Delaware, especially our young people," Governor Carney said last year after vetoing the legalization bill. "Questions about the long-term health and economic impacts of recreational marijuana use, as well as serious law enforcement concerns, remain unresolved."

But, Osienski is optimistic that this year he will have support to override a potential veto., something House lawmakers failed to do last year.

"If he decides to veto it, I'm optimistic," Osienski said. "I feel pretty good that I have the support this year to override the veto. I think my colleagues are saying, 'ok, you know, you had one shot at vetoing this, you did and you were successful, but don't count on us supporting that veto again."

Get Security Clearance Even With Past Marijuana Use, Top Official Says

Security clearance applicants will not be rejected solely due to past cannabis use, a U.S. intelligence official reiterated her stance initially revealed in a 2021 memo, as reported by Marijuana Moment.

During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) asked Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines to shed light on the discretionary policy on prior cannabis use.

"We obviously believe that we want to have the talent that exists in America—and when somebody is using [cannabis] experimentally in a legal state, that's something that shouldn't on its own essentially disqualify," she replied. "We continue to approach this from a whole-person perspective. And we expect if anybody takes the job to comply with our policies and our laws in a trusted position."

Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Approved By Another House Committee

Minnesota's marijuana legalization bill sailed through the 12th House committee on Wednesday, reported Marijuana Moment.

The measure from Rep. Zack Stephenson (D) was passed by the House Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee members in a 7-5 vote.

"Minnesotans are ready for this change," Stephenson said this week. "Our current laws are doing more harm than good, and Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make their own decisions about cannabis."

Last week, Minnesota senators advanced a measure to legalize marijuana from Sen. Lindsey Port (D) as well, with the Health and Human Services Committee becoming the sixth Senate panel to do so.

Texas Lawmakers Green-Light Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Texas lawmakers approved legislation on Tuesday to decriminalize possession of cannabis for recreational use in a unanimous vote, reported Marijuana Moment.

The bill from Rep. Joe Moody (D) was green-lighted by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee members in a 9-0 vote.

Under the bill, low-level possession of cannabis would no longer be a reason for arrest or imprisonment.

"Basically, the person is given a ticket, goes to court, they're assessed a fine, then the court tells them, 'You've got six months to pay and you need to stay out of trouble during that time,'" said Moody, the committee's chair.

Marijuana Sold In Colorado Springs Raises Safety Concerns

Colorado officials have warned about potentially contaminated marijuana products found in sever stores in Colorado Springs, reported KKTV.

The Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Department of Public Health and Environment jointly issued a health and safety advisory for the marijuana products in question.

"Through an investigation, DOR has identified Harvest Batches produced by Green Street, LLC that initially passed contaminant testing, but subsequently failed retesting," part of the advisory reads. "The contaminated Harvest Batches listed below were sold to patients or consumers between November 18, 2022, and February 21, 2023."

The document further stipulates that those possessing affected marijuana should either destroy it or return it to the store where they bought it.

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Photo: Courtesy of Ramdlon, ganjaspliffstoreuk by Pixabay

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