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Rival Virginia Bills To Legalize Marijuana Sales Head To House And Senate Floor Votes With Final Committee Stops Cleared

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Two competing bills to legalize commercial marijuana sales in Virginia are now headed to votes on the floors of the House of Delegates and Senate, setting up a possible clash between lawmakers and advocates who disagree on the best way to open a retail market in the commonwealth.

On Thursday, legislation in the Senate—SB 448, from Sen. Aaron R. Rouse (D)—passed out of the body’s Finance and Appropriations Committee on a 9–5 vote, with one member abstaining. That was the measure’s final stop in a multi-committee process and it next proceeds to the Senate floor.

A separate House proposal, meanwhile—HB 698, from Rep. Paul Krizek (D)—advanced out of committee earlier in the week and is set for floor debate on Friday.

Both measures face a crossover deadline Tuesday, at which point they must be passed out of their chamber of origin in order to remain alive for the session.

Despite many similarities in the two plans, sharp differences remain that have divided stakeholders. Existing medical marijuana businesses prefer the House measure, which would allow them to begin sales on January 1, 2025—earlier than all but about two dozen equity-focused microbusinesses. Other retailers would open later in the year.

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New Jersey Marijuana Sales Officially Top $2 Billion Since 2018, Top Regulator Says, While Encouraging Lawmakers To Explore Home Grow

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New Jersey’s top marijuana regulator says the state has officially surpassed $2 billion in medical and recreational marijuana sales since 2018, and he also encouraged lawmakers to explore the possibility of giving medical cannabis patients a home grow option.

Jeff Brown, executive director of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJ-CRC), made the comments during a marijuana-focused hearing before the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee on Thursday.

“Today I’m also proud to announce another milestone. Since we started this work in 2018, cumulative sales of both medicinal cannabis and recreational cannabis have eclipsed $2 billion,” Brown said, adding that the “vast majority” of those sales have come over the past two years since New Jersey’s adult-use marijuana market launched.

“But as of as of yesterday at noon, we were about to $2,000,500,000 in total cannabis sales,” he said. “I would love for the CRC to take credit for this, but it’s really the entrepreneurs who have been putting their money, their lives and their dreams on the line to make this happen.”

Brown—who recently predicted that the state will “reach and surpass” a $1 billion annual cannabis sales milestone this year—also responded to a committee member’s question about

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Maryland Senate Approves Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients’ Gun Rights

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The Maryland Senate has passed a bill that’s meant to protect gun rights for medical marijuana patients under state law, sending it to the House of Delegates.

In a 43-2 vote on Tuesday, the Senate approved the legislation from Sen. Mike McKay (R), without discussion. This comes about one week after it cleared the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

If enacted, the measure would protect the rights of registered medical cannabis patients to buy, own and carry firearms under Maryland law, even though they are still restricted from doing so under federal statute.

The Maryland legislature also took up the issue around this time last year, with the House Judiciary Committee holding a hearing on a separate but related measure to ensure medical marijuana patients’ gun rights are protected.

The issue has been raised in multiple state legislatures and federal courts in recent years, as marijuana and gun rights advocates challenge the constitutionality of the federal ban that currently prevents cannabis consumers from owning firearms.

Last month in neighboring Pennsylvania, for example, a district attorney filed suit against the Justice Department over the ban that he says violates the Second Amendment rights of medical cannabis patients such as himself.

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Alabama Medical Marijuana Access Could Take Months, Even After Licensing Lawsuits End

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“Those of us that live with chronic pain all day every day are desperately trying to ride it out. Unfortunately, not all of us will be here when product is ready.”

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector

Antoine Mordican has a medical cannabis cultivation license. And he is building out a facility to begin growing the product.

Under state law, he has to demonstrate he can maintain cultivation facilities; use an inventory control system approved by the state; can start cannabis cultivation within 60 days; can dispose of plant waste according to regulations; and can maintain financial stability.

“I’m building—getting everything in place, getting the necessary parameters and everything in place to be in compliance, such as security,” said Mordican, the CEO of Native Black Cultivation.

But when he will see actual marijuana plants grow depends on what approach he takes.

If he grows from seed, which Mordican plans to start out with, it would take about six to eight months before he can get the first harvest.

If growing from a clone, or a cutting from a growing plant, it would be closer to four to six months. Mordican said he might look at that approach, but added that he’s

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