List of 2021 United States cannabis reform proposals

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Map of cannabis laws in the US
Legality of cannabis in the United States
  Legal for recreational use
  Legal for medical use
  Illegal
 D  Decriminalized
Notes:
· Reflects law of states and territories, including laws which have not yet gone into effect. Does not reflect federal, tribal, or local laws.
· Hemp and hemp-derived products have been legal since the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The year 2021 started with varying degrees of legalization for unrestricted-THC content cannabis in 34 states, or over half of U.S. states, and continued federal prohibition except for low-THC hemp. Several states considered candidates for 2021 legislation to legalize cannabis for adult use included Connecticut, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Virginia,[1] some of which like New York had already decriminalized. At the federal level, the Democratic Party's majority in both houses of the 117th United States Congress was cited by Politico as a likely precondition for federal legalization in 2021, with the SAFE Banking Act likely to pass.[2]

Legislation and initiatives introduced in 2020 for 2021 sessions[edit]

  • Maryland legalization HB0032 was introduced by Jazz Lewis in December 2020 for the 2021 legislative session.[3]
  • A Missouri legalization bill was pre-filed in December 2020 by Republican state legislator Shamed Dogan.[4]
  • A "justice roadmap" published by New York state Republican lawmakers in late December 2020 included legalization.[5]
  • Two Texas legalization bills were introduced in November 2020: SB 140 by Senator Roland Gutierrez, and HB 447 by Representative Joe Moody.[6]

Legislation passed in 2020 pending governor's action in 2021[edit]

  • NJ A21 (20R), a legalization and regulation bill, and NJ A1897 (20R), decriminalization, were sent to the governor on December 17. New Jersey governor Phil Murphy said he would conditionally veto the bills if language on underage possession was not reconciled by January 30.[7]

Legislation and initiatives introduced in 2021[edit]

State[edit]

