Beard Bros. Pharms Cannabis Laws Road Trip - Part 2: The Midwest

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In Part 1 of the Beard Bros. Pharms Cannabis Laws & Regulations Road Trip we kicked off our quest out west, making our way down the coast and into the deserts of the southwest. 

Now we set our sights eastbound as we take a look at the state of cannabis legalization in the Midwest.

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Montana
Medical Use – Yes
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – Yes, with restrictions

Montana actually implemented a statewide medical marijuana program back in 2004, but for years it only allowed each “dispensary” to serve three clients – total. In 2016 voters approved a more reasonable set of regulations and although the new dispensaries were not slated to open until 2017, another court battle sided with cannabis and shops began to open immediately.

A registered cardholder who has named a provider can possess up to 1oz of medical marijuana but cannot grow their own. Registered cardholders who do not declare a provider can also possess up to 1oz of buds and have the right to grow up to 4 mature plants (+12 seedlings) of their own.

There is no recreational cannabis program in Montana and the penalties for getting busted with weed and without an MMJ card are pretty harsh. Possession of a single blunt can land you in jail for up to 6 months! Popped with 60 grams or more? You’re potentially looking at a 5 year sentence.

According to Marijuana Policy Project: “In 2012, there were 1,502 arrests or citations for marijuana-related offenses, 95% of which were for possession. The number of marijuana arrests more than tripled since 2003. At the same time, law enforcement was unable to solve 91% of all burglaries — including home invasions — and over 85% of all motor vehicle thefts.”

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Idaho
Medical Use – No
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – Hell no

Idaho has the unique distinction of being the only state in the US that has not acknowledged cannabis legalization or decriminalization in any way, shape, or form.

Possession of up to 1oz of cannabis in Idaho is punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or 1 year in jail.
Black people in Idaho are arrested for cannabis possession 2.5x as often as white folks.

When the vastly outnumbered progressive politicians in Idaho pushed a bipartisan effort to reduce this negative impact on minority communities the bill never got a hearing.

When the state legislature passed a very specific bill to protect gravely ill patients from prosecution if they possessed small amounts of low-THC medical cannabis oil, the Republican governor vetoed it. This was the first time that a governor had vetoed CBD-only legislation.

Patients and advocates continue to battle.

The good news is that the current anti-cannabis Republican governor is not seeking reelection.

The bad news is that the primary winner on the Republican side hoping to replace him is just as braindead when it comes to cannabis reform.

But, there is hope. His challenger from the Democratic Party is a lady named Paulete Johnson and she is ready to legalize the green if she can turn the state blue.

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Wyoming
Medical Use – Yes, very limited
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Wyoming’s nickname is ‘The Equality State’ which seems like a shitty joke when you consider their incredibly unfair and uninformed cannabis laws.

Although there is a “medical marijuana” program in place in Wyoming, it is reserved only for those with intractable epilepsy/seizures, meaning doctors have no other options or ideas as to how to treat the patient. Even then, the product must have more than 5% CBD, less than .3% THC, and there is no dispensary or official caregiver system in place for those in need to actually get their hands on it safely.

For reference, just 2.5% of MMJ patients in Colorado list seizures as their qualifying condition, so Wyoming’s MMJ program leaves out an untold amount of patients who could find immediate and lasting relief from cannabis.

Even worse is the way that they punish cannabis possession in the state.

Just being caught “under the influence” can get you 6 months in jail.

Selling ANY amount is a felony charge punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

62% of Wyoming voters favor loosening cannabis laws and penalties in the state, but instead local lawmakers are looking to drop the hammer even harder on the cannabis community.

If they have their way, 3 grams of concentrates would be a felony charge. So would 3 ounces of edibles but let’s say they bust you with a tray of pot brownies… they count the total weight of the finished brownies towards your impending felony charge even though the infused THC might only amount to a few grams of midgrade flower.

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Utah
Medical Use – Yes, very limited
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Utah is a state racked with opioid abuse and the inevitable resulting heroin abuse as well yet the dominant Mormon Church continues to shovel mountains of money from their overflowing untaxed tithing coffers to oppose any form of legalization of cannabis in the state.

Regardless, the people of Utah filled pages and pages of signature sheets to get a new and expanded medical marijuana bill on the November ballot and now 3/4ths of them swear that they will vote for it in the fall.

If successful, the state will oversee a dispensary program that will allow registered patients to walk into retail medical cannabis stores to re-up their stash. We’ve been to a Utah state-run liquor store, let’s just hope they don’t follow that model.

