Sweeping Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced in Missouri

A bipartisan cannabis legalization proposal in Missouri includes provisions for adult-use sales, consumption lounges, expungement, and banking.

Full story after the jump.

A cannabis legalization omnibus bill was introduced last week in Missouri, which would legalize cannabis for adults, allow regulated sales, expunge prior cannabis-related crimes, allow individuals on parole and probation to use cannabis, create tax deductions for medical cannabis patient fees and for cannabusinesses that can’t deduct business expenses from federal returns, create protections for the state’s banks to serve the industry, and allow bars, restaurants, and lodging establishments to provide spaces to consume cannabis, Ozark Radio News reports.

Republican State Rep. Ron Hicks, the bill’s sponsor, said in a memo to colleagues that the “Cannabis Freedom Act” was drafted in a way to incorporate elements from “every marijuana bill filed this session” to create a “free but tightly regulated market for legal marijuana,” according to a Marijuana Moment report.

“The Cannabis Freedom Act is the product of input from many different stakeholders including members of law enforcement and those who have endured incarceration for conduct that society now deems acceptable.” – Hicks in a statement via Ozark Radio News

In a joint statement, New Haven Police Chief Chris Hammann and former Carter County prosecutor Rocky Kingree expressed support for the legislation.

“Law enforcement does not need to be tasked with the thankless job of marijuana prohibition anymore,” they said, “and the Cannabis Freedom Act allows for the reparative justice actions that will continue the work of repairing the relationship and trust between the government and its citizens.”

If passed, the reforms would take effect in Missouri on August 28. The measure includes six co-sponsors, including four Republicans and two Democrats. It is not currently assigned to a House calendar.

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