Who Is Against Cannabis Social Clubs In Maine, Texans Want Easier Access To Marijuana & More Regulatory Moves

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

Maine Officials Against Cannabis Social Clubs

Maine officials are opposed to allowing cannabis consumption at the same place where it's purchased, reported Bangor Daily News.

Lawmakers have been trying to amend the law following the legalization of recreational marijuana use in 2016.

Now, a measure from Rep. Lynne Williams (D), which has bipartisan support, reintroduced the concept of so-called social clubs. However, under the new measure marijuana consumption will not be allowed in the shop but instead in a specially separated area.

Still, Maine's attorney general and highway safety bureau are against on-site cannabis consumption. John Hudak, a director of the Office of Cannabis Policy, also has reservations.

"We want to be supportive of the economic development opportunities presented by this expansion of the adult-use cannabis program, but this bill as written is entirely inadequate to serve as the basis for establishing on-premise public consumption sites," Hudak said.

Texans Want Easier Access To Marijuana, Poll Finds

Texans want to see marijuana laws "less strict," according to a new poll released earlier this month.

Fifty-one percent of those taking part in the University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll said so, as opposed to 22 percent who said the opposite and 15 percent who wouldn't change the current laws, reported Marijuana Moment.

Meanwhile, the state House committee approved legislation last week to decriminalize possession of cannabis for recreational use. The bill from Rep. Joe Moody (D) was green-lighted by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee members in a 9-0 vote.

Moreover, lawmakers in Austin are evaluating the option of broadening Texas' medical marijuana program to cover cases of chronic pain where opioids would typically be prescribed.

Minnesota Marijuana Bill Gets Rewrite As It Continues To Advance Through Legislature

Minnesota's marijuana legalization bill sailed through additional House and Senate committees on Tuesday, reported Marijuana Moment.

On the heels of the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee approving the bill from Rep. Zack Stephenson (D) in a 9-4 vote, the members of the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Committee followed suit by approving a measure from Sen. Lindsey Port (D), in an 8-5 vote

"Minnesotans are ready for this change," Stephenson told his House colleagues. "Current cannabis laws are doing more harm than good, and Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make their own decisions about cannabis."

Senate version of the bill underwent a rewrite to include a hemp provision – a new language that seeks to regulate the industry in low-potency edibles and drinkables, reported US News. House version of the bill will be amended as well next week to include the provision, Stephenson said.

New York Employers Are Trying To Adapt To Reality Of Legal Adult-Use Cannabis

New York employers have raised some concerns around the recreational use of marijuana, reported WIVB News 4.

According to the results from a National Safety Council survey in 2021, eight out of 10 employers who took part in the poll said they had concerns about the emerging market.

Moreover, one-third of employers said that marijuana is their primary concern, while nearly half of those asked already had written marijuana policies in place.

Liz Warren, executive vice president for Employer Services Corporation, said that questions around the issue arise daily.

Employers are aware that now, under the state labor law, they need to exclude cannabis from the list of illegal substances if drug testing is a requirement for getting a job. However, two particular issues, off-duty cannabis and impairment, continue to confuse most employers.

To that end, a cannabis-focused attorney David Holland said that a positive drug test for cannabis couldn't be considered as proof of impairment due to metabolites tend to be present in a user's system for weeks.

"Unless somebody comes into work either carrying cannabis or otherwise are showing articulable and visible signs of impairment, then an employer is not free to do what they want," Holland said.

Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference

The most successful cannabis business event in the world, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is being held at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel in Florida on April 11-12. This is the place where DEALS GET DONE, where money is raised, M&A start, and companies meet investors and key partners  Don’t miss out. Secure your tickets now before prices go up.

Photo: Courtesy of Ramdlon, ganjaspliffstoreuk by Pixabay

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralBeniznga Cannabis Capital Conferencecannabis regulatory updateCCCDavid HollandEmployer Services CorporationJoe MoodyJohn HudakLindsey PortLiz WarrenLynne WilliamsMaine Cannabismarijuana legalizationMinnesota cannabisNew York CannabisTexas CannabisZack Stephenson
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