Tag: 2016 Legislation

Illinois Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Illinois Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Illinois is now the 21st state in the nation to remove the threat of jail time for simple marijuana possession; possession of a personal amount is now considered a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100-$200, similar to a traffic ticket

SPRINGFIELD, IL. — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law Friday that removes criminal penalties for possession of a personal amount of marijuana and replaces them with a civil fine.

The new law is effective immediately.

SB 2228, introduced by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), makes possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a fine of $100-$200. With its enactment, adults no longer face time in jail, and the civil offense will be automatically expunged in order to prevent a permanent criminal record.

The new law largely mirrors legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, who also sponsored this year’s bill, and reflects amendments Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed when he vetoed a similar bill last year.

Illinois 21st decrim state

Previously in Illinois, possession of up to 2.5 grams of marijuana was a class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500; possession of 2.5-10 grams was a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500. More than 100 Illinois communities had already removed local criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession.

Illinois is now the 21st state in the nation, in addition to the District of Columbia, to remove the threat of jail time for simple marijuana possession.

“We applaud Gov. Rauner and the legislature for replacing Illinois’s needlessly draconian marijuana possession law with a much more sensible policy,” said Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project, which lobbied in support of the bill.  “This commonsense legislation will prevent countless citizens from having their lives turned upside down by a marijuana possession arrest.”

“Nobody should face a lifelong criminal record and potential jail time for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol. Serious criminal penalties should be reserved for people who commit serious crimes, not low-level marijuana offenses,” Lindsey added.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Illinois Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Law

Illinois Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Law | Paul Armentano

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has signed legislation to expand and extend the state’s medical marijuana program. The legislation, Senate Bill 10, extends the state’s medical cannabis program to 2020. Legislation initiating the program was set to expire in 2018. Other changes to the program include: adding post-traumatic stress and any terminal illness as […]

Illinois Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Law | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Congress: Republicans Derail Efforts to Expand Cannabis Access to Military Veterans

Congress: Republicans Derail Efforts to Expand Cannabis Access to Military Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC — A panel of House Republicans has removed language from a federal appropriations bill that sought to expand medical cannabis access to eligible military veterans.

Majorities in both the US House and Senate voted in May to include the language, the Veterans Equal Access Amendment, as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. However, Republicans sitting on the House Appropriations Committee decided last week to remove the language from the bill during a concurrence vote.

The latest version of the Appropriations bill now awaits action by the Senate, who may seek to reconsider the amendment.

“We feel the failure of the conferees to include [this] provision is a drastic misfortune for veterans and contrary to the will of both chambers,” wrote Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and nine other Democratic lawmakers in letter to Congressional leadership asking them to reinstate the amendment.

Presently, V.A. doctors are forbidden from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician. Passage of the proposed amendment would lift this prohibition.

Also last week, Republican leaders on the House Rules Committee blocked House members from voting on a Democrat-sponsored amendment that sought to permit state-compliant marijuana business access to banking.

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved similar language earlier this month.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Congressional Leadership Resists Bipartisan-Backed Marijuana Reforms

Congressional Leadership Resists Bipartisan-Backed Marijuana Reforms

WASHINGTON, DC — Congressional leaders have moved in recent days to quash a number of proposed marijuana law reforms.

Specifically, provisions previously voted on by Congress to expand medical cannabis access to eligible military veterans have been removed by leadership during the conference committee process. Members have yet to speak publicly as to why the language was removed. Both the Senate and the House versions of the Fiscal Year 2017 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill contained the marijuana-friendly provisions prior to the reconciliation process.

The move follows a decision earlier this week by Republican leaders on the House Rules Committee to deny members the opportunity to vote on a Democrat-sponsored amendment that sought to permit banks and other financial institutions to engage in relationships with state-compliant marijuana businesses.

Senate Appropriations Committee members had approved a similar amendment last week by a vote of 16 to 14. That amendment, which is now included in the Senate’s version of the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, awaits further action on the Senate floor. If approved, the Senate bill will ultimately need to be reconciled in conference committee with House leadership.

In April, NORML released a Congressional Scorecard assigning letter grades ‘A’ through ‘F’ to every member of the US House and Senate based on their marijuana-related comments and voting records. To see what grades your Congressional members received, please click here.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Vermont Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Law

Vermont Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Expansion Law

MONTPELIER, VT — Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has signed legislation into law expanding the state’s medical cannabis program.

