Happy Wednesday! 🎉
In Today’s Issue:
→ Progress In Pennsylvania. ✅
→ Dried Flower In New York. 💨
→ Legalization In Malta. 🌿
Additionally Pressure On Pennsylvania Politicians
With the largest city calling for a referendum, when will Pennsylvania legalize cannabis?
As the U.S government continues to drag its heel when it comes to cannabis — states are taking control of this issue as they continue to move faster than the federal government on cannabis.
Since October 2020, we have seen 11 states with a combined population of 50,886,000 people stepping up to update their laws.
→ Arizona legalized adult-use cannabis.
→ Vermont legalized adult-use cannabis.
→ Montana legalized adult-use cannabis.
→ New Jersey legalized adult-use cannabis.
→ South Dakota legalized adult-use & medical use sales.
→ Virginia legalized adult-use cannabis.
→ New York legalized adult-use cannabis.
→ Alabama legalized medical-use cannabis.
→ New Mexico legalized adult-use cannabis.
→ Louisiana decriminalized cannabis.
→ Connecticut legalized adult-use cannabis.
Next on this list? Possibly the state of Pennsylvania.
Today it was announced that the people living in Philadelphia will be voting on a referendum to legalize cannabis.
To date, we have already seen multiple cities in the state of Pennsylvania with a population of 12.8 million people decriminalize cannabis possession, however, state legislators have continued to stall.
In response, the City Council of Philadelphia has placed this referendum on the local ballot.
A clear demand…
The resolution they are seeking to pass would send a clear message:
“The citizens of Philadelphia call upon the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Governor to pass legislation that will decriminalize, regulate, and tax the use, and sale to adults aged 21 years or older, of cannabis for non-medical purposes.”
Although this resolution would not make any immediate changes to the laws in place, it would add additional pressure on the state to act.
The good news is that both the Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf and his Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman are already on board with the legalization of cannabis.
Despite this widespread support, the Republican controlled state legislature has so far resisted calls to legalize cannabis for adult-use purposes.
Despite this lack of support, on Monday Republican senator Mike Regan announced he will be filing a bill to legalize cannabis in Pennsylvania.
In addition to this bill, state lawmakers Jake Wheatley and Dan Frankel — unveiled their own bill which would legalize cannabis in the State.
This bill specifically prioritizes social equity for communities most harmed by the war on drugs, similar to the MORE act.
Just as there is a level of impatience on the part of the States to wait for the federal government to act on cannabis, this same trend is true for certain cities patiently waiting for States to act.
With several bills now in the works & 58% of residents saying they support legalizing cannabis, I would be willing to bet Pennsylvania will legalize adult-use cannabis within the next year.
Dried Flower For New York
Great news for medical cannabis in New York…
After waiting several months for any form of progress in New York, the cannabis industry has had much cause for celebration in recent times.
In September, the cannabis industry received the news it needed as the newly appointed governor of New York Kathy Hochul confirmed her appointments to the cannabis control board.
Yesterday, at the first meeting of New York’s cannabis regulatory agency they made the decision to amend the state’s medical cannabis program.
Until yesterday, medical patients in the state were limited to consuming cannabis oils, however, the cannabis regulatory agency has made the decision to expand this to include dried flower.
Additionally, the newly formed Cannabis Control Board is implementing regulations where a much wider range of medical professionals will be allowed to recommend medical cannabis.
Demand for flower…
Many medical patients consume dried cannabis flower as the effects are much more instantaneous (less than 5 mins) vs oils which can take a considerable amount of time to take effect.
Allowing dried flower for patients in addition to the expansion of who can recommend medical cannabis is expected to significantly increase medical cananbis sales in the State.
There are currently 150,000 New Yorkers certified to obtain medical cannabis.
All adults should have the choice as to which cannabis products they would like to consume.
Where there is demand for cannabis there will always be supply and if the form factor of cannabis an adult is seeking isn’t available in the legal market, then the illicit market will win a new consumer.
The Continued Effort To Ease Cannabis Laws In Malta
Maltas Minister Owen Bonnici wants to legalize cannabis for all adults…
Since legalizing medical cannabis, an estimated 1,900 people have been prescribed medical cannabis in Malta.
This figure has been steadily increasing since legislative changes came into effect in 2018, however, the nation home to over 525,000 people wants to take things one step further.
The new proposal…
Taking a slightly different approach to regulating cannabis in the region, non-profit associations would be the only organizations permitted to grow cannabis that would be supplied to adults.
This proposal is very similar to the “cannabis clubs” we see in Spain today.
The key details…
→ Any adult over the age of 18 can carry up to 7 grams of cannabis.
→ Up to 4 cannabis plants are allowed per residence, regardless of how many people live on the property.
→ Adults can keep up to 50 grams of dried cannabis at a residence.
→ People cannot consume cannabis in public for non-medical purposes, and is subject to a €235 fine.
→ Cannabis use in front of minors is not permitted, and is subject to a €300-500 fine.
Should the proposal receive the required level of support, cannabis clubs would form to supply those who cannot cultivate their own cannabis.
→ No one may be a member of more than one organization.
→ These organizations would be able to distribute up to 20 cannabis seeds to each member each month.
→ They cannot have more than 500 grams of dried cannabis on site.
→ No more than 7 grams per day can be distributed to each member with a maximum of 50 grams per month.
These clubs would be overseen by the Responsible Cannabis Use Authority, with the clubs having to report all member activity every three months.
Malta wants to reduce the amount of cannabis being purchased from the illicit market.
With this being the core problem they are seeking to solve, they are so far not in favor of regulating cannabis like alcohol, instead, they are seeking to create a grass-roots cannabis industry.
"We want to reduce the suffering, humiliation, and deprivation of other rights that many cannabis users have experienced when they have been subjected to arrest and judicial proceedings on possession of small amounts," Bonnici said.
The bill, which was published this week, was tabled in parliament on Monday for a first reading.
So far more than 300 stakeholders in Malta have submitted feedback to the white paper, however, no official timeline has so far been provided as to when this proposal could become law.
I commend Maltas willingness to peruse a community orientated model.
With the commercialization of cannabis clearly not being a priority here, I will be watching very closely to see how this market develops in the coming years should this proposal receive the required support.
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