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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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Ohio Regulators Issue Provisional Marijuana Licenses To Dozens Of Businesses, Readying Imminent Launch Of Adult-Use Sales

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Ohio marijuana regulators have approved dozens of provisional licenses for existing medical marijuana operators to convert to dual-use licenses, setting the stage for a potentially imminent launch of the state’s recreational market.

As of Friday afternoon, the Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) has signed off on 62 provisional dual licenses for dispensaries, cultivators, processors and testing labs, just two weeks after regulators started accepting applications.

Before opening applications, the department released informational materials to prepare prospective applicants, outlining regulatory requirements they must satisfy in order to be eligible for the hybrid license.

Applicants that receive the provisional licenses can’t start selling to adult consumers just yet. They must first prove that they’ve met various requirements, which includes updating point-of-sale technology to distinguish between medical cannabis and adult-use sales, enhancing security and verifying that they will be able to maintain an adequate supply for patients. If they meet those standards, and when any inspection requirements are complete, applicants will be able to obtain a certificate of operation to begin dual sales.

“It’s important to keep in mind that a dual-use provisional license does not permit the holder to sell non-medical cannabis; it is issued as a placeholder while the provisional licensee

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Bipartisan Pennsylvania Senators Say They Have The Votes To Legalize Marijuana, But Governor Needs To Step Up Engagement

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Bipartisan Pennsylvania lawmakers say the votes are there to pass a marijuana legalization bill as soon as this year, though they stressed that the governor needs to work across the aisle to get the job done—and argued that it would be helpful if the federal government implemented its proposed cannabis rescheduling rule sooner rather than later.

During an X Spaces event on Wednesday, Sens. Dan Laughlin (R) and Sharif Street (D), as well as Rep. Amen Brown (D), discussed the prospects of enacting cannabis reform in the current session, expressing tentative optimism even though there are still outstanding issues to resolve.

There also appeared to be agreement that the 20 percent tax rate for marijuana that was included in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s (D) latest budget was too high. And while there may be debate among members about Democrats’ push for equity-focused provisions in whatever deal emerges, Laughlin indicated that GOP leadership is more amenable to some version of the reform than might meet the eye.

“I’ve been advocating for this for almost three years now, and I will say that, in that time, the attitudes amongst the Senate Republicans has certainly softened,” Laughlin said during the social media event hosted

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Florida Hemp Industry Breathes Sigh Of Relief—For Now—Following DeSantis Veto Of Proposed Delta-8 THC Ban

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“It is a sigh of relief, until you read the full two-page letter that the governor put out with that veto.”

By Mitch Perry, Florida Phoenix

The hemp community in Florida is breathing a collective sigh of relief following Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) veto of a bill that they say, if signed, would have presented an existential threat to their livelihoods.

The measure, SB 1698, would have imposed regulations on intoxicating hemp-derived products in the state, including strict limits on THC levels and a complete ban on the sale of delta-8 THC. In the nearly three months since the bill was passed, the governor’s office was inundated with calls for him to veto it.

In his letter explaining his veto, DeSantis appeared to respond in part to warnings it would deal a blow to tens of thousands of people working in the industry.

“Small businesses are the cornerstone of Florida’s economy,” he wrote. “While Senate Bill 1698’s goals are commendable, the bill would, in fact, impose debilitating regulatory burdens on small businesses and almost certainly fail to achieve its purposes. Senate Bill 1698 would introduce dramatic disruption and harm to many small retail and manufacturing businesses in Florida—businesses that have emerged

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