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North Carolina House Republicans Block Senate-Passed Medical Marijuana Bill

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A Senate-passed bill to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina is effectively dead this session, with House Republican lawmakers reportedly deciding not to allow it to advance further following an internal caucus vote.

The legislation from Sen. Bill Rabon (R) cleared the Senate earlier this month in a strongly bipartisan vote. But questions were already being raised about its prospects in the House, where GOP leadership had been consistently signaling that they were reluctant to move the legislation this year.

Now, Axios reports that the House GOP’s vote at the closed-door meeting all but seals the fate of the cannabis reform, “giving it a slim chance of becoming law” during the current session.

“We’re disappointed that the Republican caucus did not come to an agreement to move medical cannabis legislation forward,” Kevin Caldwell, Southeast legislative manager for Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment.

“It’s certainly going to hold back patient access to safe, lab-tested medicine for at least six more months—if not longer,” he said, “And we just hope that all parties can agree on legislation that meets the needs of the patients, as well as all the concerns of the stakeholders.”

Rabon’s NC Compassionate Care Act had advanced through

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California Assembly Approves Senate-Passed Bill To Allow Safe Drug Consumption Site Pilot Program

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The California Assembly on Thursday approved a Senate-passed bill that would establish a pilot program to allow certain jurisdictions throughout the state to authorize safe consumption sites where people could use currently illicit drugs in a medically supervised environment.

The legislation from Sen. Scott Wiener (D) cleared the chamber in a 42-28 vote. Because it was amended during the Assembly committee process, it must still return to the Senate for concurrence following the July recess before potentially heading to the governor’s desk.

It’s been a years-long journey for SB 57, which was first introduced in December 2020 and passed the full Senate in April 2021. Prior to the latest floor vote in the Assembly, it advanced through the Health Committee and Public Safety Committee.

Wiener, who has championed several drug policy reform bills in the legislation, including one to legalize possession of psychedelics that’s sat in legislative limbo since clearing the Senate and two Assembly panels last year, said following Thursday’s vote that safe consumption sites “are a proven strategy to save lives & get people into treatment.”

The bill now returns to the Senate after our July recess for final sign off before heading to the Governor.

Huge thanks

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California Marijuana Tax Relief Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk

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The California legislature on Wednesday approved a wide-ranging bill to restructure the state’s adult-use marijuana program, including by eliminating a cannabis cultivation tax, in an effort to provide industry relief and further curtail the illicit market.

AB 195, which builds upon an amended budget proposal that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) unveiled last month, passed both chambers with nearly unanimous support. While stakeholders say there’s still more to be done, many feel the bill represents a significant, positive development in the evolving industry.

The key provisions that lawmakers secured would eliminate the marijuana cultivation tax and shift the point of collection and remittance for the separate 15 percent excise tax on cannabis sales from the distribution to retail level. Additionally, there will be no increase in the excise tax for at least three years under the proposal, which is expected to be signed by the governor and then take effect immediately.

“We are extremely pleased at the hard-fought progress that we were able to make with this bill,” Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview on Thursday.

“It is certainly not perfect—and we acknowledge that, and we acknowledge that there

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Congressional Committee Will Vote On Protecting State Marijuana Programs From Federal Interference On Tuesday

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A key congressional committee will vote on an amendment to protect all state, territory and tribal cannabis programs from federal interference on Tuesday, multiple congressional offices tell Marijuana Moment.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) will be filing the amendment during a House Appropriations Committee markup of the Fiscal Year 2023 spending legislation for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CSJ).

Lee and other pro-reform lawmakers such as Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Tom McClintock (R-CA) had urged congressional leaders to include the broad protections in the base appropriations bill, but that did not come to fruition, despite the bipartisan request.

Now they will again seek to add provisions—which would prevent the Justice Department from using federally appropriated dollars to interfere in the implementation of state, territory and tribal cannabis laws—at the committee level.

Blumenauer, Lee, Holmes Norton and McClintock and 44 other congressional colleagues recently sent a letter to calling on the chairman and ranking member of an appropriations subcommittee to address the issue through the must-pass legislation.

In general, the proposed provisions would block “the Department of Justice from prosecuting those who comply with their state or tribal marijuana laws,” the lawmakers wrote.

A congressional source told

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