The 2022 cannabis reform has notched sizeable wins, adding three new states into adult-use cannabis legalization. NORML emphasizes how active lawmakers have been under the prohibition status quo and are looking for new policies that would build on the cannabis reform movement.
By last count, 21 states have legalized cannabis for adult use with a even more accessing medical marijuana. Voters were instrumental in repealing prohibitions placed on marijuana, thus offering relief to millions suffering from the effects of prohibition, said NORML deputy director Paul Armentano. While the focus is on legalization and reform setbacks, lawmakers have achieved some victories.
Rhode Island, Missouri and Maryland were the new entrants to the legalization of adult-use marijuana arena. Maryland and Missouri reached that status through voting, while Rhode Island passed a state reform that was signed into law.
California, Colorado and Illinois lawmakers approved bills for cannabis expungement or record sealing. Governor Gavin Newsom of California demanded court record sealing processes and other relief forms for individuals with verifiable cannabis convictions on record within a specified period.
An estimated 12 states agreed to pass medical marijuana reforms this year. California signed a law to prevent localities from prohibiting service delivery, thus reducing the patient access gap. The University of Kentucky has a cannabis research center facilitating studies on the benefits and risks of cannabis.
Louisiana is allowing nurses to issue a medical marijuana recommendation and let out of state clients with specific conditions to access cannabis clinic facilities. Washington, DC, increased the limit for marijuana possession for patients, while also allowing adults of 21years and over to declare themselves as medical cannabis patients.
Utah, Virginia, Maine, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Tennessee have also enacted reforms.
This policy has three states enacting a reform to this effect. California banned employers from discriminating against workers whose drug tests show THC metabolites are present. Medical marijuana employment protections were recently made law in Louisiana and Washington, DC.
Anyone with a previous drug record could not be employed meaningfully in Maine. But the state repealed this to allow for ex-offenders to apply for work and not be discriminated against.
Industry and interstate trade
California governor signed a revised bill for the marijuana tax structure in order to remove barriers to gain entry into the market and cutting off the black market. Another bill allows the governor to enter into interstate marijuana commerce, awaiting a federal policy change.
These and other reforms that occurred in different jurisdictions around the country suggest that the overall cannabis market is going to keep growing, and plant-touching and nonplant-ouching enterprises such as Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) all have a chance to tap the opportunities this growth presents.
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