Colorado, New Hampshire Send Cannabis Bills To Governors, Illinois' Social Equity Licenses And Updates From Kansas And Montana

Zinger Key Points
  • The Colorado General Assembly gave final approval to a bipartisan bill aimed at streamlining the state’s marijuana regulations.
  • The New Hampshire Senate passed an amended version of the cannabis legalization bill aligning with Governor Sununu’s requirements. 
  • Hemp entrepreneurs in Illinois backed a state legislative proposal to license hemp sales and regulate testing and labeling. 

Colorado: Bipartisan Cannabis Bill To Streamline Regulations Heading To Governor 

The Colorado General Assembly gave final approval Wednesday to a bipartisan bill aimed at streamlining the state's marijuana regulations. It is now headed to Gov. Jared Polis for his signature, according to cannabis industry association Colorado Leads.

Senate Bill 24-076 was sponsored by state Sens. Kevin Van Winkle (R) and Julie Gonzales (D) in the Senate and Rep. William Lindstedt (D) in the House. 

Among many provisions, the legislation also allows 1) licensed cannabis operators to export and import genetic material to and from authorized individuals or entities in other states or countries; 2) cannabis business licensees to renew their licenses every two years rather than every year; 3) cannabis retail stores to sell non-marijuana consumable products, such as food and beverages, if those sales account for no more of 20% of their revenue; 4) licensed operators to transfer cannabis for decontamination without triggering the excise tax on wholesale transfers; marijuana businesses located in state-designated enterprise zones to apply for the same tax credit afforded to other legal businesses.

See Also: Colorado Residents Are Happy With Legal Weed: A Decade Later They Especially Praise Positive Economic Impact

New Hampshire: Senate Sends Cannabis Legalization Bill To Governor

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed Wednesday an amended version of the cannabis legalization bill making it more in line with Governor Chris Sununu's (R) requirements.  

In November, Sununu postponed the cannabis legalization bid with a last-minute ultimatum forcing the commission to end its session with no recommendations. At the time the governor’s office told the commission tasked with drafting the legalization bill that Sununu will only accept 15 retail storefronts under a franchisee model and that he is requiring a ban on lobbying and political contributions by cannabis licensees.

The amended version of the bill includes a franchise model capping the number of retail storefronts at 15 across the state, among other amendments.  

Democrats backed the bill, even though they don't support its harsher penalties on public consumption included via an amendment, reported WMUR 9.  

“The vast majority of our constituents believe that cannabis should not be illegal,” said state Sen. Shannon Chandley (D). 

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Kansas: New Cannabis Justice Coalition To Support Pro-Marijuana Political Candidates 

A new politically diverse group, Cannabis Justice Coalition, said this week it plans to support a candidate for the Kansas Legislature who would work on ending the state's prohibition on adult-use marijuana and to expunging criminal records related to cannabis offenses.  

Inga Selders, a founder of the coalition and Prairie Village City Council member, said it was disappointing to watch the inactivity of elected officials in regards to delivering "fair and equitable" cannabis laws, writes Kansas Reflector.  

Montana: House Speaker Wants A Special Session On Cannabis Tax Distribution 

Montana House Speaker Matt Regier (R) called for a special session to address immigration and state marijuana tax distribution in a letter sent to the Secretary of State, reported Daily Montanan. The letter was signed by 12 other Republican lawmakers.  

Regier said in the letter that the the end of the session "caused procedural questions that resulted in the courts unconstitutionally interfering in the process of the legislature. Marijuana tax revenue distributions need to be determined by the legislature."  

See Also: Montana Cannabis Revenue Bill Veto On Thin Ice, State’s Supreme Court Defies Gov With Ruling To Clear Legislative Path

Illinois: 35 Social Equity Licenses, Hemp Businesses Call For Regulations 

Governor JB Pritzker (D) and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) recently issued 35 additional Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses to applicants from the Social Equity Criteria Lottery (SECL). 

Meanwhile, hemp entrepreneurs backed this week a state legislative proposal to license sales, regulate testing and labeling. They also want to ban hemp products that look like popular snacks, and limit sales to adults (21 and older. The bill would create 10% wholesale and 10% retail sales taxes, and an unlimited number of $500 licenses, writes Chicago Tribune.  

"We don't see a lot of companies coming to Springfield asking to be strictly regulated and tax their own industry," state Rep. La Shawn Ford (D), the sponsor of hemp measures (House Bill 5306 and Senate Bill 3790) said, as reported by Wttw. "It's very hard to find people that want to regulate their industry and be told what to do by government. It's always, ‘Get out of the way, government.'"

See Also: Illinois Cannabis Sales Hit Near-Record In March With $174.8M, Up Nearly 10% From Feb

Photo: Shutterstock

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Posted In: CannabisNewscannabis regulatory updateChris SununuColorado CannabisIllinois cannabisJared PolisJB PritzkerKansas cannabisMontana CannabisNew Hampshire cannabis
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