As we enter the new year, it’s important to stay informed about the changes happening in the world of cannabis. From rights for weed workers kicking in for weed employees in California to the potential for a statewide unionization effort in Oregon, there are a lot of impactful and imminent changes taking place. New York is expected to offer more licenses for retail shops in the first quarter of 2024, while Nevada has boosted possession limits for both flower and concentrate. And in Virginia, there is hope for a pathway to retail sales opening up after Democrats took control of both houses of the state legislature. Stay updated on these exciting developments and more as we navigate the evolving landscape of cannabis laws.
Residents have new and improved employment rights
Starting on January 1, 2024, a new state bill in California, AB-2188, will bring about significant changes to employment rights for cannabis consumers. Under this bill, most employers will no longer be able to refuse employment, termination, or penalties based on a positive marijuana test result from a urine or hair test. Additionally, individuals applying for a job will no longer be required to disclose their previous marijuana consumption. There are some exceptions, such as federal employees and construction workers, but overall, this is a major step forward in ending unjust marijuana urinalysis practices.
Could double its dispensaries
Florida officials are reviewing nearly two dozen new dispensary applications, which, if approved, would almost double the number of medical dispensaries in the state. This growth in dispensaries comes as a result of a policy that ties the number of dispensaries to the number of registered medical cardholders. The State Office of Medical Marijuana Use Director predicts that these new dispensaries could open as early as summer 2024, providing greater access to medical cannabis for patients in Florida.
Boosts possession limits, in a big way
As of New Year’s Day 2024, Nevada has significantly increased its possession limits for cannabis. The possession limit for flower has more than doubled, from one ounce to 2.5 ounces. The limit for concentrates has also expanded, from 1/8 ounce to 1/4 ounce. These increased possession limits allow individuals in Nevada to possess and consume larger quantities of cannabis, providing greater flexibility and autonomy for recreational users.
Will offer tons more licenses in Q1
After facing some challenges in the rollout of legal cannabis, New York regulators are optimistic about the future of retail licensing. They anticipate that in the first quarter of 2024, they will begin granting licenses to cannabis businesses through a lottery system. This means that more legal cannabis stores will start operating in the Empire State, providing consumers with easier access to regulated and tested cannabis products.
May facilitate cannabis workers’ unions
In Oregon, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 union is hoping to expand its representation into the cannabis industry. They are working towards putting a ballot measure in November 2024 that would facilitate cannabis workers’ union rights. The measure aims to ensure that businesses licensed to sell or process cannabis enter into agreements that allow their employees to organize and speak out without fear of retaliation. If successful, this initiative could provide cannabis workers with stronger protections and a collective voice in the industry.
Expands medical patients’ purchasing power
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro recently signed Senate Bill 773 into law, allowing the state’s independent grower-processors to operate as retailers. This gives medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania more options for purchasing their medicine directly from these grower-processors, who are based in-state. The bill aims to address the dominance of out-of-state companies in the Pennsylvania market and support local businesses. By expanding patients’ purchasing power, this law offers greater convenience and choice for individuals relying on medical cannabis.
A pathway to retail sales opens up
Although adult-use cannabis was legalized in Virginia in early 2021, the launch of a retail market has faced delays and challenges. However, with Democrats now controlling both houses of the state legislature, there is renewed optimism that progress towards establishing a regulated adult-use cannabis market can be made. The main hurdle remains gaining the support of Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, as any legislation would require his approval. Advocates are hopeful that a retail sales bill will be able to reach the governor’s desk in the near future, bringing legal cannabis sales to Virginia.
Protecting job applicants from cannabis testing
Washington State has passed Senate Bill 5123, which prohibits most employers from testing job applicants for cannabis. This legislation marks a significant step towards ending discriminatory practices that unfairly penalize individuals for their cannabis use. While there are some exceptions for certain positions, such as first responders and individuals working in the airline or aerospace industries, this law represents progress in removing unnecessary barriers to employment for cannabis users.
Ohio just voted to legalize cannabis. Here’s what happens next
In Ohio, voters have recently approved the legalization of cannabis. This decision sets the stage for what comes next in terms of the implementation of a regulated cannabis market. The specifics of the regulatory framework, licensing processes, and timelines will need to be established by the state government. Ohio residents can expect to see significant developments in the coming months as the state works towards implementing its legalized cannabis system.
Which states will legalize marijuana in 2024?
Looking ahead to the future, many are curious about which states will legalize marijuana in 2024. While it’s difficult to predict with certainty, the growing acceptance and legalization trends across the country suggest that more states may join the ranks of legalized cannabis throughout the year. Stay tuned for updates and be sure to follow the latest developments in cannabis legislation in your state.
In conclusion, 2024 brings a range of new and improved cannabis laws and regulations across different states. From enhanced employment rights in California to the potential expansion of dispensaries in Florida and increased possession limits in Nevada, these changes aim to provide greater access, protections, and opportunities for cannabis consumers and businesses alike. The future of cannabis legalization looks promising as more states consider and implement progressive cannabis policies.