Provisions contained in Senate Bill 14 permit patients with glaucoma, chronic pain, and/or those in hospice care to be eligible for cannabis therapy; eliminate the requirement that patients must have previously tried other conventional treatments “without success” prior to being eligible for medical cannabis; and amend the existing doctor/patient relationship requirements in a manner that expedites certain patients’ eligibility to receive cannabis treatment.

Separate provisions in the bill also explicitly permit naturopaths as well as health care providers in certain neighboring states to recommend cannabis therapy to qualifying patients.

Stated Gov. Shumlin: “This bill is heading in a better direction for medical marijuana. There is no question about it.”

While provisions of the law expanding patients’ eligibility took effect upon signing, other aspects of the law do not take effect until July 1, 2016.

More information about the new law is available from Medical Jane.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana Use in Schools

Colorado Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana Use in Schools | Danielle Keane

DENVER, CO — Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed legislation, House Bill 1373 (aka ‘Jack’s law‘), permitting qualified patients access to medical cannabis formulations while on school grounds. Stated the Governor: “My son, if he needed medical marijuana and he needed it during the day while he was in school, I’d want him to have that opportunity. […]

Colorado Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana Use in Schools | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

US Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Banking Measure

US Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Banking Measure

U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Measure That Would Allow Banks and Other Financial Institutions to Provide Services to State-Legal Marijuana Businesses

Appropriations amendment approved with bipartisan support is intended to improve public safety by reducing the number of marijuana businesses that must operate entirely in cash because they are being denied access to banking and financial services

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved an amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill that is intended to ease access to banking and other financial services for state-legal marijuana businesses.

The amendment, authored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), would prevent the spending of funds to prohibit or penalize banks and other financial institutions for providing services to state-legal marijuana businesses.

Currently, many banks are unwilling to open accounts for marijuana businesses because they fear federal penalties, which has resulted in many of those businesses operating on a cash-only basis.

“More than half of the U.S. population lives in jurisdictions where marijuana is legal for adult or medical use,” said Robert Capecchi, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Millions of marijuana consumers are relying on licensed and regulated businesses to provide them with safe and legal access to marijuana.

“Current federal policy all but ensures marijuana businesses operate on a cash-only basis, which raises safety concerns for their employees and the surrounding communities,” Capecchi said. “This measure should ease financial institutions’ concerns about opening accounts for these state-legal businesses.”

In order to become law, the full Senate must approve the appropriations bill, the House must adopt similar language in its Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, and the president must sign it.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a similar amendment last year, but it was not included in the final spending bill.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

NY Assembly Passes Bill to Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions

NY Assembly Passes Bill to Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions | Drug Policy Alliance

ALBANY, NY — On Wednesday, the New York State Assembly voted in support of Assembly Bill 10092, a bill that will seal the criminal records of people who have been unjustly and unconstitutionally arrested for simple possession of marijuana in public view. The bipartisan vote was 99 in favor and 42 opposed. Over the last 20 […]

NY Assembly Passes Bill to Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions | The Daily Chronic


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Senate Appropriations Committee to Allow Banks to Provide Services to State-Legalized Marijuana Stores

Senate Appropriations Committee to Allow Banks to Provide Services to State-Legalized Marijuana Stores

WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 16 to 14 on Thursday to allow banks to provide financial services to marijuana businesses. Currently, because marijuana is illegal under federal law, both medical and non-medical marijuana businesses are unable to access banking services like any other business. Consequently, many marijuana businesses operate on a cash-only basis, leading to huge public safety issues as businesses become the target of robberies, and are forced to hire armed security to protect their takings.

“One of the motivations for legalizing marijuana is to eliminate the illicit market and put marijuana in the hands of a legitimate regulated market,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Whether you are for or against legalization, you have to recognize that having marijuana businesses handling huge amounts of cash with nowhere to deposit the money is a public safety concern that Congress has to tackle.”

In addition to banking, the bill passed today allows Washington DC to establish regulated marijuana stores. The House version, however, has language maintaining a ban on dispensaries.

Congressional interference has left D.C. in a state of limbo,” said Kaitlyn Boecker, policy coordinator at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Almost two years after voters legalized marijuana, it is legal to possess, use and grow marijuana in the nation’s capital, but sales remain illicit and unregulated. Allowing the District to move forward with a regulatory system will increase public safety, address much needed reforms, and generate tax revenue to fund treatment and education.”

