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There Were Less Than 1,000 Federal Marijuana Cases in 2021, New Rules Complicate California’s Legal Cannabis Market, and New Hampshire House Committee Approves Amended Marijuana Legalization Bill

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There Were Less Than 1,000 Federal Marijuana Cases in 2021

According to recent data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC), federal marijuana trafficking prosecutions hit an all-time low in 2021 with only 996 cases. Cannabis only accounted for 5.7% of all the drug cases prosecuted in the federal justice system last year. This analysis seems to fall in line with a trending decline of federal marijuana cases in recent years as more states legalize the plant and federal officials appear to be putting less emphasis on prosecuting cannabis offenses. This is a vast difference from a mere decade ago when the USSC reported 7,000 federal cannabis cases for 2012. Advocates argue that this type of data demonstrates the success of legalization and the need for providing a legal outlet for consumers to purchase marijuana.

New Rules Complicate California’s Legal Cannabis Market

California’s legal cannabis market has been experiencing a myriad of issues, due to the regulations in place and high taxes. For months, industry experts feared the industry would collapse. Because of this, the state’s Department of Cannabis Control (which was created just last year to overhaul the regulatory system) is proposing new regulations for the legal cannabis market in California. One of the more positive changes involves allowing curbside delivery of cannabis products, in the hopes of making it easier and more convenient for consumers. Unfortunately, several of the proposed changes would only make the already complex system even more difficult and potentially more costly. For instance, the Department of Cannabis Control may ban the use of shipping containers and modular storage on cannabis licensee’s premises, which would require these businesses to invest in permanent on-site structures for storage. Thes types of costs make it challenging for cannabis business owners to compete with the illicit market. 

New Hampshire House Committee Approves Amended Marijuana Legalization Bill

The New Hampshire House Ways & Means Committee approved an amended version of a bill to legalize cannabis for adult use and create a state-run marijuana industry. The legislation was already approved by the entire chamber earlier in March, but due to the economic portions of the bill, it had to go through the Ways & Means committee before a full floor vote. If it passes the House again, it will go on to the Senate for consideration. The amended version of the bill removed a proposed 15-license cap on privately owned cultivation businesses that would ultimately provide the state-run stores with marijuana products and also prohibits adult-use consumers from purchasing infused products, such as edibles.

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