It’s only January and a lot has happened within the world of cannabis law reform. New laws are taking effect in Maryland, and Oregon has revised its cannabis regulation. Here are some of the most important cannabis laws that took effect at the beginning of this year.
New Cannabis Laws in Maryland
On January 1, 2023, Maryland’s new cannabis laws went into effect, legalizing adult-use cannabis for the state. This monumental change was made possible by House Bill 837, which Maryland voters passed in November of 2022.
Additionally, this bill provides a clean slate for those who have previously been punished for possessing small amounts of cannabis. Criminal cases with possession of fewer than 10 grams are eligible for expungement. The amount of cannabis you’re allowed to possess in Maryland without criminal penalty has increased from 10 grams to 70.8 grams.
These historic changes also come along with other measures meant to regulate and study cannabis use and its effects on public health and safety. The Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council has been established to study and make recommendations on how best to regulate cannabis in Maryland, as well as conduct data collection on relevant topics such as impaired driving and cannabis use.
Three funds have also been created to encourage minority-owned businesses and reinvest in communities previously affected by marijuana prohibition.
- The Public Health Fund addresses related health effects;
- The Business Assistance Fund promotes participation in the industry;
- The Community Reinvestment & Repair fund provides money for disproportionate communities.
Maryland is taking important steps to ensure justice is served while making sure everyone is aware of cannabis’ potential risks.
New Cannabis Laws in Oregon
Oregon has also revamped its regulations with the new year, making the cannabis industry easier to access.
Among these changes, retailers in Oregon are now able to discount products such as offering half off a particular brand or strain, but can’t offer buy one get one free deals.
Cannabis deliveries in Oregon can now cross county lines, dispensary walk-ups are legal, and drive-thrus will remain open. These revisions make it easier for consumers to purchase cannabis while ensuring that they have an understanding of the product they are buying and its respective regulations.
New Cannabis Laws in Kentucky
Kentucky’s Governor, Andy Beshear, signed an executive order in 2022 that took effect on Jan 1st. The order protects medical cannabis patients who get caught state with up to 8 ounces of cannabis from another state. This new policy allows these individuals to get a “full, complete, and conditional pardon” which ensures that they can proceed with their lives without facing harsh punishments.
It is a big step toward protecting medical cannabis patients and offering them legal protection. It provides access to necessary medications while also ensure people that they will not be punished for accessing their medication.
Overall, with these changes taking effect in Maryland, Oregon, and Kentucky, it is clear many states in the US are looking towards cannabis more favorably. Cannabis industry growth is causing more states to revise laws to make cannabis more accessible while still maintaining health standards.