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State Policy Update (1/7/2022)

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FLORIDA

Legislation has been filed to expand eligibility to allow those with certain prior cannabis convictions to get their records cleared.

SB 1488 would allow individuals convicted of misdemeanor offenses involving the possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana to petition the court to get their record expunged.

ILLINOIS

Legislation has been assigned to committee to regulate public on-site marijuana consumption for adults.

House Bill 144 would allow “a county or municipality to issue licenses for temporary events, cannabis clubs, and cannabis tours that will allow for the sale and consumption of cannabis or cannabis-infused products and for the sale of cannabis paraphernalia at such temporary events, clubs, or tours.”

House Bill 715 would allow localities to “license or regulate businesses operating as a public accommodation that permit the consumption of cannabis on the business premises.”

Legislation has been assigned to committee to facilitate equity among those licensed to operate in the cannabis industry.

HB 4298 would include a preference for an applicant that is 51% or more owned and controlled by at least one qualified individual with a disability.

INDIANA

Legislation has been filed to decriminalize the possession of marijuana for personal use.

HB 1070 would decriminalize possession of up to two ounces of marijuana. Under current state law, the possession of any amount of marijuana is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. According to a Ball State University poll, 78 percent of Indiana residents believe that those convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana should not serve jail time.

KENTUCKY

Legislation has been assigned to committee that would create a medical cannabis program.

HB 136 would create a medical cannabis program while also exempting cannabis medicine from taxation. Statewide polling data found that 90 percent of respondents favor allowing Kentuckians to legally obtain marijuana for medical use

Legislation has been filed that would protect tenants.

SB 21 would prohibit landlords from denying housing to those with cannabis possession charges or convictions and those that are enrolled in the medical cannabis program.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

UPDATE: Members passed the legislation, sponsored by Rep. Carol McGuire (R), in a 241-113 vote. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.

Legislation has advanced that would remove all criminal and civil penalties for the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by adults.

House Bill 629 would permit adults 21 and over to possess up to 3/4 ounce of marijuana and five grams of hashish, and to grow up to six marijuana plants (up to three mature, three immature). Statewide polling data shows that 68 percent of New Hampshire adults support “legalizing [the] possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use.”

NEW YORK

Multiple bills have been assigned to committee to expand New York’s medical marijuana program and make it more accessible for patients.

A169/S4646 would allow qualified medical practitioners to recommend medical cannabis to any patient who they believe is “likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from primary or adjunctive treatment with medical use of medical marihuana.”

A531 would remove the “serious” designation in order for a condition to qualify for medical cannabis treatment, increase possession limits from allowing a patient to possess a 30-day supply to up to a 60-day supply of medical cannabis, allow certified caregivers and caregiver facilities to legally acquire, handle, and administer medical cannabis to qualified patients, and establish a medical cannabis research program.

A127/S4040 would allow facility caregivers to possess medical marijuana in a similar manner to that of a designated caregiver, which includes hospitals, mental health facilities, and primary and secondary schools.

A413/S5258 would add dysmenorrhea as an eligible condition for lawful medical marijuana use, while A1659 and A1150/S2968 would add autism spectrum disorder to the list.

Multiple bills have been assigned to committee that would enable equity in cannabis industry.

S07517 would include gender equality in the social and economic equity plan of the New York state cannabis control board.

S07603 ensures inclusion of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals in the award of adult-use cannabis licenses

Multiple bills has been assigned to committee that would protect marijuana consumers from employment discrimination.

A2101 would ban pre-employment drug testing for the presence of marijuana.

A5171 provides that testing positive for marijuana on a drug test does not constitute performing his or her employment duties while impaired by a controlled substance and may not be the basis for a hiring decision or disciplinary action against such a patient.

Legislation has been assigned to committee that would allow health insurance programs to cover medical marijuana related costs.

A 242 amends state law so that medical cannabis would be treated like any other legal prescription drug for purposes related to health insurance coverage. Access to medical marijuana should not be limited solely to those who can pay out of pocket. Patients should not be deprived of their medicine due to high costs and lack of coverage, while other conventional medications are covered by most public health insurance programs.

MISSISSIPPI

Legislation has been filed to reduce the penalties for certain marijuana possession offenses.

