Last week, a committee in Nebraska passed legislation to legalize medical cannabis in the state. The bill, sponsored by Senator Anna Wishart, would permit patients living with various conditions that make them eligible for the medical cannabis program to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana from licensed dispensaries in the state. However, it would not permit patients to smoke cannabis.
Members of the Judiciary Committee passed the legislation in a 5 to 2 vote, which allowed them to advance the measure to the legislature for consideration.
Sen. Adam Morfeld and Sen. Wishart have been champions of marijuana reform for quite a while now. Last year, the two senators announced that while this legislation was a fairly limited measure to legalize medical cannabis in the state, they would continue working on putting the question of legalization of adult use marijuana before voters in the state in 2021.
The pair’s campaign, dubbed Nebraskans for Medical Cannabis, is also gathering signatures for a medical marijuana legalization measure that they plan to place on next year’s ballot. This will not be the first time the group attempts this. Last year, the group qualified a proposal to legalize medical cannabis on the 2020 ballot. However, the state’s Supreme Court hindered the proposal’s progression, citing concerns with a single-subject issue.
Steve Lathrop, chair of the Judiciary Committee, voted in favor of the latest medical marijuana legislation, noting that it was a superior vehicle for marijuana reform in comparison with the measure that would be placed on the voter’s ballot.
If reform activists gather enough signatures to qualify either the recreational or medical marijuana measure, they could still face problems at the polls, as mid-terms voting generally has lower turnouts in comparison with presidential elections.
In spite of this, the driving momentum for reform through the voter’s ballot may encourage legislators to pass medical marijuana legislations such as Wishart’s measure for the time being.
However, another hurdle the activists may encounter is Gov. Pete Rickets, who has been vocal about his stance on cannabis reform and seems likely reject any medical marijuana bill that legislators advance to him. For instance, 2020’s Nebraska medical marijuana measure, which was shut down, would have allowed physicians to recommend marijuana to patients who suffer from debilitating medical conditions. The measure would have also allowed those patients to buy, possess and cautiously grow cannabis for personal use.
Cannabis regulatory challenges aren’t present in Nebraska alone. Companies such as Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) have to keep in mind the specific rules in the jurisdictions of their international partners, and tweaking product packaging and other elements often drives up the cost of production. Nonetheless, the companies persevere in the hope that things will get better as more people learn about marijuana.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC: PRXTF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PULL
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