State Title Type Date introduced Short description Detail
Alabama (main) SB46 Law January 29, 2021 Medical On January 29, Alabama SB46, the Alabama Compassion Act for legalization of (non-smokeable) medical cannabis, was reintroduced by state senator Tim Melson (R), who is also a physician.[8][9] The bill was passed by the Alabama Senate on February 24, and by the House on May 6.[10][11] It was signed into law by the governor on May 17.[12]
Connecticut (main) HB 6377 Bill February 4, 2021 Legalization On February 4, Connecticut House Bill 6377 – co-written by committee chairs representative Robyn Porter and senator Julie Kushner – was introduced in the Labor and Public Employees Committee, to allow home cultivation and establish a state Cannabis Control Commission.[13][14][15] The bill was advanced by the House Labor and Public Employees Committee on March 25.[16]
SB888 Bill February 11, 2021 Legalization Senate Bill 888, introduced at the governor's request and referred to the Joint Judiciary Committee on February 11, would legalize cannabis.[17][18] It was tabled for the Senate calendar on June 1.[19]
SB 1118 Bill June 5, 2021 Legalization Approved by the Senate on June 8.[20] The regular session ended on June 9 without a house vote.[21]
SB 1201 Law June 15, 2021 Legalization Introduced during the special session, and passed by state senate on the first day, June 15.[22] It was amended and passed by the house the next day,[23] and the amended bill was approved by the senate on June 17.[24] The state held a ceremony on June 22 in which the bill received the governor's ratification and became law.[25]
Delaware HB150 Bill March 18, 2021 Legalization Announced by Rep. Edward Osienski on February 13 and introduced as HB150, Delaware Marijuana Control Act, on March 18.[26][27] Osienski was sponsor of Delaware HB110 in prior session.[28]
Florida HB 343 and SB 710 Bills January 21, 2021 Legalization On January 21, Florida HB 343 and SB 710, corresponding legalization bills, were announced by their sponsors Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) and Senator Jeff Brandes (R).[29]
House Bill 1215 Bill February 26, 2021 Decriminalization [30]
Georgia (main) SB195 Law February 16, 2021 Medical Up to 30 dispensaries may operate beginning July 1, 2021.[31]
Hawaii SB767 Bill January 11, 2021 Legalization On January 11, Hawaii SB767 was introduced to legalize cannabis for adult personal use, possession, and sale. It was advanced by the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs on February 16, along with a bill raising existing limits for possession under state decriminalization.[32][33] On March 3, it was advanced by the Judiciary Committee for a Senate floor vote.[34] On March 9, the senate passed the bill.[35]
Idaho (main) SB1017 Law January 20, 2021 Adjusts Legal CBD On January 20, Idaho SB1017 was introduced to raise the allowable THC level in legal cannabidiol (CBD) products from 0%[36] to 0.1% THC.[37] The bill was signed into law on February 26, 2021. Effective July 1, 2021.
Idaho Medical Marijuana Act Initiative February 11, 2021 Medical On February 11, the Idaho Secretary of State approved the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act initiative for signature collection.[38]
Personal Adult Marijuana Decriminalization Act Initiative July 9, 2021 Decriminalization Decriminalizes up to three ounces of cannabis legally purchased (outside of Idaho).[39]
Indiana HB1028 Bills February 16, 2021 Decriminalization [40]
HB1070 Bill December 31, 2021 Decriminalization Pre-filed for 2022 session[41]
HB1049 Bill December 31, 2021 Regulation Pre-filed for 2022 session by representatives Sue Errington and Chris Campbell. Establishes Cannabis Compliance Commission and Cannabis Compliance Advisory Committee.[42][41]
Iowa SF406 Bill February 18, 2021 Legalization Introduced on February 18 by Senator Joe Bolkcom and others, the legislation filed under Senate File 406 would legalize cannabis for 21-and-over adults, and provide for taxation and regulation by Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division.[43][44]
Kansas SB 92 Bill January 28, 2021 Medical On January 28, Kansas Senate Bill 92 was introduced by the Senate Commerce Committee. It would establish the Kansas medical cannabis agency within the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and permit prescription and use of medical cannabis.[45] On May 6 the bill cleared the house in a 79-42 vote and moved to the senate.[46]
Kentucky HB 136 Bill January 8, 2021 Medical On January 8, Kentucky state representative Jason Nemes (R) introduced House Bill 136, legislation that would legalize medical cannabis in the state.[47]
HB467 Bill February 10, 2021 Legalization [48]
Bill November 29, 2021 Legalization Pre-filed by Rep. Nima Kulkarni[49]
Louisiana (main) HB 699 Bill January 1, 2021 (as HB524) Legalization "The first legalization instrument to reach the full [Louisiana] House for debate" was tabled following 47–48 vote May 18 on a related cannabis tax bill.[50]
HB 652 Law April 2, 2021 Decriminalization A bill to remove jail time and limit fines for possession passed the house on May 11.[51] On June 7, it was approved by a Senate floor vote, and the state governor signed it into law on June 15.[52][53]
HB391 Law April 1, 2021 Medical (expansion) Allows prescription of smokable form. Passed by Senate on May 27, with technical amendments, following House passage.[54] The House acceded to the amendments on June 1, making the bill eligible to be signed into law by the state governor.[55][56][57]
Maryland HB32 and SB708 Bills February 5, 2021 Legalization Maryland legalization bills HB32 and SB708 were introduced by the first week of February.[58] They differ in the amount of cannabis that can be legally possessed – two ounces in the house bill, four ounces in the senate bill, sponsored by Senate President Bill Ferguson.[59]
HB 1 (2022) Referendum December 26, 2021 (bill prefiled) Legalization On July 16, the speaker of the state House of Delegates, Adrienne A. Jones, created a committee to draft a referendum on legalization to place before voters in 2022.[60] Around December 25, the chairman of the state House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup, Luke Clippinger, pre-filed House Bill 1 for the 2022 session, to initiate the citizen referendum in 2022 that would create a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis.[61]
Minnesota (main) HF 600 Bill February 1, 2021 Legalization On February 1, Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL) and Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman (DFL) introduced legalization bill HF 600.[62][63] The bill was passed the House of Representatives on May 13.[64]
HF2128 (omnibus) Law February 8, 2021 (as HF907) Medical (expansion) Approved by House and Senate.[65] Signed into law by governor May 25.[66][67]
Missouri Missouri Marijuana Legalization and Automatic Expungement Initiative Initiative March 3, 2020 Legalization Qualified for signature gathering on May 5, 2021.[68]
Fair Access Missouri initiatives Initiative Circa July 16 Legalization Filed with Secretary of State circa July 16[69]
Montana (main) HB701 Law May 12, 2021 Legalization Amends and implements 2020 Montana Initiative 190; signed into law May 19.[70][71] Taxed and regulated adult use cannabis sales may begin on January 1, 2022.[72]
Nebraska LR2CA Constitutional amendment January 6, 2021 Legalization On January 6, Nebraska state senator Justin Wayne (D) proposed LR2CA, a constitutional amendment to legalize adult use of cannabis.[73]
LB 474 Bill Medical The legislature is scheduled debate the bill on May 12th.[74]
Nevada AB341 Law March 19, 2021 Legalizes public cannabis consumption lounges for adults not earlier than October 1, 2021.[75]
New Jersey (main) A5342
S3454
Law January 29, 2021 Legalization On January 29, New Jersey A5342 was introduced in committee to address underage penalties in the legalization and decriminalization bills passed in 2020, which had led to threat of veto (see #Legislation passed in 2020 pending governor's action in 2021).[76][77][78]

