Rhode Island Will Allow Retail Cannabis Advertisements
New legislation signed by Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee will allow some retail marijuana advertisements. According to information from the state’s Office of Cannabis Regulation (OCR), only businesses that sell medical and recreational cannabis can advertise. Businesses that do not have a hybrid license, including labs and cultivators, will not be allowed to advertise. The new law will allow hybrid licensees to advertise via traditional broadcast media (such as television and radio), online, print media, billboards, and “street furniture”. Advertisements must prominently show Rhode Island’s universal marijuana symbol and the retailer’s license number. The ads must also clearly say: “For Ages 21+ and medical cannabis patients.” No ad may suggest any “curative or therapeutic” benefits of cannabis, and they cannot show actual use of marijuana or target an audience younger than 21 years of age.
Federal Legislation to Decriminalize All Drugs Will Be Refiled Soon
Two congresswomen have plans to reintroduce legislation to federally decriminalize all drugs and allow for mass record expungements. The congresswomen, Representatives Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey and Cori Bush of Missouri announced their plans to refile the Drug Policy Reform Act on Saturday, which happened to be the 52nd anniversary of President Richard Nixon declaring a war on drugs. The Drug Policy Reform Act was initially introduced in 2021 but failed to advance. However, it was still seen as a massive step forward as it was the first time a federal bill to end the criminalization of drugs was introduced. The legislation is designed to approach substance abuse as a public health issue rather than a criminal one. When the Drug Policy Reform Act was introduced in 2021, it was written to end the possibility of jail time for individuals who are caught in possession of drugs for personal use. The measure also moves the responsibility of drug classification to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rather than the Justice Department as part of the goal to make drug use a health matter.
Alabama Delays First Round of MMJ Licenses Over Concerns with Evaluation Process
The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) is pausing its initial disbursement of medical cannabis licenses because of concerns over the evaluation and scoring process for licensing. At an emergency meeting, the chair of the AMCC said the stay was due to potential inconsistencies in how scoring data was tabulated but did not elaborate further. But, the AMCC characterized the delay as “temporary”. As a result of the delay, the 21 license winners announced on June 12th will no longer be issued on July 10th. Once the stay on licensing is lifted by the commission, they plan to “reconsider awarding the licenses and provide an updated timeline.”