HB 178 would provide that a second offense of possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana or ten grams or less of synthetic cannabinoids shall be a civil offense rather a criminal offense, punishable by a maximum $250 fine only

HB 294 clarifies that a first offense of possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana is classified as a civil rather than a criminal offense.

Under current law, a first offense for possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana and ten grams of hashish is already decriminalized ($250 fine), while the second offense is classified as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail.

VERMONT

Legislation has been assigned to committee that would improve the medical cannabis program.

S0186 would expand the state’s medical cannabis access program. The proposed changes include increasing patient plant counts, expanding PTSD access, allowing for caregivers to provide for two patients and more.

VIRGINIA

Legislation has been filed, HB 43, that would require a locality to hold a voter referendum in order to approve the operation of retail cannabis stores.

While the 2021 legalization legislation provided for local opt-out of retail dispensaries by voter referendum, this bill would instead shift the financial burden to localities wishing to comport with state law and allow legal retail sales.


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Thursday is warming up Orlando, but the heat won’t stay for long

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A warming trend is rising in Central Florida, but another cold front is hot on its heels coming into the weekend.

Temperatures are approaching well above the average for January, with the high forecast for 79 degrees Thursday, the temperature low is predicted at 58, said Maureen McCann, Spectrum News 13 meteorologist.

A southwesterly wind is warming things up ahead of an approaching system thought to be bringing rain and cold temperatures to Central Florida, McCann said.

Thursday is not anticipated to have rain, but rain chances emerge Friday at 20% and Saturday at 40%. Following the rain, temperatures should drop, with Saturday’s high forecast for 65 degrees and the low at 48. That cold trend should remain in the five-day forecast through the rest of the weekend and into the start of the next work week.

Jpedersen@orlandosentinel.com

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Driver transported after crashing into fence in Hollywood

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HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) – A woman has been transported to the hospital after crashing her vehicle into a fence in Hollywood.

7SkyForce hovered over the scene where rescue crews could be seen carrying the woman away from the side of the road on a stretcher.

The crash happened along the eastbound lanes of Pines Boulevard near 68th Avenue, at around 5:45 a.m., Thursday.

The vehicle the woman was driving crashed into a nearby neighbor’s yard. There was apparently another vehicle involved in the crash.

The victim’s condition remains unknown.

7News spoke with the homeowner whose fence was destroyed. He said his son woke him up after hearing a loud crashing sound.

At around 6 a.m., his neighbor then called to see if he knew about the damage to his fence.

He said he was shocked but thankful his house wasn’t hit.

“I think the car that hit my house, she hit that black car then she ran into my fence and my neighbor’s fence and she damaged both of them,” he said. “Luckily nothing [else] happened because the concrete stopped her from going further.”

Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Missouri highway patrol blasts out ‘Batman’ cell phone alert by mistake

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(CNN) — The Joker is not on the rampage in Missouri, but it looks like authorities there are ready for the “Batman” villain.

An emergency alert mistakenly sent to mobile devices Tuesday by the Missouri State Highway Patrol asked residents of Gotham City to be on the lookout for a purple/green 1978 Dodge 3700 GT. The sedan, with license plate “UKIDME,” sounds a lot like the cars used by the Joker’s goons in the 1989 Batman movie.

It turns out there is no Gotham City in Missouri, and the message was sent in error during a test — apparently by someone with an impressive knowledge of the vehicles used in the movie that pits characters played by Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

“This was meant to be a test message, THERE WAS NO ALERT,” the law enforcement agency soon posted on social media. Similar errors by other public agencies sometimes have sparked real concern — and also gotten corrected quickly.

Missouri State Highway Patrol had been conducting “a routine test of Missouri’s Blue Alert system” when the message was sent to wireless devices around the state, the agency said in a news release.

“The Patrol regularly tests the Blue Alert system to ensure it works properly when needed. During the test, an option was incorrectly selected, allowing the message to be disseminated to the public,” the release said.

The Blue Alert system is designed to quickly spread information about “violent offenders who have killed, seriously injured, or pose an imminent and credible threat to law enforcement,” according to the highway patrol.

Last year, authorities in Chile mistakenly sent a tsunami evacuation warning following an earthquake. And in 2018, residents and tourists in Hawaii were terrified by a text warning of an incoming ballistic missile that turned out to be a false alarm.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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