Clean-up bill S3454 was introduced on February 11 after the governor's veto threat and signed into law by the state governor later the same day, along with the earlier legislation on decriminalization and legalization.[79][80]

New Mexico (main) HB17 and others Bills February 1, 2021 Legalization On February 1, two New Mexico legalization bills were introduced by Senator Cliff Pirtle (R) and by Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D),[81] As of February 13, five different bills had been introduced in the legislature, including HB 12 and HB 17 under consideration by the House Health and Human Services Committee.[82]
HB 12 Law February 2, 2021 Legalization On February 2, New Mexico HB 12, the "Cannabis Regulation Act", was introduced by state representative Javier Martinez (D), with provisions for legalization and regulated sales, and expungement.[83] The House Health and Human Services Committee advanced a substitute HB 12 on February 15,[84][85] and the Taxation & Revenue Committee (chaired by Martinez) advanced the bill on February 24 for a vote on the House floor.[86] On February 26, the House approved the bill 39–31.[87] On March 17, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced it for a floor vote.[88] On March 26, the state governor called a special session to get a Senate vote on the bill;[89] the House and Senate passed the bill on March 31, and it was signed into law by Governor Lujan Grisham on April 12.[90][91][92]
New York (main) A1248 and S854 Law January 6, 2021 Legalization Law passed by the New York state legislature on March 30 and signed by the governor March 31.[93][94]
A3009 and S2509 Bills January 19, 2021 Legalization The revenue bills embodying Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal, A3009 and S2509, contain the Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act, which would create the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), a licensing regime with social equity provisions, and would legalize cannabis for adult use.[95]
North Carolina Senate Bill 669 Bill April 7, 2021 Medical [96]
Senate Bill 646 Bill April 7, 2021 Legalization [96]
HB 617 Bill April 20, 2021 Legalization [97]
SB 711 "NC Compassionate Care Act" Bill April 7, 2021 Medical Would allow cannabis prescriptions for cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, PTSD, sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, multiple sclerosis, wasting syndrome, severe nausea and "other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class". Passed Senate committee on June 30.[98]
North Dakota HB 1420 Bill January 21, 2021 Legalization On January 21, North Dakota HB 1420 was introduced – a legalization and regulation bill for adult use and sponsored by Jason Dockter (R) and co-sponsored by several other Republicans.[99][100] It was advanced by the Human Services Committee on February 17.[101] The House passed the bill on February 23.[102]
North Dakota Legalize Marijuana and Allow Home Growth Initiative Initiative January 22, 2021 Legalization On January 22, the North Dakota Secretary of State approved signature gathering on an initiated constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis, the North Dakota Legalize Marijuana and Allow Home Growth Initiative, which could appear on the November 2022 ballot.[103]
Ohio Bill July 15, 2021 Legalization Allows adults to possess up to five ounces of cannabis.[104]
Regulate Cannabis Like Alcohol initiative Initiative July 27, 2021 Legalization Over 200,000 signatures submitted to state on December 20.[105] On January 3, 2022, the initiative petition was found to have not met the threshold of valid signatures.[106]
Pending bill number Bill July 30, 2021 Legalization Introduced by Reps. Weinstein and Upchurch[107]
HB 498

