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Cannabis Regulatory Update: Virginia, North Dakota, South Dakota Timeline

Virginia Says Yes To Smokable Cannabis Flower Sales

Lawmakers in Virginia voted for the legislation that enables the sale of smokable cannabis flower. (h/t Marijuana Business Daily)

This should help advance the sales in the market, as flower sales usually stand for 50% of market sales.

Considering that the state Governor Ralph Northam has been known as a cannabis supporter, it is projected he would put his signature on the bill.

Virginia may join the other states with legal adult-use cannabis markets, as the state lawmakers already approved two separate adult-use measures, and are currently working to overcome the differences.

North Dakota House Says Yes To Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization

North Dakota House of Representatives on Tuesday voted for three different cannabis-related measures, which would legalize and tax recreational cannabis and decriminalize low-level possession (h/t NORML).

It’s up to the Senate to vote on these three bills.

The first measure, House Bill 1420, proposes the legalization of adult-use cannabis that will enable those 21 years and older to own up to one ounce of marijuana. It also suggests a purchase limit of 21 grams twice per month from licensed retail stores.

The second measure, House Bill 1501, recommends a 15% gross receipt tax on recreational weed sales.

The third measure, House Bill 1201, suggests decriminalization of the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis. By this initiative, possession of a small amount of marijuana (up to one ounce) would be treated as a civil offense, which means it would punishable with a fine.

SD Cannabis Advocates Fight For Medical Marijuana Legalization Timeline

Even though South Dakota said yes to both recreational and medical cannabis legalization during the November elections. A couple of months later, the recreational use legalization initiative was ruled unconstitutional on the technicality.

Now, cannabis advocates in the Mount Rushmore state are setting up an appeal to a court, and are also trying to strike a deal with South Dakota’s governor regarding the timeline for the implementation of a medical cannabis reform initiative (h/t Marijuana Moment).

As voted on Nov. 3 lawmakers were asked to set up the rules for a medical marijuana program by July 1, but Governor Kristi Noem presented legislation that delays implementation by one year.

Cannabis advocates argue this delay would push patients into illegal activities.  

Reform groups New Approach South Dakota and South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws are now trying to find a compromise, proposing a new plan that would still delay the original date of implementation proposed, but by less time.  

What’s more, they are fighting for legal protections for medical marijuana patients in the state, prior to their official registrations.

Melissa Mentele, campaign director behind the medical cannabis legalization initiative, said “our goals are simple: protect medical marijuana patients and the effectuate the will of the people.”

“This compromise allows us to do this, even if it’s at a slower pace,” she said. “The people of South Dakota want results. They want their vote votes to be respected. They don’t want obstruction and delay and endless debate. Our compromise gives the people what they want.”

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