Adult-Use Cannabis Bill Cleared for Full Missouri House

Adult-Use Cannabis Bill Cleared for Full Missouri House
Cannabtimes

<![CDATA[Missouri could be the first state where a Republican-controlled Legislature passes an adult-use cannabis legalization measure not initiated at the ballot, but the timeline is tight. The House Rules Committee on Legislative Oversight voted, 6-4, to advance the Cannabis Freedom Act on April 19, clearing the legislation for floor consideration by the full lower chamber. The Missouri General Assembly’s 2022 session is scheduled to end May 13. Sponsored by Republican Rep. Ron Hicks, the legislation, House Bill 2704, aims to legalize the possession and personal use of cannabis for adults 21 and older, allowing them to purchase commercial cannabis from a licensed retailer, and to cultivate and possess no more than six mature plants for noncommercial use, according to the bill summary. Personal possession limits are not defined in the current version of the 76-page bill. Under current Missouri laws and penalties, possessing up to 10 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by a max fine of $500 on the first offense, and up to a year of incarceration with a max fine of $2,000 on the second offense or for the possession of 10 grams to 35 grams. Possessing more than 35 grams is a felony punishable by up to seven years of incarceration and a $10,000 max fine. The legislation also aims to release all non-violent cannabis offenders from prison and create a system for individuals to expunge cannabis-related offenses from their records. Republican Rep. Phil Christofanelli, who chairs the House Rules Committee, said he had “grave concerns” about the current version of the bill during Tuesday’s hearing that culminated in the 6-4 committee vote to advance the legislation, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. “I think there needs to be additional testing of the cannabis in the marketplace,” Christofanelli said. “I think there needs to be reasonable…

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