USA Wrap: Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania


Connecticut House Appropriations Committee Advances Cannabis Legalization Bill


Title:   Hawaii Lawmakers Consider Allowing Edibles & Tourist Med Cards

Author: Leafly

Date: 10 April 2018


Extract:  Hawaii medical marijuana patients may not have to toil over the stove baking edibles for much longer.

Edibles, patients workplace protections, and med card reciprocity for tourists are all included in the current bill.

Amendments passed recently to House Bill 2729, a wide-ranging medical cannabis bill, would allow dispensaries to manufacture edible, cannabis-infused products such as baked goods, gum, drinks or candy. They would need to be sold with a warning label and could not contain more than 10 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.


Title:   Maine House passes new compromise on legal marijuana sales

Author: Cannabist

Date: 10 April 2018



AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine lawmakers cast a pivotal vote Tuesday in favor of allowing retail marijuana sales, signaling strong support for enacting a law change approved by voters that has been held up by politics.

The Maine House of Representatives approved a new compromise with a veto-proof majority needed to keep Republican Gov. Paul LePage from killing the bill. Lawmakers have been trying to hammer out regulations for legalized marijuana since voters chose to go legal in 2016.

“This bill sends a message that the long wait for the implementation of the legalization of marijuana has been long enough,” independent Rep. Kent Ackley of Monmouth said. “My hope is that every member in this body can go home at the end of this session with the ability to tell the voters in each of our districts that we finished the job they started in November of 2016.”

The bill passed the House on Tuesday despite an uphill battle. Republican leaders who oppose legalization, in part because marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, said they’re still against it.



Will Michigan Legislators Undercut Marijuana Legalization Before Voters Decide This Fall?



Title: Delay expected for final vote on Jersey City pot plan


Date: 10 April 2018



JERSEY CITY — The City Council is expected to delay a final vote on Mayor Steve Fulop’s plan to ban recreational marijuana sales citywide.

Fulop, a supporter of legalized marijuana, has said the initial ban would be part of a two-pronged effort to allow the city to decide where marijuana dispensaries should open. But the proposal, which would also prohibit growing and distributing pot, has been met with skepticism from some council members and outright opposition from legalization supporters. The council was scheduled to take a final vote on it Wednesday.

The ACLU of New Jersey had urged people to attend the meeting and tell council members to vote the plan down. It was already narrowly defeated by the Planning Board in February and sources told The Jersey Journal they expected the council to defeat the measure too.

Fulop announced Tuesday night his administration will ask for the vote to be postponed.



Title:  Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra pushes hard for the Legalization of Marijuana in NYS

Author: Buffalo Rising

Date: 10 April 2018



Former two-term Erie County Executive Joel Giambra is stepping up his stance on calling for the legalization on marijuana in New York State. He is calling upon NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, to “do what’s right for the state”. Giambra is pushing hard for the legalization of the recreational drug, which he says would “produce a revenue stream of $500 million a year for New York.” His thought is that New York State is losing out on significant amounts of income that nine other states are now capitalizing upon. He feels that by taking pot out of the black market, and infusing it into the “mainstream”, New York State would then be able to more effectively fix the state’s crumbling infrastructure, “including the New York subway system.”

“It sounds like she is mostly for legalizing marijuana, based on her comments during a recent radio interview,” said Giambra, referring to McCray. “Although in that same interview she did suggest marijuana could be a gateway drug, contrary to what experts now say, including the DEA which has stopped listing cannabis as a gateway drug on its website.”

Giambra, a candidate for the Reform Party line for governor, listed a number of reasons why he felt that the legalization of marijuana was vital to the NYS economy. He also mentioned that NY voters are behind the initiative, and it’s time to ditch the studies and get down to business. In the process, he has called NY’s laws “archaic”, and even noted that the laws were “enacted by racists politicians to control minorities, laws that ruin the lives of millions, saddling them with arrest records that last a lifetime.”



Title:  Oregon county considers marijuana tax on November ballot

Author: The Cannabist

Date: 10 April 2018



ASTORIA, Oregon (AP) — Clatsop County voters might have the option in November to institute a tax on retail marijuana sales.

The Daily Astorian reports that county commissioners will hold the first reading Wednesday of an ordinance that would impose a 3 percent tax on sales.

Staff estimates the tax, applied to three dispensaries outside city limits, would generate $50,000 in revenue annually.

County Manager Cameron Moore said the tax would be similar to substances like alcohol and tobacco, which often carry “sin taxes.”

When Oregon voters legalized recreational pot in 2014, the state imposed a 17 percent sales tax and gave municipalities the option to add an additional 3 percent if approved by voters. The county considered the tax in 2016, but no recreational dispensaries existed outside city limits at the time.



Title: Pa. marijuana board OKs sale of cannabis leaf and flower


Date: 9 April 2018



The state’s medical marijuana advisory board voted Monday morning to allow the sale of whole-plant cannabis — dry leaf and flower — and recommended expanding the number of serious health conditions that would qualify patients to participate in the program.

Currently, Pennsylvania allows only for the sale of marijuana oils, extracts, pills, and tinctures.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine will weigh the board’s recommendations. She could take up to a year to decide whether to make the changes to the medical marijuana program’s regulations.

Allowing the sale of leaf and flower could reduce the cost of the medicine for patients, many of whom have recoiled at the steep prices and limited selection of processed marijuana products for sale at dispensaries. Patients in California and Colorado buy more flower than oils, extracts, or premade edibles.

State law prohibits the sale of “smokable” marijuana. If Levine accepts the proposal, dispensaries will not sell so-called pre-rolls or joints. Patients would be told to vaporize the leaf or bud in an electronic device. However, if they choose to wrap their medicine in a cigarette paper and light it, there’s little chance that authorities will come down hard on them.


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