Discover the Latest News About Delaware Senate Urges Marijuana Legalization, Lawmakers Modify Marijuana Program, and Arkansas Medical Marijuana Income

In today’s medical marijuana news, discover how the Delaware Senate passed a resolution encouraging Delaware lawmakers to legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, as more growers and distributors are added to the registry, legislators have identified areas where Mississippi’s medical marijuana program might be improved to operate more efficiently. Lastly, in the first two months of 2023, Arkansas medical marijuana sales grew by nearly 10%.

Delaware Senate Urges To Enact Legalization of Marijuana

Original Source: Delaware Senate Tells Congress To End Federal Marijuana Prohibition As State Moves To Enact Legalization

On Thursday, the Senate passed a resolution urging Delaware lawmakers to legalize marijuana this session.

Rep. Eric Buckson’s (R) measure passed the chamber in a near-unanimous 15-1 vote the same week the House passed similar legalization and sales regulatory laws.

The “whereas” part of the resolution begins by stating that marijuana remains a Category I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) despite scientific evidence that it can treat pain and multiple sclerosis.

It demonstrates how prohibition has forced medicinal marijuana patients to pay high out-of-pocket costs without insurance.

“Due to the present federal categorization, payments that can be linked back to a state marijuana activity could be considered aiding and abetting a federal felony and money laundering,” according to the resolution.

The measure states that the Schedule I status of cannabis prevents many banks from supporting state-legal marijuana firms, creating a cash-based industry model that puts people at danger of being targeted by criminality.

The resolution states, “Whereas, marijuana does not belong in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, a categorization meant for extremely hazardous chemicals with significant potential for misuse and no medicinal use.” Hence, the Senate of the 152nd General Assembly resolves to urge our federal delegation to support marijuana descheduling legislation.

Senators are now entrusted with taking up the House-passed, state-level marijuana legalization and sales laws after Delaware’s congressional delegation was informed that the state wants federal change.

Wednesday’s Senate Health & Social Services Committee meeting will discuss the two proposals.

HB 1 legalizes marijuana, and HB 2 legalizes sales.

Last session, the House sponsor’s bifurcated reform passed the legalization vote but failed the regulatory measure. ,

Osienski told 47 ABC News that he’s “optimistic” and “very good” that they can override a governor’s veto.

He added, “OK, you know, you had one shot at vetoing this, you did and you were successful, but don’t bank on us supporting that veto again.”

Both cannabis legislation passed the House this year with enough votes to overturn a veto.

Here’s what Bill 1 would do:

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The law prohibits “adult sharing” of cannabis “contemporaneously with another reciprocal transaction between the same parties,” such as an exchange of a non-marijuana item.

Use and cultivation of cannabis would remain illegal.

A first-time offender under 21 might be fined $100. But, police may choose to cite instead of fine.

Bill 2’s essential provisions:

The bill would provide the groundwork for a state-regulated cannabis market for adults.

DATE’s Office of Marijuana Control Commissioner would regulate the market.

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A decent salary, health insurance, sick and paid leave, and diversity in employment would be favored in the licensing scoring process.

A “Justice Reinvestment Fund” would receive 7% of marijuana business fee revenue to fund restorative justice, workforce development, and economically disadvantaged persons.

Such fund would also support “building or developing technology to aid with the restoration of civil rights and erasure of criminal records.” Expungements aren’t automatic under the law.

Social equity and microbusiness licenses would be added to standard retail, cultivator, manufacturing, and laboratory licenses (reserved for applicants with majority ownership by Delaware residents).

Marijuana companies could be banned by ordinance in localities.

Marijuana sales would be subject to a 15% sales tax. ц

After last year’s election, advocates are more enthusiastic about the legislation’s chances. Delaware politicians face pressure from neighboring states’ legalization.

A three-fifths majority of lawmakers is needed to pass the regulatory bill. Legalization requires simply a simple majority.

In the last session, Osienski split the measures when a proposal that comprised both components failed to meet the three-fifths voting required.

In October, Carney vetoed a narrower bill clarifying that medicinal marijuana patients are not prohibited from buying, carrying, or transferring weapons under state law.

A poll released that month found that a substantial majority of Delaware voters, including nearly three in four Democrats, backed legalizing marijuana.

Lawmakers Modify Mississippi’s Medical Marijuana Program

Original Source: LAWMAKERS WORK TO REFINE MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM IN MISSISSIPPI

Since its approval in 2022, Mississippi’s medicinal marijuana program is just getting started. Medical marijuana sales started in January.

