Following important cannabis news articles every day can be a real burn-out, we know. That’s why the Emerald rolls up a chronicle of the headiest news hits, and passes them to you at the end of each week. We Bring You: The Dime.
Connecticut Lawmakers Work to Finalize Legalization Bill
Earlier this year, Democrat Gov. Ted Lamont proposed a bill to legalize possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis for adults age 21 and over, according to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). However, the pressure is on to finalize the bill — particularly it’s social equity provisions — before the legislative session ends on June 9th. According to Marijuana Moment, Gov. Ned Lamont said that “[…] negotiations are currently centering on who would qualify as a social equity applicant.” But voters are done waiting, added the publication. In fact, several studies — including a recent poll — show that Connecticuters favor recreational legalization.
Montana Governor Signs Adult-use Cannabis Bill
Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed House Bill 701 on Tuesday, May 18th. The bill differs from the one voters approved in November. But it still allows “existing medical [providers] to get licensed to sell to recreational customers, with the first legal sales starting January 1, 2022. For the first 18 months, only current providers will be allowed to enter the market,” according to KRTV 3. In counties that voted in favor of the original bill, recreational businesses will remain in operation. That is unless the county “opts out.” Additionally, counties where voters rejected the bill can “opt in” for recreational sales. HB 701 will also maintain a 20 % tax on adult-use sales. Officials will direct that revenue to the fund for mental health and substance abuse treatment (HEART fund). However, it limits home growing of recreational cannabis to two mature plants and two seedlings per person (instead of four).
Louisiana’s Losing Battle with Legalization
On Wednesday, May 19th, the Louisiana House of Representatives rejected a bill to tax recreational cannabis. Forty-eight members voted against the bill, while 47 approved it. The move ultimately ruins the state’s chances of legalizing recreational cannabis this year, or the year after that. According to WDSU News, “multiple polls show a majority of Louisianians support legalizing marijuana. This year marked the first-time legislation to legalize recreational marijuana advanced out of a legislative committee.” The Louisiana Sheriff’s Association and the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Richard Nelson had a difference in opinions when it came to the effects of legalized cannabis, and collecting and spending tax revenue on public services. With constant disagreements, it looks unlikely that Louisiana will legalize in the near future.