Big Cannabis Updates You May Have Missed: Hawaii, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Carolina

Will cannabis be the "new normal" by the end of 2021?
Will cannabis be the "new normal" by the end of 2021? / Image by JR Byron from Pixabay

This article was originally published by Jelena Martinovic at Benzinga on Apr 1, 2021, and appears here with permission.

Hawaii House Approves Proposal For Cannabis Exemption From DEA

Hawaii lawmakers approved Wednesday a proposal that seeks an exemption from Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations, asking that the state is allowed to manage its medical cannabis program without federal involvement, reported Marijuana Moment.

Independently, the state Senate voted for two resolutions that ask state officials to research the therapeutic advantages of magic mushrooms and form a plan that would enable adult patients to have access to the mushrooms.

Louisiana Residents Favor Cannabis Legalization

Way back in 1978, Louisiana technically legalized medical cannabis. And then, once again, in 1991.

It was, however, in 2015 that the state started to work on setting up legal medical cannabis cultivation and dispensary program.

Now, according to the newest JMC Analytics Poll for the Louisiana Association for Therapeutic Alternatives, support for adult-use cannabis legalization among the state residents has grown by 13% since the last year’s poll, reaching 67 percent.

What’s more, the percentage of the state’s residents who think that both medical and recreational cannabis should remain illegal dropped by 4 percent, standing now at 8 percent.

Nebraska Lawmakers Advance Medical Cannabis Bill, Move It For A Floor Vote

Nebraska’s Legislative Judiciary Committee approved on Tuesday a medical cannabis legalization bill. A floor vote is next, reported Ganjaprenuer.

The legislation contains changes centered on qualifying conditions for the program, narrowing the initial proposal.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Anna Wishart, who also sponsored a similar measure that passed the committee but failed on the Senate floor in 2019.

New Mexico Lawmakers Advance Cannabis Legalization Bills To Governor’s Desk

The New Mexico House and Senate voted Thursday for two separate cannabis-related measures, writes NORML.

One measure proposes the legalization of cannabis possession, manufacturing, and sales, while the other aims to establish automatic expungement of records for low-level cannabis offenses.

Both initiatives were approved during a special legislative session required by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is known for her open support of the reforms.

Now, both measures await action from the Governor.

South Carolina Senate Committee Approves ‘The Most Conservative Medical Cannabis Bill In The Country’

A South Carolina Medical Affairs Senate committee approved Wednesday a medical cannabis legalization bill in a 9-5 vote, writes Marijuana Moment.

The bill, called “the Compassionate Care Act,” is sponsored by Senator Tom Davis, and proposes enabling patients with specified conditions to own and buy up to two ounces of cannabis every two weeks.

“You see poll after poll – even in South Carolina, even in the most conservative parts of South Carolina – showing that upwards of 70 percent, in some cases 80 percent, of South Carolinians want doctors to be able to provide this to their patients if in the doctor’s opinion, it can be of benefit,” Davis said.

The Senator also noted that his proposal “is the most conservative medical cannabis bill in the country,” reports the outlet.

“I have promised this committee that I was going to come up with a bill that was truly a medical bill,” Davis said. “That it was not a slippery slope to recreational use – was not a wink and a nod to recreational use.”

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