New York Cannabis Control Board’s Regulation of Adult-Use Marijuana

On September 22, 2021, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced the final two appointees of the New York marijuana regulatory board. After the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York for adults over the age of 21, the state government implemented a Cannabis Control Board and Office of Cannabis Management to regulate the adult use of marijuana. Statewide regulations for cannabis and its related products bring one of the United States’ biggest cash crops under the rule of law, though they currently vary substantially from state to state. Read below to learn more about New York’s Cannabis Control Board and what the Empire State is doing to enhance its existing marijuana regulatory system. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCNew York Cannabis Control Board’s Regulation of Adult-Use Marijuana
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Amazon Lobbies for Legalization of Marijuana, Relaxes Screening Policies

On September 21, 2021, Amazon announced that the company would relax its screening policies for marijuana to advocate for more equitable workplaces. Amazon’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources also announced that the global conglomerate is proud to endorse recent federal legislation in the blog post. Seemingly a continuation of its previous statements concerning the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (the “MORE Act”), Amazon resumes its support for marijuana reform. Read below to learn more about Amazon’s statements and their recent history and stances on marijuana legislation. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCAmazon Lobbies for Legalization of Marijuana, Relaxes Screening Policies
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California Legalizes the Sale and Manufacture of CBD-Infused Products

On October 6, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill that legalizes the sale and manufacture of hemp-derived products and CBD-infused consumable items. Assembly Bill 45 (“AB 45”) establishes a regulatory and consumer protection framework for selling and producing CBD-infused products, such as food, beverages, cosmetics, dietary supplements, over-the-counter items, pet products, and more. California’s expansion on allowed sales of cannabidiol (“CBD”) products could potentially make California one of the largest cannabis markets in the world. Read below to learn more about the implications of California’s AB 45 and the history of concern over consumables infused with CBD. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCCalifornia Legalizes the Sale and Manufacture of CBD-Infused Products
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Amazon to Stop Marijuana Testing, Pledges Support for the MORE Act

On June 1st, 2021, Dave Clark, Amazon’s CEO Worldwide Consumer, announced the company’s new corporate drug testing policies. The global conglomerate’s modified policies are part of Jeff Bezos’ “Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work” initiative to improve Amazon’s working conditions. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCAmazon to Stop Marijuana Testing, Pledges Support for the MORE Act
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Mexico Decriminalizes Recreational Marijuana, Moves Towards Legalization

On June 28, 2021, the Mexican Supreme Court voted in an 8-3 ruling in favor of the decriminalization of marijuana. This ruling comes after Congress stalled a decision over cannabis legalization for over three years. The Mexican Supreme Court’s monumental ruling exerts pressure on the Mexican Congress to vote on cannabis legalization. If approved by Congress, Mexico would become the largest cannabis market in the world. Below, we outline the history behind this controversial matter and dissect what it means for the marijuana industry as a whole.

Ritter Spencer, PLLCMexico Decriminalizes Recreational Marijuana, Moves Towards Legalization
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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Proposes Legalization of Marijuana in New Bill

On July 14, 2021, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced draft legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. This historic legislation proposition was presented by Senator Chuck Schumer, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.Y.), and Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore). These senators announced the draft legislation while focusing on social justice reforms the bill would sponsor. 

Senator Schumer further stated that he would leverage his position as majority leader to make this legislation a top priority in the Senate, as cannabis is already legal in 19 states. 

Below, we break down what this historical draft legislation entails and examine the history of cannabis prohibition in the United States. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Proposes Legalization of Marijuana in New Bill
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Connecticut Becomes the 19th State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

On June 22, 2021, Governor Ned Lamont signed legislation that would make recreational marijuana legal in Connecticut as of July 1, 2021. With this landmark bill, Connecticut takes substantial steps towards reparations for those most affected by prohibition. New Hampshire and Rhode Island are now the only states in New England to criminalize recreational marijuana. With the passing of this bill, Connecticut becomes the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in the United States. Below, we break down what this critical piece of legislation entails. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCConnecticut Becomes the 19th State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
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Texas House of Representatives Passes Bills to Expand Medical Marijuana Program and Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties

On April 29, 2021, the Texas House of Representatives approved Texas House Bill 1535 (“HB 1535”), a bill that would expand Texas’ medical cannabis program. The Senate must now pass this bill before it can be signed into law and further advance Texas’ marijuana reform legislation. On April 30, 202, Texas House Bill 441 (“HB 441”) was also passed by the Texas House of Representatives; however, this bill faces an uphill climb in the Senate. If HB 441 is passed by the Senate and signed into law, this bill would reduce the criminal penalty for possessing small amounts of marijuana. These two bills indicate significant progress in Texas cannabis legislation but still face an uncertain fate in the Senate. Below, we break down what these reform bills mean for the marijuana community in Texas. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCTexas House of Representatives Passes Bills to Expand Medical Marijuana Program and Reduce Marijuana Possession Penalties
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New York Becomes the 15th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

On March 30, 2021, New York lawmakers voted in favor of legalizing adult-use cannabis after hours of debate in the State Senate and Assembly. Approximately 12 hours after the legislation was approved, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill that legalizes marijuana for adults and expunges the criminal records of those previously convicted by actions that would now be legal under the new law. 

With the passing of this bill, New York became the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in the U.S. Below, we break down the details of this significant marijuana legislation. 

Ritter Spencer, PLLCNew York Becomes the 15th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
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