GOP-Led Bill To Legalize Marijuana In Missouri Heads To House Floor As Key Deadline Approaches

GOP-Led Bill To Legalize Marijuana In Missouri Heads To House Floor As Key Deadline Approaches
MJ moment

A GOP-led bill to legalize marijuana in Missouri cleared a second House committee on Tuesday, sending the proposal to the floor with just weeks before the legislative session ends. Meanwhile, a separate activist- and industry-led campaign to put legalization on the ballot is also facing a tight deadline. Rep. Ron Hicks (R) is sponsoring the “Cannabis Freedom Act,” which advanced out of the House Public Safety Committee on a narrow vote late last month and has now been approved by the Rules – Legislative Oversight Committee in a 6-4 vote. With the session set to end on May 13, time is of the essence. But Hicks recently said that the timeline remains feasible and he’s “seen bills sail through the process in a week.” The lawmaker said that it “really comes down to whether we have the will to tackle it.” Beside legalizing possession and sale of cannabis, Hicks’s bill would further provide opportunities for expungements, authorize social consumption facilities and permit cannabis businesses to claim tax deductions with the state. Advocates wanted to see the bill move through the committee process without revisions to the introduced legislation, but members did end up adopting several amendments in the prior committee before this latest action. The changes concern licensing caps, regulatory authority over the cannabis market and a proposal described by Hicks as a “poison pill” that imposes restrictions on who would qualify for equity benefits. Eapen Thampy, a lobbyist with Great State Strategies, told Marijuana Moment that he expects an effort to eliminate the licensing cap provision on the floor. “I think Missouri General Assembly is aware of the issues of corruption and cronyism that have been a source of a lot of controversy in our medical marijuana program,” he said. “There’s a real interest right now in avoiding that…

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Source : GOP-Led Bill To Legalize Marijuana In Missouri Heads To House Floor As Key Deadline Approaches

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