In November 2014, nearly 72% of D.C. voters approved a ballot measure making it legal to possess and grow marijuana for personal use. The campaign to pass Initiative 71 was driven by public demands to end racially-biased enforcement of marijuana laws and was seen as the first step at taking marijuana out of the illicit market. A broad base of community support from multiple civil rights organizations, faith leaders and community advocacy groups supported Initiative 71, viewing it as an opportunity to restore the communities most harmed by the war on drugs.

In December 2014, House Republican leadership was able to push through a controversial spending amendment that prohibited D.C. from legalizing and regulating marijuana sales, but the amendment allowed Initiative 71 to take effect. Thus, it is legal to possess, use, and grow marijuana in the nation’s capital but the sale of marijuana remains illicit and unregulated. D.C. officials, police, and drug policy experts have complained that Congress is undermining public safety by preventing the city from regulating marijuana, with some calling the situation “the dealer protection act.” The Financial Services spending bill adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee today deletes the congressional ban.

The vote is the 4th time this year that the Senate Appropriations Committee has endorsed marijuana reform measures. “We are edging closer to the day when the federal government ends marijuana prohibition,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance. “There is clear bipartisan support in the House and Senate in favor of marijuana reform.”

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs held an unprecedented roundtable hearing entitled “America’s Insatiable Demand for Drugs: Examining Alternative Approaches.” Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, testified and laid out his vision for ending the war on drugs and forging ahead with new policies based on science, health and human rights. Nadelmann provided a robust defense of marijuana legalization, presented evidence to support decriminalizing possession of all drugs, and discussed cutting-edge strategies to deal with the opioid crisis, such as safe injection facilities. He also discussed the devastating impact of the war on drugs on people of color.

“I think it’s a positive sign that political leaders, not just in the states but even on Capitol Hill, now recognize both the failure of the drug war and the need to think outside the box in addressing our country’s drug problems,” said Nadelmann.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Ohio Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Vaporization Measure

Ohio Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Vaporization Measure

Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed legislation into law establishing regulations for the licensed production and dispensing of medical cannabis formulations to qualified patients.

House Bill 523 authorizes the use of various forms of cannabis preparations for the physician-authorized treatment of the following qualifying conditions: acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease); cancer; chronic traumatic encephalopathy; Crohn’s disease; epilepsy or other seizure disorders; fibromyalgia; glaucoma; hepatitis C; inflammatory bowel disease; multiple sclerosis; pain that is either of the following nature: (i) Chronic and severe; or (ii) Intractable; Parkinson’s disease; positive status for HIV; post-traumatic stress disorder; sickle cell anemia; spinal cord disease or injury; Tourette’s syndrome; traumatic brain injury; and ulcerative colitis.

The new law, which takes effect in 90 days, requires state regulators to license the production, distribution, and testing of cannabis products, but it forbids home cultivation of the plant.

Cannabis-specific products may be dispensed as oils, tinctures, edibles, patches, or as herbal material. Smoking herbal cannabis is not permitted under the measure; however, the measure does not clarify how this prohibition would be enforced.

The vaporizing of medical cannabis products by patients is permitted by the legislation. Similar smoking restrictions exist in four other states: Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania.

THC content in herbal cannabis will be limited to 35 percent under the measure, while extracts will be capped at 75 percent THC.

Although the program is not anticipated to be fully operational until early 2018, provisions in the law provide limited legal protections for qualifying patients who acquire cannabis from alternative sources prior to this date.

A summary of the bill is available from the Ohio Patient Network here.

Ohio is the 26th state to enact statutory language permitting the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana. Last month, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed legislation amending the state’s dormant medical marijuana law to permit the licensed production and distribution of cannabis-infused preparations to qualified patients. However, patients are not anticipated to have access to cannabis products under that law until late 2017 or 2018.

Proponents in Ohio who sought to place a separate, broader medical marijuana measure on the 2016 ballot had recently announced that they were suspending their campaign, stating, “[A]ll in all, [HB 523] is a moderately good piece of legislation passed by lawmakers who were pushed hard by the patient community. We plan on continuing forward as an advocacy effort to ensure that the state of Ohio lives up to the promises contained in HB 523, but also working to better the program utilizing our amendment as a road map for those improvements.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.