Members of the Louisiana state Senate approved legislation to remove the threat of jail time for low-level marijuana possession offenses.
House Bill 652 reduces the penalty for the possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana for first-time as well as subsequent offenses to a $100 fine only. While there would be no possibility of jail time under the bill, these offenses would still be classified as misdemeanors.
The bill, however, would increase penalties for the possession of more than 14 grams of marijuana on a second or subsequent offense.
The Senate approved HB 652 with a 20 to 17 vote Monday, and it will now head to the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards (D). The bill was already approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month.
“This is a much needed policy change for Louisiana,” said NORML State Policies Manager Carly Wolf. “The passage of this legislation is great progress toward ending the racially discriminatory policy of branding otherwise law-abiding Louisianans as criminals for minor marijuana possession offenses when law enforcement should instead be focusing on fighting legitimate crime.”
Separate legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana for all adults in the state was removed from consideration by the sponsor last month, effectively killing it.
Lawmakers also sent separate legislation to the desk of John Bel Edwards to repeal the ban on smoking medical cannabis flower as well as a measure requesting “a study of the effects of legalizing recreational cannabis usage” on Monday, sending it on to the Senate for further consideration.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D) signed legislation into law to regulate on-site cannabis consumption spaces.
Assembly Bill 341 allows adults 21 and older to purchase and consume adult-use cannabis products on-site at any licensed “cannabis consumption lounge.”
The measure establishes regulations for two distinct types cannabis consumption lounges. One group would be reserved for existing marijuana dispensary license holders who can then apply to operate an on-site cannabis consumption lounge. The other designation would be for new, independent businesses to apply for a license to operate an “independent cannabis consumption lounge” which is not attached to or adjacent to an existing retailer. The bill also provides for reduced license application fees for qualifying social equity applicants.
Local governments can enact policies restricting access to cannabis consumption lounges under this bill.
The new law takes effect on October 1, 2021.
Alaska and Colorado have previously enacted legislation explicitly permitting social consumption sites for cannabis, and New York’s nascent adult-use law also regulates on-site facilities.
Gov. Sisolak recently signed additional marijuana-related bills into law, including measures amending marijuana penalties for minors and rescinding per se driving thresholds for THC, and legislation permitting consumers to obtain cannabis products via curbside pickup.
This story first appeared at MJBizDaily.
Sales of CBD-only products at recreational marijuana retail outlets have been falling since 2018 in four Western states as more of these goods move into mainstream stores and online, according to an analysis of sales data from Seattle-based Headset.
The market share of noninhalable pure CBD products in adult-use stores has declined around 5 percentage points each in California, Colorado and Washington state between 2018 and 2020, with the share of overall sales in Nevada tumbling 23 percentage points.