The Advocate: Weekly Cannabis News

Maine releases preliminary draft rules for adult-use market

In November 2016, the approval of State Question 1 legalized cannabis for recreational purposes (for 21+) in the Pine Street State – but lawmakers only recently released preliminary rules and regulations surrounding the adult-use market.

On Tuesday morning, the Office of Marijuana Policy & Financial Services posted a 74-page document that details how the program will operate including specifications surrounding licensing, testing regulations, labeling & packaging, and marketing & advertising restrictions.

In the fine print, the state neatly details different sets of rules and regulations for operators based on their current & potential capacity. For example, a private business entering the market as a “tier 1” cultivator will pay less in licensing fees in comparison to all other “tiers” of operators – this is because “tier 1” possess the smallest capacity & maximum plant count.

Read the full set of rules here: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/services/marijuana/rulemaking/draft-rules

Medical marijuana bill advances in Alabama 

Alabama is just 1 of 17 states to not offer a medicinal or adult-use cannabis market, but lawmakers, like Republican Sen. Tim Melson, are hoping to soon change that.

The Florence Representative welcomed encouraging results Wednesday morning, when his bill that would legalize medicinal cannabis passed in a 6-2 vote during a public Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Melson’s bill, deemed the Care Act, includes wording that would establish a Medical Cannabis Commission tasked with overseeing & developing the states licensing & regulations for cultivators & dispensaries – with a final draft deadline of Jan. 1, 2021.

The Care Act would also allow the use of medicinal cannabis for 33 conditions, including anxiety, and chronic pain, potentially making it one of the more robust medical cannabis programs in the U.S.

Legislators in the Senate will now debate and take all things into consideration before the next vote – which is expected to take place by the end of the current legislative session.

New Hampshire Senate still debating adult-use bill

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed HB 481, a bill that would legalize the recreational use and sale of cannabis.

But since its approval in the House, little (to no) progress has been made, with the bill currently sitting idle in the Senate.

However, this week, Senate lawmakers announced a handful of public hearings that will allow local advocates & interested operators to speak to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee; the group who will be tasked with voting on the bill before a full vote takes place in the Senate.

One of the key debates expected to take place revolves around social equity – currently, the bill neatly addresses the social harms caused by the War on Drugs, but it fails to include specific details on how the state intends to reverse these harms.

Expansion in Iowa is still “up-in-the-air”

The Hawkeye State currently operates one of the country’s most limited medicinal cannabis programs – and if that is to change anytime soon, lawmakers will have to act quickly.

Earlier this month, the state’s Cannabis Advisory Board recommended to Gov. Kim Reynolds that the state extends the current list of qualifying conditions & remove the 3% THC cap on all products. Following the recommendation, the House overwhelmingly approved a bill that captured the board’s wishes – but Reynolds, along with key members in the Senate, have stayed quiet on the bill & have yet to fully address the boards comments.

With the first legislative session coming to an end, cannabis reform lawmakers are gearing up for one final push. “”Our time is running out, but my goal is to get it on the Senate floor and send it right down to the governor,” said Sen. Brad Zaun in a recent interview with the Des Moines Register.

John Kuster

As Social Media Coordinator, John oversees all things related to getting Revolution Enterprises' unique message out. An Iowa native, John joined the Revolution team to help educate, and inform the public on cannabis and all it has to offer. Prior to joining Revolution, John helped multiple companies grow and expand their reach, ranging from the tech industry to the world of international football. He is thrilled to be working in a rapidly expanding market, and is proud to represent Illinois patients and cannabis advocates across the globe.