Distributive policy

State Policy Update 3/18/2022 – NORML

This week’s update highlights important legislative advances in Illinois, Utah, South Dakota and Kentucky, focuses on upcoming hearings and provides updates on several other important legislation moving forward across the country.

Strong points


Senate Bill 560 provides for the licensing and regulation of the cultivation, processing, distribution, sale and use of medical marijuana to qualified patients.

Update: SB 560 was heard Wednesday, March 16 before the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee.

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.


HB 136 creates a program for access to medical cannabis while exempting the purchase of cannabis-based medicines by patients from taxation. Statewide polling data shows that 90% of respondents support allowing Kentuckians to legally obtain medical marijuana.

Update: After much debate, the House floor voted to advance HB 136 with a vote of 59 to 34. The bill is now heading to the Senate.

“Now that the issue of medical marijuana will come before the Kentucky State Senate for the second time, we still hope that the Kentucky senators will lead our state out of obscurity and into the future. We will continue to fight alongside our fellow marijuana advocacy groups to ensure safe and more inclusive access for ALL Kentucky patients,” said Lauren Morgan Bratcher, Kentucky NORML Deputy Director (Read more.)

Send your legislator a message of support.


Members of the state’s House of Delegates have given their approval to a pair of legalization bills. The first, House Bill 1, allows voters to decide whether or not to legalize the possession and sale of cannabis via a binding referendum question in the November ballot. A statewide poll from October found that Maryland residents support such a plan by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. A second bill, HB 837, was also advanced. It complements HB 1 by establishing a limited framework for legalization, establishing personal possession limits, and providing for erasure of past convictions, among other matters. Lawmakers made several changes to the bill to comply with demands from NORML and other organizations for reform, and we continue to call for additional reforms.

Update: The chamber debated the proposals, rejecting several GOP-led amendments and presented them to the Senate with votes of 96-34 and 92-37, respectively. The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled hearings on the bill for Wednesday, March 23 at 1 p.m.

Send a message to your legislators asking for the improvement of this legislation.

New Jersey

S313 allows public insurance programs to cover medical marijuana-related costs through reimbursement through the Children’s Catastrophic Illness Relief Fund, PAAD, Senior Gold, and VCCO.

Update: S313 was passed unanimously by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on 10/3.

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.

Rhode Island

The “Rhode Island Cannabis Act” (S 2430 & H 7593), has been introduced in the House and Senate. It establishes a regulated adult-use cannabis market that allows adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use, and it establishes an independent commission to regulate the commercial cultivation, manufacturing and retail sale of cannabis products. cannabis base. The bill also provides for the expungement of previous convictions for possession of cannabis.

Update: Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have continued to debate this bill but have not yet removed it from the committee.

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.

South Dakota

Lawmakers on the conference committee advanced a final version of SB 24 to Governor Noem. The amended wording of the bill allows qualified patients to grow up to four cannabis plants (two mature, two immature) at home for their personal medical use.

It is imperative that the language of home cultivation is retained in the legislation!
Send a message to Governor Noem asking them to maintain patients’ home cultivation rights,


Update: Two bills are currently awaiting Governor Cox’s signature.

Senate Bill 46 strengthens protections for medical cannabis patients and makes other technical changes to the state’s nascent medical cannabis access program.

Send a message asking Governor Cox to sign this legislation.

Senate Bill 195 expands access to medical marijuana in the state by expanding eligibility requirements to include people with acute pain who would otherwise be treated with opioids, and requires medical providers consider a patient’s opioid and substance use history before recommending medical cannabis.

Send a message asking Governor Cox to sign this legislation.



Current California law criminalizes these actions for anyone between the ages of 18 and 21 as a misdemeanor, unless other factors such as prior offenses are present that would warrant a felony charge. If passed, Assembly Bill 1725 would increase the severity of the penalty for those age 18 or older from a misdemeanor to a felony, whether or not the defendant has committed prior offences.

Assembly Bill 1725 increases criminal penalties for persons 18 or older who plant, cultivate, harvest, dry or process more than six cannabis plants. The sentence would be increased from misdemeanor to felony level. NORML opposes this legislation.

Update: A hearing had been scheduled for AB 1725, but it was canceled at the request of the bill’s sponsor.


Current law requires people requesting expungement or sealing of records to pass a drug test 30 days before filing the request.

House Bill 4392 offers people with criminal records the ability to expunge or seal their criminal records even if they test positive for cannabis. If passed, the bill would allow such individuals to seek expungement or sealing of criminal records for violations of Illinois’ Controlled Substances Act, Methamphetamine Control Act and community protection or cannabis control law (or criminal records of a qualified probation officer for a drug-related crime).

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.


Under state law, individuals with eligible medical conditions may possess 20 ounces of infused cannabis oils containing no more than 5% THC and an amount of CBD equal to or greater than the amount of THC. The law allows the establishment of up to 30 state-licensed retailers of high CBD/low THC petroleum products for qualified patients. However, no such retailer yet exists in the state, leaving qualified patients without access to their medications.

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1425 and Senate Bill 609, to revise the provisions for Class 1 and Class 2 production licenses by eliminating the previous competitive application process and requiring the Commission to purchase or obtain low-THC oil in quantities necessary to reasonably meet the needs of all patients registered in the Low-THC Patient Registry.

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.


Senate Bill 772 (accompanying House Bill 1325) provides that the use of marijuana by a parent or guardian does not constitute neglect except in additional specific circumstances.

Update: SB 772 was favorably reported with amendments from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.


Senate Docket 3981 expands patient access to the state’s medical marijuana program by allowing qualified patients from tribal communities to purchase drugs off their reservation, and it also allows a tribe the right to develop cannabis access programs under tribal law.

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.


Current Vermont state law has a THC cap of 30% for cannabis flower and 60% in solid concentrates for adult-use products.

HB 548 allows solid concentrated cannabis products with more than 60% THC and oil-based cannabis products, with exceptions, to be removed from the prohibited list. This bill would also exempt solid concentrates, oils and tinctures from the 50 mg THC limit per package, further expanding adult access to regulated cannabis products.

Update: HB 548 has passed the House and is now heading to the Senate.

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.


Current state law does not allow patient access to medical cannabis, but does allow access to CBD for any medical condition for which a doctor provides a recommendation.

Senate Bill 1034 creates a medical marijuana access program. It authorizes physicians, physician assistants, and certified advanced practice nurse prescribers to provide a written recommendation to a patient to use medical marijuana for eligible medical conditions. This extends to minors who are eligible to receive a recommendation for the use of medical marijuana if certain conditions are met. This bill also provides for the licensed production and distribution of medical cannabis products.

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.

Senate Bill 1035 creates a medical use defense against THC lawsuits for a person registered with the Department of Health Services as having a specified debilitating medical condition or undergoing specified debilitating treatment. The bill also prohibits the arrest or prosecution of such a person for these offences.

Send a message to your legislators to support this effort.

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