Ohio Adult Use Act

Bill October 12, 2021 Legalization Tax-and-regulate bill announced by Rep. Jamie Callender (R) in October,[108] formally entered on December 2 with cosponsor Ron Ferguson (R)[109]
SB 261 Bill December 15, 2021 Medical Does not require any specific conditions. Passed by Senate on December 15.[110]
Pennsylvania Senate Bill 473 Bill February 24, 2021 Legalization Sponsored by Senator Dan Laughlin (R): adult use legalization, expungement, regulation under Pennsylvania Cannabis Regulatory Control Board, and replace Department of Health's Medical Marijuana Program.[111] Referred to Law and Justice committee on October 18.[112]
Unnamed Bill Legalization Announced by Representative Wheatley and Representative Frankel on June 21[113]
House Bill 1024 Law Medical (expansion) Signed by state governor on June 30. "[P]rotects patient safety standards and product quality of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program while empowering the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board to continue to consider new medical conditions for eligibility".[114] Allows curbside pick-up and allows dispensing three month supply of product.[115]
HB 2050 Bill September 28, 2021 Legalization [116]
Rhode Island Senate Bill 568 Bill January 1, 2021 Legalization

Bill introduced by state Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey and state senator Joshua Miller. Allows sales by April 2022 and regulation under new Rhode Island Cannabis Control Commission.[117] On June 14, the bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was the first time a legalization measure was cleared for a floor vote in either chamber of the Rhode Island legislature.[118] The bill was passed by the senate in a 29–9 vote on June 22.[119]

H6370 Bill May 28, 2021 Legalization Introduced by Rep. Scott A. Slater[120]
South Carolina H. 3361 / S. 150 Bills January 12, 2021 Medical The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act (H. 3361 / S. 150) was filed on January 12.[121] Primary sponsors were Rep. Bill Herbkersman and Sen. Tom Davis, both Republicans. The 2021 legislative session ended in May without a vote on the act.[122]
South Dakota Adult use act Bill October 18, 2021 Legalization Introduced by Republican representative Hugh Bartels; draft 62 cleared Adult-Use Marijuana Study Subcommittee on October 18[123][124][125]
Tennessee HB 413 Bill January 2021 Decriminalization [126]
HB 0621 / SB0854 Bills March 3, 2021 Medical [127]
HB 1634 Bill July 14, 2021 Legalization Introduced by Rep. Bruce Griffey (R)[128]
SB0118 Law January 13, 2021 Medical (expansion) Signed by governor on May 27.[129]
Texas SB 140 Bill November 10, 2020 Legalization [130]
HB 99 Bill November 9, 2020 Decriminalization Public hearings held on April 6.[131]
HB 441 Bill November 10, 2020 Decriminalization Passed the house on April 30 in an 88-40 vote.[132][133]
HB 1535 Law March 8, 2021 Medical Adds qualifying conditions including PTSD, and raises THC limit.[134] The house passed the bill in a 134-12 vote on April 29;[135] the Senate passed the bill on May 25;[136] and on June 15, the state governor signed the bill.[137]
HB 2593 Bill Reduced penalties for concentrates [138]
Virginia (main) SB 1406 and HB 2312 Law January 22, 2021 Legalization The bill passed by the State Assembly on February 27 will allow the first legal retail sales on January 1, 2024.[139] Governor Ralph Northam amended the bill to authorize legalization for July 2021.[140]
Washington HB 1019 Bill January 22, 2021 Home grow On January 22, Washington HB 1019, allowing home grown cannabis for non-medical use, was advanced by the House Commerce and Gaming Committee.[141][142]
Wisconsin AB68 Bill February 16, 2021 Legalization 2021–2023 biennial budget proposal by state governor Tony Evers (bill AB68) included legalization.[143][144] Permitting would be provided by Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection or by Department of Revenue.[145]
Bill August 10, 2021 Legalization Adult-use legalization, taxation, and regulation bill introduced by state senator Melissa Agard on August 10.[146]
Bill November 16, 2021 Decriminalization $100 fine for quantities under 14 grams. Proposed by representatives Shae Sortwell and Sylvia Ortiz-Velez.[147]
Wyoming HB 0209 Bill March 3, 2021 Legalization [148][149] HB 209 passed the House Committee vote 6-3.[150] However, the bill missed the deadline for consideration.[151]
HB 0082 Bill 2021 Medical [152]
Wyoming Cannabis Amendments Initiative June 9, 2021 Decriminalization [153]
Wyoming Patient Cannabis Act of 2022 Initiative June 9, 2021 Medical [153]
Note: Green highlighting indicates passage into law, and may not indicate adult-use legalization.