Currently, any possession under 1oz can land you a 6 month jail term.
Selling ANY amount can lead to a felony charge and a 5 year prison term.
Cultivation and concentrates follow the same strict sentencing guidelines as flowers.

The current MMJ program is so bloated with red tape and roadblocks that it is nearly impossible to comply with and even if you do, it is reserved for patients suffering from intractable epilepsy and only offers them high-CBD/low-THC options which are not always the best formula for optimal healing.

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Colorado
Medical Use – Yes
Recreational Use – Yes
Home Cultivation – Yes

Ayyyy the new vacation destination of the Midwest has got cannabis-travelers coming from far and wide to take their toke and get a Mile High. Along with Washington, Colorado blazed a new trail in America when the state legalized the adult recreational use of cannabis in 2012.

From seed-to-sale tracking to mandatory 3rd-party quality testing, the tangled web of the Colorado cannabis regulatory system is still a work in progress.

But for the average person, it’s really pretty simple – anyone 21 or older can possess up to 1oz of cannabis buds with no threat from law enforcement. Similarly, that same average 21+ Colorado resident can grow up to 6 plants at his/her home (no more than 3 mature at any time), also without penalty. Even an ounce or less of concentrates carries no penalty!

With separate programs for Medical Cannabis and Recreational Cannabis, the state has enjoyed massive cannabis-related windfall tax revenues that go to fix roads and schools in the community – all while seeing underage use dropping alongside related crime stats.

Colorado’s MMJ sales in 2016 topped $453,300,000
The sales from the Rec side in 2016 were $8,657,000,000

As long as Colorado keeps seeing green they will continue to inspire the remaining holdout states to embrace cannabis reform if for no other reason than for the pork it provides to local governments.

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New Mexico
Medical Use – Yes
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – Yes

New Mexico has a growing MMJ program that has nearly 51,000 registered patients being served by 73 state-approved cannabis dispensaries. An additional 6,800+ patients have applied for and been granted home cultivation licenses that allow them to grow up to 16 plants for their own personal use on their own property.

While there is no law in place statewide to protect recreational cannabis users, recent years have seen a major push towards decriminalization of minor cannabis possession – a move that has seen support from a vast majority of residents, several influential mayors, and heads of local law enforcement. Still, the state legislature adjourned its 2018 session recently without even voting on two wildly popular cannabis decriminalization/regulation bills.

The state’s Republican governor, Susanna Martinez, vetoed 100% of cannabis-related bills that crossed her desk in 2017.

Are you sensing a trend here? VOTE

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North Dakota
Medical Use – Yes
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

With 64% of voters in favor, North Dakota passed its fledgling MMJ program in November of 2016 and it took local lawmakers until April of 2017 to work out the details. It was not until March of this year, however, that the state began accepting applications to fill just two highly coveted marijuana manufacturing (growing) licenses. Those two licenses were awarded in May and the next step is to begin the application process to award 8 initial dispensary license locations. After that the state will begin a patient registration program.

So sometime by 2099 you might have some legal weed.
Seriously, what the hell is taking so long up there?

Until this astonishingly slow process plays out, the state cracks down hard on cannabis use and first offense possession of a simple pre-roll can get you a year in jail. Possession of ANY concentrates is a potential felony charge and a possible 5 year prison term. Selling cannabis within 1000ft of a school is also a felony with a potential 20 year sentence!

Currently the medical cannabis program does not allow for any form of home cultivation.

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South Dakota
Medical Use – Very Limited (CBD only)
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Twice bills to implement medical cannabis programs have come up for vote in the South Dakota state legislature and twice they have been instantly killed by Republican lawmakers who have held supermajorities in the Senate since 1996 and in the Congress since 1976.

In 2017 the state Senate did move CBD to Schedule IV making it legal to consume so long as it comes from an FDA-approved source, like Epidiolex if the DEA doesn’t send it back overseas. Good luck finding that anytime soon.

Besides penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies for any and all possession, sale, or cultivation of any amount of cannabis, the state also enforces a strict and scientifically questionable “Drugged Driving” program which extends zero tolerance if you have ANY cannabis metabolites in your system.

Smoked a legal joint in Colorado 2 weeks earlier? Too bad, you’re potentially staring at a DUI.

Even having a clean, unused pipe in your possession can get you 30 days in jail and a misdemeanor on your record.

The state also enforces draconian Mandatory Minimal Sentencing requirements which disproportionately affect cannabis users who get slapped with heavy punishments for low-level victimless “crimes”.

Honestly, just don’t even mess around in South Dakota because you’ll find no love for the plant there.

