MJBiz - March/April 2024 - 24

INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS State by State
Pennsylvania
Gov. Josh Shapiro formally called on lawmakers to legalize adult-use marijuana in his annual
budget speech.
Shapiro's $48.3 billion spending plan estimates that legal marijuana, taxed at 20%, could
raise roughly $250 million. State lawmakers have to date failed to advance long-gestating
legalization proposals past partisan deadlocks.
But drawing on Pennsylvania's rivalry with Rust Belt neighbor Ohio-which legalized adultuse
cannabis in November by a surprisingly large margin-Shapiro pointed out that " practically
all of our neighbors " have legalized adult-use cannabis.
Shapiro did not offer a specific legalization plan in his budget proposal. Any plan will face
opposition in the Republican-controlled state Senate.
State Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward has said she'll block any recreational marijuana
legalization plan until federal law changes. Pennsylvania has a relatively robust medical
marijuana market that's expected to expand under new, looser rules that Shapiro signed into
law in December.
South Carolina
The South Carolina chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
(NORML) advocacy group is shutting down after seven years.
The chapter lost four board members, including its treasurer, making it difficult for the
group to continue its work, founder Scott Weldon told The Post and Courier of Charleston.
Weldon said the group was fined $2,000 for continued fundraising after failing to renew its
nonprofit status.
Although a group of bipartisan lawmakers is still pushing to legalize medical cannabis and
will reintroduce legislation in 2024, the demise of the NORML chapter could be a signal that
the state's residents aren't yet supportive of marijuana reform, Sen. Tom Davis, a Republican,
told The Post and Courier.
The South Carolina Cannabis Coalition and the South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance
continue to advocate for marijuana reform in the state.
South Dakota
Officials are considering aligning the state's hemp lab-testing standards with federal regulations-a
move that would make testing easier for cultivators.
Senate Bill 117, which was introduced by Sen. Joshua Klumb, would be particularly impactful
to THC testing, according to the Sioux Falls-based Argus Leader.
Medical marijuana is legal in South Dakota, but farmers in the state grow the most hemp in
the country-largely for fiber and CBD, the Leader reported, citing the National Agricultural
Statistics Service's 2022 National Hemp Report.
Under South Dakota laws, hemp must test at or below 0.3% THC, and anything that initially
tests above that must be retested. If it still tests above the threshold, the entire lot must be
eliminated.
Under the proposed law, hemp would need to be retested only if its initial results showed
1% THC or more-the same threshold as the U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements published
in 2021. Retested samples would not be permitted to test above the 0.3% maximum.
The bill also would extend license periods to three years from 15 months and reduce the
number of criminal background checks required to maintain a valid license.
24 March-April 2024 | MJBizMagazine

MJBiz - March/April 2024

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