Federal[edit]

Title Type Date introduced Short description Detail
H.R.365 Bill January 19, 2021 Change of DEA scheduling An act "To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act" was introduced by Republican representative Greg Steube on January 19.[154]
H.R.430 Bill January 21, 2021 Veterans' rights An act "To prohibit the Secretary of Veterans Affairs from denying a veteran benefits administered by the Secretary by reason of the veteran participating in a State-approved marijuana program, and for other purposes" was introduced by Greg Steube on January 21.[155]
SAFE Banking Act Bill March 17, 2021 Banking legalization Reintroduced on March 17 and passed by the House on April 19.[156][157]
Hemp Economic Mobilization Plan (HEMP) Act Bill March 30, 2021 Redefines hemp Reintroduced March 30, increasing allowable THC from 0.3% to 1% in Schedule 1-exempt hemp.[158]
HR2588 Bill April 15, 2021 Medical (veterans) Introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee[159]
Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act Bill April 16, 2021 Medical (veterans) Introduced on April 16 by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D) and U.S. Congressman Dave Joyce (R).[160][161][162] Introduced as amendment to 2021 NDAA in November.[163]
S.1467/HR 2916

VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2021

Bill April 29, 2021 (April 30 in House) Medical (veterans) Eligible for Senate floor vote after being advanced by Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on June 23.[164]
Passed by House Committee on Veterans' Affairs on November 4.[165][166]
Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses, and Medical Professionals Act Bill May 12, 2021 Descheduling Introduced on May 12, sponsored by Representatives David Joyce (R) and Don Young (R). It would legalize any form of cannabis nationally by removing it from scheduling under the Controlled Substances Act.[167]
H.R. 3617

MORE Act

Bill May 28, 2021 Legalization and expungement MORE Act reintroduced[168]
Fully Informed Veteran Act Bill June 1, 2021 Medical (veterans) [169]
Drug Policy Reform Act Bill June 18, 2021 Decriminalization Announced by sponsors on June 15, to be filed on 50th anniversary of the inception of the War on Drugs by President Nixon. Decriminalizes all drugs, and moves classification of drugs from Justice to HHS.[170]
FY22 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill Bill June 29, 2021 (markup)[171] Banking regulation The 2021 federal appropriations bill may contain SAFE Banking Act-like cannabis banking provisions.[172]
Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act Bill July 14, 2021 Descheduling On July 14, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced a draft bill titled Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.[173]
FY22 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies appropriations bill Bill July 15, 2021 (committee approval)[174] Various May contain protections for state medical cannabis programs and other limits on federal prohibition, funding for CBD regulation.[175] May contain Blumenauer-Mcclintock-Norton-Lee amendment recognizing state adult use laws, taking away funding for federal law enforcement activities against them for the lifetime of the appropriations.[176][177]
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 Bill September 21, 2021 Banking Language of the SAFE Banking Act added by amendment on September 21.[178][179] Language of Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act added by Sen. Schatz on November 4.[163] Language concerning both cannabis provisions was ultimately dropped from the bill sent to the Senate in December.[180]
H.R. 5977

States Reform Act

Bill November 15, 2021 Legalization and expungement Descheduling from Controlled Substances Act; 3% taxation and regulation by Department of the Treasury; and automatic expungement of past federal cannabis offenses. Introduced by Rep. Nancy Mace and five Republican cosponsors.[181][182][183]

Mass pardons[edit]

On February 18, 37 members of Congress – including two members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, Barbara Lee and Earl Blumenauer, who were the authors – formally asked President Biden to fulfill a campaign promise by issuing a mass presidential pardon to Americans convicted of nonviolent cannabis crimes.[184][185]

On November 10, a group of senators led by Elizabeth Warren wrote a letter to President Biden requesting him to issue pardons for individuals convicted of nonviolent cannabis crimes, referencing his campaign promise to "zero out" such convictions.[186]

See also[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]