Cannabis Regulatory Update: Bill To Ban Marijuana Gifting Events In Connecticut Heads To Governor’s Desk, Nevada Cannabis Lounges To Open Soon And More

Connecticut Senate Sends Bill Cracking Down On Gifting Cannabis Events To Governor’s Desk

Connecticut lawmakers gave the green light to a bill that would ban so-called gifting events involving marijuana, also known as cannabis bazaars, reported CT News Junkie.

The bill, which advanced through the House last week, was approved by the Senate in a 22-13 vote on Wednesday.

The measure is now heading to the governor’s desk. Once signed into law, the legislation would also restrict advertisements for the recently legalized substance.

During a public virtual hearing streamed live in March, business owners and cannabis advocates expressed concerns about the bill that seeks to address the loophole of “gifting” cannabis.

“It’s important to be able to gift cannabis because not everybody has the financial stability that they need in order to enter into the medical program,” Christine Capitan from Canna Warriors, a local organization, said.

Rep. Michael D’Agostino of Hamden said the newly proposed bill was created to deter large-scale gifting.

The idea was to “really prevent and rein in these retail gifting events that have been occurring in the state, which really are retail events,” D’Agostino said.

“They’re just an end-run around the permitting and transaction process that we’ve set up through our cannabis laws.”

The Constitution State became the 18th state in the union to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes in June 2021 when Gov. Ned Lamont signed the bill into law.

Under the bill, adults 21 and older are allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis. The sale of recreational marijuana is planned to kick off this month.

Alcohol-Free Cannabis Lounges In Nevada Closer To Becoming Reality

Nevadians are a step closer to enjoying marijuana with friends in public consumption lounges as cannabis officials have drafted regulations to address public safety concerns, such as preventing customers from getting high and then getting behind the wheel, reported Fox 5 Vegas.

Tyler Klimas, executive director of the Cannabis Compliance Board, is clear when it comes to alcohol consumption in future lounges.

“At least to start, there’s not going to be alcohol allowed,” Klimas said. “Polysubstance use is a very real issue and a big issue that we’ve learned a lot about, working with our partners in law enforcement. How do we put ourselves in the best position to protect public safety?”

Draft regulations, which are set for approval in late June, would create measures such as state-mandated worker training and classes to spot intoxication and over-intoxication, Klimas explained, adding that education for customers will be crucial.

“A lot of the protections are going to come on the front end from training and training requirements. [Workers] need to be trained on how to identify overconsumption, how to identify somebody that maybe is coming in already intoxicated,” Kilmas said.

Last year, the Nevada Senate approved the cannabis consumption lounges legalization bill in a 17-3 vote, sending it to the governor’s desk.

Shortly after, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed legislation into law, under which cannabis businesses can obtain two types of licensing categories: retail cannabis consumption lounges and independent cannabis consumption lounges.

Missouri Cannabis Activists Collect Nearly Twice As Many Signatures Needed To Put Legalization Before Voters In November

On the heels of a Missouri House committee approving a GOP-led joint resolution that would put the marijuana legalization question before voters on the November ballot, cannabis activists gave an update on their recent efforts on the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

A campaign with the same goal revealed that they’ve garnered nearly twice as many signatures needed to let voters decide on the policy, despite facing a challenge from other advocates who said there were instances of misrepresenting their initiative petition during the signature gathering.

The campaign Legal Missouri 2022 announced that it has collected over 325,000 signatures to put the question on the ballot.

The deadline to turn in signatures is on Sunday, and the campaign says it’s confident the state will green-light the ballot question. 

“From Hannibal to Joplin, St. Joseph to Springfield, St. Louis, Kansas City and all points between, voters across our great state are ready to make Missouri the 20th to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana for adult use,” John Payne, Legal Missouri 2022 campaign manager, said in a press release.

Photo: Courtesy of Tim Foster on Unsplash.

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