Ohio has legalized recreational cannabis. Click HERE to learn more about cannabis business opportunities in Ohio.

Cannabis News Roundup: Setbacks & Progress: Cannabis Efforts in HI, NH, KS, SC, OH

The cannabis legislation landscape in the United States continues to evolve, with recent developments across multiple states highlighting a dynamic period of change. Hawaii and Kansas have experienced setbacks with marijuana bills failing to pass, reflecting ongoing public health and safety concerns. Meanwhile, New Hampshire is actively navigating legislative hurdles, focusing on refining public safety measures and medical benefits within its cannabis frameworks. South Carolina faces a roadblock for their medical marijuana bill while in Ohio, efforts are being made to revise marijuana laws to better manage tax revenues and public consumption. 

Hawaii Senate Blocks Bill to Ease Marijuana Possession Laws

On April 22nd, the Hawaii Senate recently voted down a bill aimed at relaxing marijuana possession laws, which would have raised the legal possession limit from 3 grams to 1 ounce and reduced penalties. Following the earlier defeat of a recreational marijuana bill, opponents of this decriminalization measure argued it could adversely affect youth, discourage Asian tourists, fail to suppress the black market and increase traffic accidents. Despite these setbacks, the legislature has advanced an expungement pilot program aimed at clearing some marijuana-related criminal records, reflecting ongoing discussions about marijuana policy. For further information about Hawaii’s current cannabis program, you can read our guide.

New Hampshire Senate Proposes Changes to House Marijuana Bill

On April 25th, the New Hampshire Senate started reviewing a marijuana legalization bill previously passed by the House, now facing significant proposed amendments. The Senate argues that the current bill does not adequately address public safety and health concerns, suggesting stricter penalties for public consumption and a franchise system for cannabis sales. Facing potential opposition from both the House and the Governor, the bill highlights the complex and divergent views on cannabis legalization within the state. To stay updated on New Hampshire’s cannabis program, click here.

Kansas Senate Blocks Renewal of Medical Marijuana Legalization Effort

On April 26th, the Kansas Senate voted down a motion to reconsider a medical marijuana legalization bill, with a 12-25 outcome. The bill, SB 135, aimed to legalize and regulate medical marijuana, including a 10% tax on products and a regulatory framework under the Division of Alcohol and Cannabis Control. Despite support from Governor Laura Kelly and advocacy for medical benefits, persistent legislative resistance and concerns about crime and safety have stalled progress. To stay informed on Kansas’ cannabis policies, click here.

South Carolina’s Medical Cannabis Bill Hits Session Roadblocks

On May 9th, as the South Carolina legislative session approached its conclusion, the fate of the medical cannabis bill was rejected. Despite efforts, the bill did not advance beyond a House committee for the second consecutive session. This year, it failed to gain traction in the House after previously being passed by the Senate. Technicalities cited by House leadership hindered its progress. Advocates for the bill expressed determination to continue their efforts, even considering personal lobbying of House members. For a comprehensive understanding of South Carolina’s cannabis program, please refer to this detailed guide.

Ohio Leaders Work Through Challenges in Changing Marijuana Laws

On May 1st, Ohio’s GOP lawmakers are revising the state’s marijuana law, targeting a June 2024 completion, focusing on tax allocation, home growing rules, and public smoking restrictions. Senate leaders show cautious optimism, voicing concerns about public health and safety. The Governor, despite initial opposition, advocates for legislation to regulate hemp-derived cannabinoids and streamline recreational marijuana sales. Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House highlights the need for legislative unity to effectively manage tax revenues as Ohio enacts its voter-approved recreational marijuana law. You can learn more about Ohio’s existing cannabis program here.

Keep an eye out for our email updates and we’ll be sure to let you know about any changes as they occur. Cannaspire can assist you in determining your next steps, obtaining a license, complying with regulations, and other relevant cannabis business services. Please visit this page for further details.

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