As more farmers and distributors join the program, policymakers have sought ways to improve it. After a Senate strike-all amendment, Bill 1158 has cleared the Senate and awaits House assent.

Senator Kevin Blackwell (R), who developed the 2022 program, said there were about 30 minor committee amendments to the bill.

The measure would allow a practitioner to help a patient register for an ID card once they have granted a written certification. ц

The law would also allow doctors to administer medical cannabis to approved patients without further certification, and patients would not need to undergo a drug test to receive an identification card.

The bill also reduced the Mississippi State Department of Health’s timetable to deny an identification card from 30 days to 10 days. Cultivation sites now have different square footage and canopy requirements. Testing facilities could transport to distributors under another adjustment.

The revised phrase raised some worries when the Senate took up the bill last Wednesday. They would not have to reveal their locations and be immune from the Mississippi Public Records Act, according to the measure.

The law provides that “the addresses of prospective and licensed medical cannabis facilities, except for medical cannabis dispensaries, must be considered confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, Sections 25-61-1 through 25-61-17.”

Investigations, fines, license suspensions, and revocations received an extra exception.

Senator Dennis DeBar (R) queried why these items were exempt from the Public Records Act. Blackwell provided justification.

“This provides for that information to be disclosed once all the fines and appeals have been exhausted,” said Blackwell. “Some civil fines are kept private.”

Senator David Blount (D) proposed an amendment to limit secrecy to investigations alone. After the legislative vote was reconsidered, the amendment was taken up.

“Any ongoing inquiry by a licensing agency under this Section must be considered confidential and exempt from disclosure under the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983,” the revised language stated.

Arkansas Medical Marijuana Income Up to Nearly 10% in 2023

Original Source: Arkansas medical marijuana revenue up almost 10% in the first two months of 2023

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, medical marijuana revenue in the first two months of 2023 was $45.5 million, up 9.6% from 2022. (DFA).

In January and February, licensed patients bought 8,832 pounds of medical marijuana for $45.5 million. In January and February, $23.1 million and $22.4 million were spent.

Natural Ease Dispensary (Sherwood) sold 884 pounds in two months. Suite 443 (Hot Springs) followed with 856 pounds, CROP in Jonesboro was third with 539.6 pounds, The Releaf Center in Bentonville was fourth with 496.04 pounds, and Purspirit Cannabis in Fayetteville rounded out the top five with 446.85 pounds.

“Sales for the first two months of 2023 climbed by $4 million over the same period in 2022,” said DFA spokesperson Scott Hardin. In January and February, state medical marijuana taxes collected $5.3 million. Since mid-2019, $94.7 million in state tax income has been collected.”

As of March 10, the Arkansas Department of Health had 92,337 active patient cards, up from 89,855 at the end of 2022.

In 2022, medical marijuana sales reached $276.3 million, up 4.3% from 2021’s $264.9 million. In 2022, Suite 443 and Green Springs Medical sold 6,258.77 pounds in Hot Springs. The state’s 38 licensed dispensaries sold 50,547 pounds in 2022, up 25.2% from 40,347 pounds in 2021.

Each patient purchase is subject to 6.5% state sales tax and a 4% privilege tax on cultivator-to-dispensary sales. The state also collects a cultivator privilege tax, so tax revenue is not always connected to how much marijuana consumers buy at dispensaries and the price they pay.

In November 2016, Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana for 17 qualifying ailments and forming a state medical marijuana commission 53% (585,030) to 47% (516,525).

Summary of Today’s Marijuana Health News

Overall, the Senate of Delaware has passed a resolution calling on the state’s congressional representatives to back legislation to remove federal cannabis prohibition as the state’s legislature moves closer to approving marijuana legalization this session. Rep. Eric Buckson (Rbill )’s was approved by a vote of 15 to 1 and came in the same week that the House approved a pair of legislation to legalize the drug and tighten controls on its sale.

On the other hand, with its adoption in 2022, medical marijuana in Mississippi has only recently begun to gain traction. More producers and distributors have been added to the program, and lawmakers have recognized spots where it can be improved to make it run more smoothly. As a result of the Senate’s proposed strike-all amendment, the House Bill (HB) 1158 that contains these modifications has already passed the Senate and is now waiting for approval from the House.

Finally, according to data provided by the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, the state’s medicinal marijuana industry generated $45.5 million in income during the first two months of 2023, representing a 9.6 percent increase over the same period in 2022. (DFA). In January and February, registered users paid $45.5 million on 8,832 kilograms of medical marijuana. They spent $23.1 million in January and $22.4 million in February for a total of $49.1 million.

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