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Nebraska
Medical Use – No
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Recent polling shows that roughly 75% of Nebraska residents want some form of medical marijuana program, but with a Conservative-controlled state legislature the 2018 session came and went with not even a glance toward further cannabis reform in the state.

If the state continues down its conservative path and rewards Republicans in the fall, it could be years before a legitimate MMJ program can be implemented. In the meantime that will mean no home cultivation, felony charges for possession of concentrates, and absolutely no legal sales whatsoever.

Even though Nebraska is one of 22 states that will not lock you up for your first low-level cannabis offense, they do enforce incredibly strict Drugged Driving laws and the Mandatory Minimum Sentencing after that first slap on the wrist can stack up fast.

According to Marijuana Policy Project, “Nebraska has one of the highest marijuana arrest rates in the country, with 7,756 marijuana arrests and/or citations in 2012”.

The state tried to sue its neighbor, Colorado, claiming that legal weed was crossing state lines, and cops routinely post up just on the Nebraska side of the border and try to poach potheads coming across state lines.

The state’s Republican governor, Pete Ricketts, vows to veto any cannabis-related legislation that makes it to his desk.

The good news is that nearly half of the 49 seats in the state legislature are up for grabs in November’s election so you know what to do Nebraska!

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Kansas
Medical Use – No
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Much like Hawaii, Kansas voters have no direct say in what cannabis laws are voted on and do not have a vote on such matters. This is handled by the state legislature and so far that has kept any medical marijuana program from being implemented.

The state does allow for anyone to use CBD products without needing a doctor’s recommendation or really any reason, but the product must contain 0.0% THC. Unfortunately, even hemp-based CBD products are generally held to a .3% THC or less standard, as completely stripping it is not easy to do.

Also, by separating the legal definition of CBD from the legal definition of cannabis, they perpetuate the battle of CBD vs. THC that ultimately benefits nobody but prohibitionists.

The state legislature recently loosened the laws for first time offenders of low-level cannabis possession, but you can still get 6 months in jail (or worse) if caught with any amount of cannabis. 63% of Kansas residents want cannabis to be further decriminalized - 68% want a legit MMJ program implemented - will their elected officials hear their voices?

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Oklahoma
Medical Use – Yes (sort of…)
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Ohhh Oklahoma… it was looking so good for you just a few weeks ago as the state sat on the verge of passing a long overdue law to institute a new medical cannabis program.

57% of voters made it happen and Oklahoma became the 30th state in the US to pass MMJ laws.

That was on June 26th… on July 10th the Board of Health released a set of emergency regulations/restrictions, the most glaring of which was the fact that all forms of smokeable cannabis were being banned from the program. 

The new regs also put a cap of just 12% THC on all cannabis flowers AND concentrates.

They also require that every dispensary keep a licensed pharmacist on staff during business hours.

Some real fuckery surrounds that particular aspect of the new law – allegedly, the director of the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy offered a sweet new job to the general counsel at the Oklahoma State Department of Health if she could cram the pharmacist requirement into law at the 11th hour.

Now, that former Health Department lawyer, a woman named Julie Ezell, is facing two felony counts for writing threatening emails to herself and claiming they were from cannabis activists.

What are these people smoking?

Still, despite its flaws, SQ788 will allow Oklahoma residents with any medical condition and a doctor’s recommendation to register to possess, grow, and purchase MMJ. The program will allow the state to establish a regulatory system for licensed dispensaries – even if they cannot legally sell smokeable cannabis...yet.

Under the new law, registered patients may legally grow up to 6 mature cannabis plants and keep 6 seedlings. They can keep up to 72oz of cannabis edibles on deck as well.

Another impressive bit from Marijuana Policy Project: “The initiative includes protections from being penalized by a school, employer, or landlord based on one’s status as a medical cannabis patient unless failing to do so would result in the entity losing a benefit under federal law or regulations. Employers also may not take action based on a patient failing a drug test, but they may prohibit marijuana use at work and during work hours. The measure also includes protections against discrimination in medical care (including organ transplants) and in child custody, visitation, and child welfare.”

Keep your eye on Oklahoma, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out in the Sooner State.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will begin accepting patient applications by August 25th.

=====================

Whoa, we just covered some wide open spaces in America’s heartland as we make our way across the country to bring you a snapshot of where we’re at with cannabis legalization in this great nation.

CLICK HERE if you missed Part 1 “The West Coast”, and be sure to tune in next Monday for Part 3 in our ongoing road trip when we tackle the Central States to see what’s good in that neck of the woods.

