Maryland and Delaware are exploring their cannabis policies, a Texas representative introduced another decriminalization bill, and New Orleans okayed cannabis-infused seltzers.
Let’s dive into this week’s cannanews.
Maryland and Delaware Expand Their Legalization Efforts
Chesapeake Bay neighbors Delaware and Maryland are making a push for cannabis legalization.
Earlier this month, Maryland’s House of Delegates passed a bill outlining the parameters of a recreational cannabis marketplace. Most notably, the framework features several policies meant to increase industry opportunities for those from communities disproportionally affected by the war on drugs.
Maryland’s bill is headed to the state’s Senate, where it is expected to pass. The goal is to get the framework bill across the finish line before July 1—the day possession and use of recreational cannabis becomes legal in the state.
Meanwhile, in Delaware, a committee passed a simple legalization bill introduced earlier this month. The bill’s approval comes after a batch of cannabis industry regulations cleared a different panel the day before.
Delaware is expected to make a decisive vote on cannabis legalization later this month. If passed, 50 years of cannabis prohibition and criminalization will finally come to an end.
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Texas Introduces Another Decriminalization Bill
A Texas House of Representatives panel unanimously approved a cannabis decriminalization bill last week. If passed, House Bill 218 would remove criminal penalties for possessing up to 1 ounce of cannabis or concentrate. Under current state law, cannabis possession results in up to a year of jail time and a fine of $4,000. Instead of jail time, HB 218 proposes a simple $500 fine.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Joe Moody, spoke about the issues caused by the state’s current cannabis policy—outside of the social justice aspect. Moody told a committee, “There are tens of thousands of arrests for personal use possession in Texas annually and those cost our state hundreds of millions of dollars every single year, not to mention countless hours of law enforcement and prosecutor time.”
HB 218 is not the only decriminalization bill making its way through Texas’ legislature. In February, Dallas Rep. Jessica González submitted House Bill 1937. The bill sought to allow Texas counties and municipalities to make their own decisions regarding cannabis legalization.
Do you think Texas can pass either Moody’s or González’s bill? Tell us what you think in the comments!
New Orleans Legalizes Cannabis-Infused Seltzers
Though it’s (mostly) strict on cannabis, New Orleans has made headway when it comes to hemp and CBD. Its most recent move is a continuation of this, as the state has now legalized cannabis seltzers to be sold at bars and music venues.
Crescent seltzers are the first legal cannabis beverages in the state. These seltzers contain about 6 milligrams of hemp-derived THC and 3 milligrams of CBD. Crescent seltzers are available at iconic New Orleans venues like Tipitina’s with more expected to join.
Would you try these infused seltzers? Let us know in the comments!