California Releases Proposed Cannabis Regulations, Congress Votes to Legalize Industrial Hemp: Week in Review
This week, the U.S. House and Senate approved the 2018 Farm Bill, which included language to federally legalize industrial hemp. Elsewhere, in California, the Bureau of Cannabis Control released its proposed permanent cannabis regulations.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: After months of debate and preparation, the final 2018 Farm Bill landed on the Congressional floor this week, passing both the Senate and House. Now, the bill—which includes provisions to legalize industrial hemp—will be sent to the desk of President Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.
- California: The Bureau of Cannabis Control announced the release of its proposed cannabis regulations, which are currently under review by the California Office of Administrative Law. While the regulations are under review, the readopted emergency regulations remain in effect and licensees should continue to comply with those regulations, according to the BCC.
- California regulators have said that marijuana deliveries can be made anywhere in the state, even in locales that ban cannabis. The matter has been one of the most debated issues as state regulators hammer out permanent rules for how marijuana is grown, tested, packaged and delivered.
- New York: Come the start of the legislative session in January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will reveal a “green new deal” with marijuana. Details are scarce, but the governor’s team promised it would consider the recommendations that the Department of Health released in July calling for the state to allow, license and regulate recreational cannabis consumption—as well as suggestions gathered at “listening sessions” held across the state in September and October.
- South Dakota: New Approach South Dakota has plans to present a new bill to allow medical marijuana in in the state. New Approach hopes that the bill can pass with enough signatures to be on the ballot in 2020.
- Utah: Several Utah voters are asking the Utah Supreme Court to restore Proposition 2, declaring a “constitutional crisis” over the legislature’s decision to pass a bill replacing the medical cannabis initiative. The political issues committee, The People’s Right, claims in a motion that the state legislature overstepped by approving the Prop. 2 replacement in a special session earlier this month.
- Georgia: Georgia lawmakers are recommending that the state government pass laws next year to allow hemp farming and cannabis oil distribution. The proposals from two Republican-led committees would help provide medical marijuana to Georgia’s 6,000 registered patients and give farmers another crop to support themselves.
- Michigan: People with a small ownership stake in marijuana businesses wouldn’t have to go through an extensive background check under a bill that passed the House Dec. 12. Currently, a person who wants to invest any amount of money into a marijuana business is subject to a criminal and financial background check by the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
- Alabama: Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has updated a public notice on the legal status of cannabidiol because of a provision in the farm bill that received final passage in Congress, which legalizes industrial hemp beyond pilot programs that Congress authorized in 2014. Marshall’s office said that means cannabidiol derived from hemp and containing no more than 0.3 percent THC is legal to produce, sell and possess in Alabama.
- Nebraska: Two Nebraska state senators, Anna Wishart and Adam Morfeld, will lead a newly formed campaign committee, Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, for the purpose of running a 2020 ballot initiative to reform marijuana laws in Nebraska via constitutional amendment. “Today is the first step towards establishing a compassionate medical marijuana law for sick and suffering Nebraskans,” said Sen. Wishart, who has been the lead sponsor of medical marijuana bills in the last several legislative sessions.