“The open road still softly calls…”

 

We routinely reference these websites to stay a step ahead and recommend that you do too:
www.mpp.org
https://norml.org
https://thecannabisindustry.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*this information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal adviceColorado
Medical Use – Yes
Recreational Use – Yes
Home Cultivation – Yes

Ayyyy the new vacation destination of the Midwest has got cannabis-travelers coming from far and wide to take their toke and get a Mile High. Along with Washington, Colorado blazed a new trail in America when the state legalized the adult recreational use of cannabis in 2012.

From seed-to-sale tracking to mandatory 3rd-party quality testing, the tangled web of the Colorado cannabis regulatory system is still a work in progress.

But for the average person, it’s really pretty simple – anyone 21 or older can possess up to 1oz of cannabis buds with no threat from law enforcement. Similarly, that same average 21+ Colorado resident can grow up to 6 plants at his/her home (no more than 3 mature at any time), also without penalty. Even an ounce or less of concentrates carries no penalty!

With a separate programs for Medical Cannabis and Recreational Cannabis, the state has enjoyed massive cannabis-related windfall tax revenues that go to fix roads and schools in the community – all while seeing underage use dropping alongside related crime stats.

Colorado’s MMJ sales in 2016 topped $453,300,000
The sales from the Rec side in 2016 were $8,657,000,000

As long as Colorado keeps seeing green they will continue to inspire the remaining holdout states to embrace cannabis reform if for no other reason than for the pork it provides to local governments.

New Mexico
Medical Use – Yes
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – Yes

New Mexico has a growing MMJ program that has nearly 51,000 registered patients being served by 73 state-approved cannabis dispensaries. An additional 6,800+ patients have applied for and been granted home cultivation licenses that allow them to grow up to 16 plants for their own personal use on their own property.

While there is no law in place statewide to protect recreational cannabis users, recent years have seen a major push towards decriminalization of minor cannabis possession – a move that has seen support from a vast majority of residents, several influential mayors, and heads of local law enforcement. Still, the state legislature adjourned its 2018 session recently without even voting on two wildly popular cannabis decriminalization/regulation bills.

The state’s Republican governor, Susanna Martinez, vetoed 100% of cannabis-related bills that crossed her desk in 2017.

Are you sensing a trend here? VOTE

North Dakota
Medical Use – Yes
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

With 64% of voters in favor, North Dakota passed its fledgling MMJ program in November of 2016 and it took local lawmakers until April of 2017 to work out the details. It was not until March of this year, however, that the state began accepting applications to fill just two highly coveted marijuana manufacturing (growing) licenses. Those two licenses were awarded in May and the next step is to begin the application process to award 8 initial dispensary license locations. After that the state will begin a patient registration program.

So sometime by 2099 you might have some legal weed.
Seriously, what the hell is taking so long up there?

Until this astonishingly slow process plays out, the state cracks down hard on cannabis use and first offense possession of a simple pre-roll can get you a year in jail. Possession of ANY concentrates is a potential felony charge and a possible 5 year prison term. Selling cannabis within 1000ft of a school is also a felony with a potential 20 year sentence!

Currently the medical cannabis program does not allow for any form of home cultivation.

South Dakota
Medical Use – Very Limited (CBD only)
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Twice bills to implement medical cannabis programs have come up for vote in the South Dakota state legislature and twice they have been instantly killed by Republican lawmakers who have held supermajorities in the Senate since 1996 and in the Congress since 1976.

In 2017 the state Senate did move CBD to Schedule IV making it legal to consume so long as it comes from an FDA-approved source, like Epidiolex if the DEA doesn’t send it back overseas. Good luck finding that anytime soon.

Besides penalties ranging from misdemeanors to felonies for any and all possession, sale, or cultivation of any amount of cannabis, the state also enforces a strict and scientifically questionable “Drugged Driving” program which extends zero tolerance if you have ANY cannabis metabolites in your system.

Smoked a legal joint in Colorado 2 weeks earlier? Too bad, you’re potentially staring at a DUI.

Even having a clean, unused pipe in your possession can get you 30 days in jail and a misdemeanor on your record.

The state also enforces draconian Mandatory Minimal Sentencing requirements which disproportionately affect cannabis users who get slapped with heavy punishments for low-level victimless “crimes”.

Honestly, just don’t even mess around in South Dakota because you’ll find no love for the plant there.

Nebraska
Medical Use – No
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Recent polling shows that roughly 75% of Nebraska residents want some form of medical marijuana program, but with a Conservative-controlled state legislature the 2018 session came and went with not even a glance toward further cannabis reform in the state.

