A cannabis industry association last week launched in Nebraska, which is one of just two states that has neither medical nor adult-use legalization. The Nebraska Cannabis Association is the state’s first organization dedicated to lobbying for cannabis policy, advising on regulations, and supporting cannabis industry entrepreneurs, the Hastings Tribune reports.
John Cartier, president of the association’s board of directors, said the group was formed because “it is not unreasonable to predict that some form of legalization will happen before this decade is done.” He added that there are already “several ballot initiatives” planned for next year which could lead to some form of legalization in the state by 2023.
In 2020, the state Supreme Court struck down efforts to legalize medical cannabis ruling that the proposal violated the state’s single-issue rule for referendums but this year, advocates have launched two ballot initiatives in tandem to legalize medical cannabis. One question would require lawmakers to pass bills protecting physicians who recommend medical cannabis along, with their patients who possess or use the product, from criminal penalty. The second question would require the Legislature to enact measures protecting private companies that produce and supply cannabis for medical purposes.
Another petition to broadly legalize cannabis remains on file with the Secretary of State’s Office, the report says.
The Nebraska Cannabis Association’s board members include Cartier, who is also the director of voting rights for Civic Nebraska and a member of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana; Andrea Holmes, a Doane University professor of chemistry who created the state’s first cannabis studies program and co-owner of multiple CBD companies; Dr. Amanda McKinney, a physician and founder of the Institute for Human and Planetary Health; and Grant Wistrom, a former National Football League defensive lineman who owns two medical cannabis licenses in Missouri.
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