Jim Bowen

Limited MMJ Bill Introduced in Nebraska Despite Electoral Defeat of Longtime Champion

Freshman Nebraska State Sen. Anna Wishart has introduced medical cannabis legislation, continuing the work of former Sen. Tommy Garrett who was not reelected, KMTV reports.  The bill, which faces opposition in the state from law enforcement agencies and Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts, is of the limited variety – permitting oil and pill cannabis treatments for less than 25 serious or chronic conditions.

According to the bill text, the measure would allow one “registered manufacturer” and four dispensaries in each of the state’s congressional districts and provides for independent laboratory testing. It also includes language that allows attorneys to work with the industry – an issue that often must be taken up by state Bar Associations or courts after legislation is passed.

Obtaining and keeping state-approved cannabis licenses would be costly under the regime, which calls for an annual fee “not to exceed” $75,000 for manufacturers and $25,000 for compassionate care centers and dispensaries.

A Medical Cannabis Board would be created and tasked with regulating the industry and adding to the qualifying condition list. The seven-member board would consist of five legislature-approved governor-appointees from each congressional district. Under the requirements, at least one member would be licensed pharmacist, and at least one would be “licensed to practice medicine and surgery.”

If passed, the law would take effect on July 1, 2018.

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