Cannabis Legislative Recap: February 29th, 2024

Recently, the cannabis industry made progress in New Hampshire while states such as Idaho created a bill to increase penalties for cannabis possession. We’ll also be looking overseas to Germany and Ukraine, where cannabis is gathering support. Exciting things are happening in cannabis all over the world. We’ll continue to keep an eye on hot topics and bring you news that captivates our attention.

First Cannabis Consumption Lounge Opens in Las Vegas

After three years of waiting, Las Vegas’ first consumption lounge opened its doors earlier this month. In 2021, Nevada passed legislation legalizing cannabis consumption lounges, but it was not until recently that the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board awarded the first full cannabis consumption lounge license. The inaugural license went to “Smoke and Mirrors”, owned by the largest independently owned cannabis dispensary: Thrive Cannabis Marketplace.

“Smoke and Mirrors” joined the vibrant world of nightlife hospitality on February 23rd. They impressed their patrons with hand-crafted cannabis-infused beverages, a premium flower selection, and a calendar of events including live entertainment. Read more about Smoke and Mirrors in our recent article!  

New Hampshire Takes One Step Closer to Adult-Use Cannabis  

On Friday, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in a 239-141 vote. The bill now heads to the House Finance Committee for review. Following the review, the legislation will have to pass another floor vote by the House approving any amendments. Then the bill will head to the New Hampshire Senate, which has a history of stalling out on cannabis legislation.

If passed, cannabis possession up to four ounces would become legal for adults 21 years of age or older. If written into law, the New Hampshire Liquor Commission would oversee the 15 retail cannabis dispensaries in the state. 

Idaho Increases Criminal Penalties for Cannabis Possession

In a state where 70% of the residents are in favor of creating a medical cannabis program, cannabis drifts further from legalization as a newly introduced bill would increase the penalties for cannabis possession.

Idaho State Bill IDH0559 would enact a fairly on-the-nose minimum fine of $420 and a maximum fine of $1,000, with possible incarceration for up to one year in cases of possession amounting to under three ounces. The penalty increases to a felony for possession over three ounces and up to one pound, with a maximum fine of $10,000. 

Germany becomes the 3rd European Country to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis 

The German parliament’s lower house (Bundestag) made a historic decision on February 23rd, 2024, voting to legalize cannabis for restricted recreational use among adults aged 18 and above. With this move, Germany joins Malta and Luxembourg as the third European nation to permit cannabis cultivation and possession for personal consumption.

The legislation is slated to take effect on April 1st, 2024. Further details on the initial implementation, including the establishment of non-profit clubs and home cultivation, are covered in a report by Politico

Ukraine Medical Cannabis Legislation Becomes Law 

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed into law the medical cannabis legislation approved by Parliament in December of 2023. Ukraine’s Parliament has a three-month window to draft regulations governing the newly established medical cannabis industry. If all deadlines are adhered to during the legislative process, the law is slated to take effect in August of this year.

The proposed model for medical cannabis in Ukraine mirrors that of several European nations, focusing on pharmacy-based programs. Patients will obtain their medication from pharmacies with a prescription from a doctor.  

Growing Our Knowledge Together

We’re keeping our eyes open, as should we all. Staying informed helps us all keep our bearings and make good business decisions as the industry evolves. Be sure to let us know if your state has made progress in the world of cannabis. We’re always trying to keep ourselves, our partners, and the community informed. Feel free to comment below, and let’s spread awareness throughout our communities together.

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