If the state continues down its conservative path and rewards Republicans in the fall, it could be years before a legitimate MMJ program can be implemented. In the meantime that will mean no home cultivation, felony charges for possession of concentrates, and absolutely no legal sales whatsoever.

Even though Nebraska is one of 22 states that will not lock you up for your first low-level cannabis offense, they do enforce incredibly strict Drugged Driving laws and the Mandatory Minimum Sentencing after that first slap on the wrist can stack up fast.

According to Marijuana Policy Project, “Nebraska has one of the highest marijuana arrest rates in the country, with 7,756 marijuana arrests and/or citations in 2012”.

The state tried to sue its neighbor, Colorado, claiming that legal weed was crossing state lines, and cops routinely post up just on the Nebraska side of the border and try to poach potheads coming across state lines.

The state’s Republican governor, Pete Ricketts, vows to veto any cannabis-related legislation that makes it to his desk.

The good news is that nearly half of the 49 seats in the state legislature are up for grabs in November’s election so you know what to do Nebraska!

Kansas
Medical Use – No
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Much like Hawaii, Kansas voters have no direct say in what cannabis laws are voted on and do not have a vote on such matters. This is handled by the state legislature and so far that has kept any medical marijuana program from being implemented.

The state does allow for anyone to use CBD products without needing a doctor’s recommendation or really any reason, but the product must contain 0.0% THC. Unfortunately, even hemp-based CBD products are generally held to a .3% THC or less standard, as completely stripping it is not easy to do.

Also, by separating the legal definition of CBD from the legal definition of cannabis, they perpetuate the battle of CBD vs. THC that ultimately benefits nobody but prohibitionists.

The state legislature recently loosened the laws for first time offenders of low-level cannabis possession, but you can still get 6 months in jail (or worse) if caught with any amount of cannabis. 63% of Kansas residents want cannabis to be further decriminalized - 68% want a legit MMJ program implemented - will their elected officials hear their voices?

Oklahoma
Medical Use – Yes (sort of…)
Recreational Use – No
Home Cultivation – No

Ohhh Oklahoma… it was looking so good for you just a few weeks ago as the state sat on the verge of passing a long overdue law to institute a new medical cannabis program.

57% of voters made it happen and Oklahoma became the 30th state in the US to pass MMJ laws.

That was on June 26th… on July 10th the Board of Health released a set of emergency regulations/restrictions, the most glaring of which was the fact that all forms of smokeable cannabis were being banned from the program. 

The new regs also put a cap of just 12% THC on all cannabis flowers AND concentrates.

They also require that every dispensary keep a licensed pharmacist on staff during business hours.

Some real fuckery surrounds that aspect of the new law – allegedly, the director of the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy offered a sweet new job to the general counsel at the Oklahoma State Department of Health if she could cram the pharmacist requirement into law at the 11th hour.

Now, that former Health Department lawyer, a woman named Julie Ezell, is facing two felony counts for writing threatening emails to herself and claiming they were from cannabis activists.

What are these people smoking?

Still, despite its flaws, SQ788 will allow Oklahoma residents with any medical condition and a doctor’s recommendation to register to possess, grow, and purchase MMJ. The program will allow the state to establish a regulatory system for licensed dispensaries – even if they cannot legally sell smokeable cannabis.

Under the new law, registered patients may legally grow up to 6 mature cannabis plants and keep 6 seedlings. They can keep up to 72oz of cannabis edibles on deck as well.

Another impressive bit from Marijuana Policy Project: “The initiative includes protections from being penalized by a school, employer, or landlord based on one’s status as a medical cannabis patient unless failing to do so would result in the entity losing a benefit under federal law or regulations. Employers also may not take action based on a patient failing a drug test, but they may prohibit marijuana use at work and during work hours. The measure also includes protections against discrimination in medical care (including organ transplants) and in child custody, visitation, and child welfare.”

Keep your eye on Oklahoma, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out in the Sooner State.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will begin accepting patient applications by August 25th.

=====================

Whoa we just covered some wide open spaces in America’s heartland as we make our way across the country to bring you a snapshot of where we’re at with cannabis legalization in this great nation.

CLICK HERE if you missed Part 1 “The West Coast”, and be sure to join us next Monday for Part 3 in our ongoing road trip when we tackle the Central States to see what’s good in that neck of the woods.

“The open road still softly calls…”

 

We routinely reference these websites to stay a step ahead and recommend that you do too:

www.mpp.org
https://norml.org
https://thecannabisindustry.org

*this information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice