In #Louisiana, lawmakers advance a measure to legalize recreational #cannabis in the state. The bill, sponsored by #republican representative Richard Nelson, passed the #House Administration of Criminal #Justice Committee by a 7 to 5 #vote. Under the legislation, #adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to two and a half pounds of #marijuana, make purchases from licensed #retailers, and grow as many as 6 plants for personal use with a relevant license. A separate proposal would establish a specific #tax structure, while the state’s Office of #Alcohol and #Tobacco Control would be granted regulatory authority over the market. One of the legislation’s original provisions requiring the approval of Louisiana residents through a #2022 voter referendum was replaced during committee discussion with an amendment giving local jurisdictions the ability to opt out of allowing cannabis business operations in their area. This comes as a key House committee overwhelmingly cleared another measure permitting the state’s #MMJ patients to access marijuana flower, which has not been available since medical sales began in #2019. Though #March polling indicates 67 percent of Louisianans support recreational cannabis legalization, the chances of Nelson’s proposal passing are unclear. #Democratic #Governor John Bel Edwards, who previously opposed the policy, has more recently said he will reserve judgement until the bill reaches his desk. It now heads to the #Republican-controlled house floor before facing #Senate consideration.
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