This year has brought many victories to the cannabis community! Before we end 2019 I want to go over some of the biggest cannabis victories of the year!
Georgia began allowing medical cannabis to be grown and sold in-state in April. Their laws are a little more stringent than most medical states. Qualifying persons can possess up to 20 fluid ounces of low THC oil, but cannot possess the plant in flower form nor sell or produce edibles or THC vape oil.
Delaware expunged cannabis related felonies and misdemeanors on June 30th of this year! Cannabis is still not recreationally legal, however, the possession of less than a half an ounce of weed will be a civil citation instead of a criminal conviction.
Hawaii decriminalized small amounts of cannabis. Persons who possess under 3 grams of cannabis will no longer result in jail time but can have up to a $130 fine.
Illinois passed the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act legalizing recreational cannabis in January 2020. Illinois residents can purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis flower, edibles up to 500mg total and 5 grams of concentrates. However, the state is allowing the different cities and municipalities to regulate if they will allow recreational sales in their area.
New Mexico became the 24th state to decriminalized cannabis. Possession of less than half an ounce of cannabis will be a civil citation with a $50 fine, similar to Delaware's decriminalization laws. It is still illegal to sell and use recreational cannabis.
North Dakota passed a partial decriminalization removing jail time as a punishment but still charging people with a criminal infraction. First-time offenders who possess up to half and ounce of marijuana will receive a fine rather than jail time and a criminal misdemeanor.
Texas expanded the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. They added multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, ALS, terminal cancer, autism and multiple seizure disorders to their qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. Texas also legalized hemp and hemp-derived products.
The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act was proposed to remove cannabis from the schedule one drug list. The bill also establishes a trust fund for women and minority owned marijuana businesses, requires federal research on the impacts of marijuana on highway safety and public health, authorizes the federal restrictions on the marketing or marijuana related products and authorizes grants for state and local governments to expunge or seal marijuana possession convictions.
The SAFE Banking Act was passed allowing cannabis businesses to use banks. Before this act was passed, cannabis related businesses were not allowed to bank with typical banks. This resulted in only accepting cash and having to keep large amounts of money in safes, rather than safely stored in a bank. The SAFE act was passed to increase public safety by ensuring access to financial services to legal cannabis related businesses reducing the amount of cash a business had to store.
There have been countless victories in the cannabis community this year! There are also countless bills being voted on in 2020. It's only a matter of time before every American can have access to cannabis without penalty!