State lawmakers’ group takes strongest stance yet on cannabis.
The National Conference of State Legislatures’ Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted in favor of its strongest policy directive on cannabis yet at its Legislative Summit in Denver this month.
While the NCSL has held the position for years that the federal government should respect state cannabis laws, the new directive specifically urges removing cannabis from the CSA and for Congress to act on banking reform.
The banking language reads: “Under federal law, cannabis businesses in states that have legalized the sale of cannabis are unable to utilize the country’s banking system, forcing them to operate as primarily cash-only entities. This reliance on cash makes cannabis businesses prime targets for theft, burglary, armed robbery, and other property crimes. NCSL urges Congress to pass legislation allowing financial institutions to provide banking services to legitimate state authorized cannabis-related businesses.”
The Summit included a tour of Columbia Care’s growing facility and a panel titled “Growing Fields of Data: Public Health and Cannabis Policy.”
Speakers included Brooke E. Hoots, lead of the CDC’s Cannabis Strategy Unit; Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Oregon’s Senate Deputy Majority Leader; Elyse Contreras, a senior epidemiologist in the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment; Gillian L. Schauer, the executive director of the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA); Hugh McKean, Colorado’s House Minority Leader; and Lewis Koski of Metrc LLC.
Moderator Karmen Hanson, a senior fellow at NCSL, also spoke about a new brief on cannabis that the NCSL published this month.
Arkansas’ push to put adult use on the ballot turns into a fight.
Earlier this month, the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners rejected an adult use measure that had collected enough signatures for the ballot because, Commissioners said, the ballot title was unclear.
Now, Responsible Growth Arkansas, the group behind the effort, is appealing to the state Supreme Court.
These courts have not been particularly friendly to reform efforts in the past, as the top courts of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Mississippi have all ultimately struck down ballot measures that either qualified (Nebraska) or passed (SD and Miss).
Missourians will vote on adult use.
Missouri’s Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced that an adult use ballot initiative had officially gathered enough signatures to appear on the ballot in November. It got more than 200,000 certified signatures.
“I encourage Missourians to study and educate themselves on any ballot initiative,” Ashcroft said in the announcement. He then specifically referenced the adult use measure, adding “Initiative 2022-059 that voters will see on the November ballot is particularly lengthy and should be given careful consideration.”
The Legal Missouri 2022 campaign is behind the measure, which will appear on the ballot as Amendment 3. It is likely to pass.
The campaign has the support of groups from the ACLU of Missouri to local and national NORML.