Legislative Session Update Week 1 (First Cannabis Bills Of The Year)

The legislative session kicked off on Monday, January 8th, at the Arizona State Capitol, creating an atmosphere of anticipation. Justifiably, the first week witnessed the introduction of six marijuana measures.

It seems we’re facing a couple of prohibitionist bills early in this session.
House Bill 2451 allocates funds to the Arizona Attorney General for overseeing online and social media marijuana advertising, with an exception if the advertiser can provide credible evidence that at least 71.6 percent of the audience is expected to be at least twenty-one years of age.

House Bill 2452 on marijuana funds and enforcement is somewhat more concerning. It covers the costs incurred by the department for implementing, carrying out, and enforcing regulations. This includes grants of money to entities such as the Arizona Poison Control System for operations and supporting healthcare providers, the Attorney General for investigating and enforcing actions against the illicit sale of marijuana and intoxicating cannabinoids, and municipal police departments, county sheriff departments, and tribal police agencies for similar enforcement purposes.

To make matters worse, there’s a Senate mirror bill to HB2452. Senate Bill 1076 aims to replicate all the concerning aspects of HB2452. Both bills are sponsored by the chairs of Health and Human Services Committees in House and Senate, Senator TJ Shope of District 16 and Representative Steve Montenegro of District 29. The Health and Human Services Committee (HHS) is the likely assignment for these bills, ensuring that the chair will prioritize hearing and advancing them.

Representative Kevin Payne from Legislative District 21 serves as the sponsor of two bills this week. This marks his final year in the House of Representatives, having termed out, and he anticipates a successful 2024 election as he vies for a seat in the state senate. 

House Bill 2175, addressing “marijuana monies; university police,” aligns with its title by aiming to include university police among those funded by Prop 207. This concept has been persistent in recent legislative sessions but has faced repeated setbacks.

House Bill 2247, focusing on “marijuana regulatory board; licensing qualifications,” eliminates the Arizona Dept of Health Services from marijuana programs 203 and 207. The bill introduces micro-business licensing without providing a clear definition. This represents the latest iteration of the bill, presented in various forms over the past three years.

All of these bills are safeguarded by the Voter Protection Act (VPA), signifying that anything approved by voters must align with the purpose of the voter initiative and secure a three fourth 3/4 vote, equivalent to 75 percent.

The following bill, House Bill 2301, addressing “Landlords; Tenant’s Marijuana Use,” lacks voter protection, requiring only a 51% majority for advancement. As indicated by the title, it is a straightforward bill asserting that landlords cannot terminate rental agreements due to marijuana use. The bill remains ambiguous about whether this use is permitted within the rental property.

Summary

Bills Introduced:
HB2175- Marijuana Monies; University Police
HB2247- Marijuana Regulatory Board; Licensing Qualifications
HB2301-Landlords; Tenant’s Marijuana Use
HB2451- Marijuana; Advertising; Restrictions
HB2452- Marijuana Funds; Uses; Enforcement
SB1076- Marijuana Funds; Uses; Enforcement

Bills Assigned To House Military Affairs And Public Safety (MAPS)
HB2175- Marijuana Monies; University Police
HB2247- Marijuana Regulatory Board; Licensing Qualifications

Details

HB2175- Marijuana Monies; University Police

01/10/2024 Assigned House Military Affairs And Public Safety (MAPS)
01/10/2024 House 1st Read
01/09/2024 Introduced (House)

Adds university police departments under the Arizona Board of Regents as a recipient of excess funds in the Smart and Safe Arizona fund. Due to voter protection, this legislation requires the affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of the members of each house of the Legislature for passage.
Sections Affected: 36-2856 Amended
Prime Sponsor: Payne
Co-Sponsor:

FULL TEXT

HB2247- Marijuana Regulatory Board; Licensing Qualifications

01/10/2024 Assigned House Military Affairs And Public Safety (MAPS)
01/10/2024 House 1st Read
01/09/2024 Introduced (House)

(No official summary) Removes Arizona Dept of Health Services from both marijuana programs 203 and 207. Adds micro-business licensing, but does not define it. Due to voter protection, this legislation requires the affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of the members of each house of the Legislature for passage.
Sections Affected: 36-2823 Added
36-2866 Added
41-3034.01 Added
Prime Sponsor: Payne
Co-Sponsor:

FULL TEXT

HB2301-Landlords; Tenant’s Marijuana Use

01/10/2024 Introduced (House)
(No official summary) A landlord may not terminate a tenant rental agreement because the tenant uses marijuana.
Sections Affected: 33-1317.01 Added
Prime Sponsor: Austin
Co-Sponsor: Aguilar
Crews
Gutierrez
Ortiz
Villegas

FULL TEXT

HB2451- Marijuana; Advertising; Restrictions

01/12/2024 Introduced (House)
(No official summary) Marijuana establishments and nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries can advertise with certain restrictions, including not targeting individuals under 21, avoiding public transportation locations, and ensuring electronic ads reach an audience over 21. All ads must include a warning about the age restriction, and billboards are prohibited within 1000 feet of certain locations. Ads cannot promote potency or THC levels, and only authorized entities can advertise marijuana products within the specified regulations.
Sections Affected: 36-2859 Amended
Prime Sponsor: Montenegro

FULL TEXT

HB2452- Marijuana Funds; Uses; Enforcement

01/12/2024 Introduced (House)
(No official summary) Money from both the Medical Marijuana Fund and the Smart and Safe Arizona Fund can be used interchangeably. These funds may be allocated to the Arizona Poison Control System for operations, supporting healthcare providers, and public health education about illicit marijuana and intoxicating cannabinoids. The Attorney General has the authority to use funds for investigating and taking enforcement actions against the illicit sale of marijuana and intoxicating cannabinoids. Grants are available for municipal police departments, county sheriff departments, and tribal police agencies to support similar enforcement efforts. The Attorney General is also empowered to use funds to investigate and enforce actions related to the illicit sale, marketing, and distribution of marijuana and intoxicating cannabinoids.
Sections Affected: 36-2817 Amended
36-2856Amended
Prime Sponsor: Montenegro

FULL TEXT

SB1076- Marijuana Funds; Uses; Enforcement

01/11/2024 Introduced (House)
(No official summary) Money from both the Medical Marijuana Fund and the Smart and Safe Arizona Fund can be used interchangeably. These funds may be allocated to the Arizona Poison Control System for operations, supporting healthcare providers, and public health education about illicit marijuana and intoxicating cannabinoids. The Attorney General has the authority to use funds for investigating and taking enforcement actions against the illicit sale of marijuana and intoxicating cannabinoids. Grants are available for municipal police departments, county sheriff departments, and tribal police agencies to support similar enforcement efforts. The Attorney General is also empowered to use funds to investigate and enforce actions related to the illicit sale, marketing, and distribution of marijuana and intoxicating cannabinoids.
Sections Affected: 36-2817 Amended
36-2856Amended
Prime Sponsor: Shope

FULL TEXT

All the information provided by Azleg.gov and Arziona Capital Reports on Thursday 5pm.
If any of the bills upset you or you wish to contribute to change, connect with Arizona NORML for additional ways to get involved.

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