Cannabis & Psychedelics Regulatory Update: New Legalization Efforts In SD, MO, NH & MD



South Dakota GOP Governor Signs Bill Preserving Patients’ Home Cannabis Cultivation Rights

On Friday, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed legislation SB 24 into law, allowing registered patients to cultivate a total of four marijuana plants, NORML reported.

Under the bill, the cultivation of two mature and two immature marijuana plants is legal, as well as the possession of the harvest from those plants.

“Permitting limited home cultivation provides patients with the ability to have reliable, affordable, and consistent access to their medicine,” said NORML’s deputy director Paul Armentano. “Seventy percent of voters approved this right at the ballot box, and it is reassuring to see that a majority of lawmakers, and the Governor, ultimately decided to respect the voters’ decision.”

In November 2020, voters approved a ballot Measure 26, which was poised to allow possession, cultivation and purchase of medical cannabis. However, Gov. Noem opposed it.

Earlier this month, South Dakota House killed a bill to legalize cannabis that had been temporarily revived after a committee defeat earlier this week.

GOP-Led Bill To Decriminalize Psychedelics For Therapeutic Use Gets Hearing At Missouri House Committee

A GOP-led bill to legalize the use of psychedelics for therapeutic use at designated care facilities and decriminalize low-level possession has got a hearing at a Missouri House committee on Monday, reported Marijuana Moment.

The panel held at the House Health and Mental Health Policy Committee heard from researchers who spoke to the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like psilocybin, DMT, mescaline, and ibogaine, as well as military veterans and law enforcement professionals who back the reform.

The committee’s members also took testimony from Missouri State Medical Association which opposed the measure.

Sponsored by Rep. Tony Lovasco (R), the bill, which also seeks to provide legal protection from prosecution for doctors who make recommendations for eligible patients, was filed earlier this month.

“Generally speaking, if something is provided to you legally for the purposes of medicine, you probably shouldn’t be prosecuted for that,” Lovasco said at the hearing, adding that states like Oregon and Oklahoma have recently moved to reform their laws around psychedelics either at the ballot or legislatively.

“This is not exactly a new idea, but the concept of using these compounds—psilocybin specifically—is becoming more and more researched in the past years,” Lovasco continued. “This isn’t a recreational program that allows people to be using these substances. Part of the purpose of this bill is simply to provide an expansion to Missouri’s current right to try law and statutes that allow folks that have debilitating conditions to have an option to have an alternative treatment.”

New Hampshire’s State-Run Marijuana Legalization Bill Heads Back To House Floor

A bill to set up a state-run cannabis market for adult consumers is heading to the full House for a second-floor vote after a New Hampshire House committee approved its amended version on Monday.

The House Ways & Means Committee gave the measure a “do pass” recommendation in a 12-10 vote, Marijuana Moment reported.

The legislation was initially approved by the chamber earlier this month. However, it involved economic components, for which it needed to get a green light from Ways & Means Committee prior to being taken back up on the floor.

The revised legislation includes Rep. Timothy Lang’s  (R) amendment, which contains components—like removing a proposed 15-license cap for privately owned cultivation businesses that would supply the state-run stores with the product— appreciated by some advocates and stakeholders.

In addition, it also prevents adult-use consumers from purchasing “infused” cannabis products such as edibles.

Matt Simon, director of public and government relations for Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of NH, thinks that the measure is still unworkable from the standpoint of the state’s medical cannabis operators.

“I appreciate that representatives are trying to fix this bill, but I think that the task that they’ve undertaken is insurmountable in the time allotted,” he said.

Maryland Secures Millions In Funding To Set Up Marijuana Program If Voters Approve Legalization

A Maryland House committee advanced a Senate-approved budget bill on Friday that would provide about $52 million to support the implementation of marijuana legalization as well as facilitate expungements for prior cannabis convictions and fund a “disparity study” to “better understand the barriers to entering the cannabis market.”

The House Appropriations Committee cleared the legislation one month after the House of Delegates approved separate bills to put marijuana legalization on the state’s 2022 ballot and create initial rules if voters give the green light to the reform in November, reported Marijuana Moment.

Del. Luke Clippinger (D), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, sponsored both bills.

HB 1, Clippinger’s first measure, would ask voters to pass an amendment to the state’s constitution to legalize cannabis use and possession by adults at least 21 years old.

The chairman’s second measure, HB 837, is poised to set up initial rules for a legal marijuana market if voters pass the policy change.

The proposed cannabis funding includes:

  • $40,000,000 to program T00F00.04 Office of Business Development for the Cannabis Business Assistance Fund
  • $5,000,000 to program M00F03.04 Family Health and Chronic Disease Services for the Cannabis Public Health Fund
  • $1,500,000 to program Q00A01.02 Information Technology and Communications Division,

An additional marijuana-related implementation funding that the House panel also approved includes:

  • $3 million in general funds “for the District Court to provide resources for the expedient implementation of statutory changes to expungement laws resulting from the enactment of HB 837,”
  •  $2.5 million would go to the Maryland Legal Services Corporation “to provide resources to help MLSC educate individuals on changes to cannabis and expungement laws and support other expungement efforts.”
  • $250,000 would be earmarked for the Department of Legislative Services to carry out a “disparity study” on barriers to entry for the legal cannabis market if HB 837 is enacted and voters approve the legalization initiative at the ballot.

Photo: Courtesy of Esteban Lopez on Unsplash



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