2024 is poised to become a watershed year in the world of cannabis law changes – everything from workplace drug-testing, rescheduling classification and possibly some European countries going legal are on the table.
As public sentiment evolves and polls reflect major support for cannabis legalization, it is fast becoming the substance of choice for overall well-being. With much waited anticipation, let’s take a look at what is real and what is in the crystal ball… Lets take a look at what real and hopeful cannabis law changes the new year has.
2024 Real & Hopeful Cannabis Law Changes
Most California Workers Will No Longer Be Tested for Cannabis Drug Use (Real)
Workers that partake in cannabis use in their off-work down time will have more employment protections beginning Jan. 1 thanks to new laws.
Assembly Bill 2188 is an amendment to the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and prohibits employers from discriminating against a worker who tests positive for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their urine, hair or bodily fluids – or rather anyone who does not display evidence of active THC in their system will be protected. Therefore, people who use cannabis on the weekend cannot be penalized when they return to work on Monday.
As cannabis metabolites can show up in drug tests up to 90 days after consumption, this methodology is not a sign of current impairment, only that the person has recently consumed cannabis. Therefore, employers cannot use this as a discriminatory practice for hiring or current employment status. From a separate bill – Senate Bill 700 – employers will be barred from asking applicants about prior cannabis use (only drug convictions).
Employers will still be able to test for active THC in a person’s system, not to mention impairment tests that measure a person’s performance. Also, the law does not apply to those who work in the building or construction trade, or those who are subject to federal drug testing rules, such as truck drivers.
California joins seven other states with laws on the books aimed at protecting employment rights for recreational and medicinal marijuana users: Washington, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Montana and Rhode Island.
Twenty states — including Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Maine and Pennsylvania — only prohibit workplace discrimination against medical marijuana users.
Rescheduling of Cannabis (Hopeful)
Currently listed as a Schedule I drug under federal law (the same status as heroin), there’s a possibility that cannabis might be reclassified to a Schedule III substance. This move would acknowledge its medicinal benefits and lower the restrictions on its use and research. Rescheduling would be a significant step forward, potentially influencing federal policies around banking, research, and medical use.
Experts predict that there is a big possibility this may finally happy, just before the 2024 Elections. Doing so will immediately benefit cannabis companies more than any other reform or law, most especially when it comes to taxes because the current Schedule 1 category of cannabis prevents businesses from accounting typical business expenses. This would also be a big benefit to veterans seeking medical relief from cannabis use without the fear of risking precious governmental benefits.
Banking Reform (Hopeful)
The cannabis industry has been hamstrung by limited access to banking services due to federal restrictions. There’s a strong push for banking reform, which could come to fruition by 2024. This would allow cannabis businesses to operate more like traditional businesses, with access to loans, credit lines, and various banking services, thereby reducing the risks associated with cash-only operations.
Should the SAFER Banking Act pass, customers would finally be able to pay for their weed purchases using a credit card, and it would enable businesses to have access to capital, insurance, and even retirement benefits for their staff. The tax deductions would also contribute to businesses’ bottom lines.
Market Predictions for Cannabis Sales in California (Real + Hopeful)
The cannabis market in California is expected to continue its growth trajectory in 2024. With potential legislative and societal changes, the market could see an increase in consumer base and investment opportunities. This growth will likely be driven by the expansion of product offerings, including edibles, wellness products, and novel consumption methods.
Pre-rolls will continue to surpass flower – especially multipacks – which may result in price decreases for flower and oil. This should help to push for higher-quality prerolls, as well.
Europe Goes Legal (We Can Really Hope…)
Germany is actively working towards legalizing cannabis, with plans potentially set for 2024. The German cabinet has approved plans to legalize the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis for personal use and the cultivation of up to three plants.
The process of legalization involves several complex steps and coordination between different ministries. The German Federal Ministry of Health is currently drafting the law, which includes provisions for consumer health protection, child and youth protection, and aims to reduce drug-related crime and the black market. Notably, the plan allows German consumers to buy up to 30 grams of cannabis for private consumption and permits the cultivation of three plants per adult.
While the German government is optimistic about the legalization, it is also mindful of the need to align with European and international laws. Legalizing recreational cannabis presents challenges, particularly considering Germany’s membership in the EU’s border-check-free Schengen Zone, which has strict regulations on the import of illegal drugs across borders. Germany is exploring ways to progress its cannabis liberalization program without violating these international and European rules and regulations.
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