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German Officials Under Pressure To Unveil Marijuana Legalization’s Second Step Focused On Commercial Sales

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Now that marijuana is legal in Germany, lawmakers are turning their attention to the planned “second pillar” of the reform: establishing a pilot program for commercial sales. And while the timeline for introducing the complementary legislation is unclear, one key lawmaker says she’s hoping to see a draft emerge this summer.

Cannabis possession and cultivation for personal officially became legal on Monday, and social clubs where people could become members and obtain marijuana are due to launch in July. But so far, there are no definitive details about what the broader commercial pilot program could look like.

“Preparatory work on the second pillar of the cannabis laws is currently underway with the departments involved,” the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) told Tagesspiegel Background. But specifics about the plan “cannot be given at the moment.”

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who has spearheaded the government’s cannabis legalization efforts, told members of the Bundestag in December that “we are currently examining” the commercial sales legislation. But with legalization now in effect, there’s increased pressure to expedite that process.

Kristine Lütke of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) said that, while the first phase of reform represents “a paradigm shift towards a liberal drug policy,”

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Louisiana Senate Approves Bills Allowing For Marijuana Pardons And Decriminalizing Cannabis Paraphernalia

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Senators in Louisiana decided this week to advance two separate pieces of cannabis-related criminal justice legislation after previously voting them down. The moves breathe new life into proposals that would decriminalize cannabis paraphernalia and make certain past marijuana convictions eligible for pardons by the governor.

Both measures, HB 165 and HB 391, passed out of the Senate on reconsideration votes Tuesday and next return to the House of Representatives to consider changes made to the bills by the opposite chambers.

HB 165, from Rep. Delisha Boyd (D), would limit the penalty for the possession, sale and use of marijuana paraphernalia to a $100 fine without the thread of jail time. Under existing law, cannabis paraphernalia carries a penalty of up to $300 and 15 days behind bars on the first offense, which increases on later offenses. A second conviction carries up to a $1,000 fine and imprisonment of not more than six months, while third and subsequent convictions carry fines of up to $2,500 and imprisonment “with or without hard labor” for up to two years.

HB 391, also sponsored by Boyd, would make people convicted of cannabis possession eligible for a pardon after paying all court costs associated with

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New York Bills Would Let People File Legal Actions Against Unlicensed Marijuana Businesses

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Newly introduced legislation in New York State would allow people in the state to bring legal actions against entities that violate state marijuana laws, potentially empowering ordinary individuals to sue unlicensed cannabis sellers or licensees skirting state law.

Identical companion bills, S.9441 in the Senate and A.10248 in the Assembly, were introduced in the legislature last week. The Senate bill, from Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D), has been referred to the Finance Committee in that chamber, while the Assembly measure, from Assemblymember John Zaccaro Jr. (D), will begin in the Judiciary Committee.

As written, they would enable private individuals to file civil lawsuits against anyone violating a part of the state’s cannabis law that prohibits unlawful cultivation, processing, distribution or sales of cannabis or cannabis products. Individuals would be able to bring the actions under the New York False Claims Act.

“Empowering everyday New Yorkers with tools against illegal cannabis operators, whose conduct is both unlawful and inundates our communities with untested, unregulated and potentially deadly cannabis, is vital as we continue our enforcement efforts to combat illegal cannabis,” a justification memo attached to the bill says.

“Illegal cannabis operators undermine the legal cannabis industry in New York, whose cannabis processors,

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Florida Marijuana Legalization Measure Has Enough Support To Pass In Internal Polling, CEO Of Company Funding Campaign Says

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The CEO of a top marijuana company is pushing back against recent surveys showing insufficient support to pass a Florida legalization ballot initiative this November, claiming internal polling shows the measure ahead by a comfortable margin.

After the state Supreme Court cleared the proposal for ballot placement, rejecting a constitutional challenge from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R), two polls came out indicating that the Smart & Safe Florida campaign didn’t have the required 60 percent support for passage.

But in an interview with Cheddar on Thursday, Tulieve CEO Kim Rivers dismissed the surveys, saying “don’t believe everything you’re hearing” when it comes to the two most recent polls “in particular.”

“We would not put our stock in those polls,” she said, adding that there are more “legitimate polls” from the past year that show the legalization measure “well over” the 60 percent threshold for passage.

Tulieve isn’t running the campaign, but it has been the main financial backer of the initiative, contributing nearly $50 million.

“Our internal numbers remain incredibly strong and closer to 70 [percent], actually than 60 [percent],” she said. “So [there’s] strong bipartisan support across the state.”

Rivers also said during Thursday’s interview that one recent

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