Timeline

  • The legalization of possession and cultivation for adults and other changes to existing law would take effect on July 1, 2018.
  • The Marijuana Regulation Commission would begin meeting by August 1, 2017 and would submit its proposal to the Legislature by November 1.

Allowing Simple Possession and Cultivation for Adults

Adults 21 and older could:

  • Possess up to one ounce of marijuana or five grams of hashish;
  • Cultivate up to two mature and four immature plants in a secure location (the plant limit applies to the entire dwelling); and
  • Possess the marijuana produced by the plants at the same secure location.

Penalty Reductions

  • Cultivation of up to two mature marijuana plants and up to four immature plants by a person under 21 would be downgraded to a civil offense. A first offense would carry a $300 civil fine, a 30-day driver’s license suspension, and enrollment in a Youth Substance Abuse Safety Program. For a subsequent offense, the civil fine would increase to $600, and the driver’s license suspension would last for 90 days.

Limitations and Prohibited Acts

  • Providing marijuana to minors: People over 21 who furnish marijuana to anyone under 21 — or who knowingly enable their consumption of marijuana — would face up to two years incarceration and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
  • Dangerous extractions: Individuals who make marijuana concentrates with butane or hexane would face up to two years incarceration and/or a fine of up to $2,000. If someone were seriously injured as a result, they would face up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Public Use: It would not be legal to consume marijuana in public places including streets, sidewalks, and public buildings.
  • Secure Cultivation: Marijuana cultivation would be required to take place on property the grower lawfully possesses; the plants would have to be screened from public view and secure from unauthorized access (including from those under 21).
  • Penalties for Violating Public Use and Secure Cultivation Provisions: The penalties for public consumption and breaking the security limitations on marijuana cultivation would be a civil fine of up to $100 for a first offense, up to $200 for a second offense, and up to $500 for additional offenses.
  • Vehicles: Current civil penalties for possessing an open container of alcohol while driving, or for consuming alcohol while driving, would be applied to marijuana. Civil penalties for smoking tobacco while a child is in a vehicle would be applied to using marijuana while a child is in the vehicle.
  • Day Care: The prohibition on using tobacco at child care facilities while children are present would be applied to marijuana. Cultivation at a licensed or registered family child care home would be prohibited.
  • S. 22 would not:
    • Prevent municipalities from imposing additional penalties for public consumption of marijuana;
    • Modify or repeal prohibitions on driving under the influence;
    • Limit schools’ abilities to impose additional administrative penalties for marijuana possession on school grounds; or
    • Prevent landlords from prohibiting cannabis possession or use in a lease.

Marijuana Regulatory Commission

  • S. 22 would establish a nine-member study commission to “develop legislation that establishes a comprehensive regulatory and revenue system for an adult-use marijuana market that, when compared to the current illegal marijuana market, increases public safety and reduces harm to public health.”
  • The members would be two members of the House of Representatives, two senators, someone appointed by the governor, two members of the public, the Attorney General or designee, and the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets or designee.
  • The first meeting would have to happen by August 1, 2017, and its proposed legislation would have to be submitted to the General Assembly and the governor by November 1, 2017. The commission would cease existing by January 30, 2018.

 

 

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