JUNEAU—The House approved a bill on Thursday improving local control of marijuana use and sales, clarifying provisions of last year's voter-approved initiative that legalized pot.
House Bill 75 was put together by the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee and passed the House 35-2. It clarifies the ability of municipalities to regulate or ban commercial marijuana businesses and also sets up a process for businesses to register with and be reviewed by municipalities.
It also clears up some heartburn over the household limit for growing marijuana plants. There has been some confusion about just how many marijuana plants could be kept in a home.
Ballot Measure 2 allows people age 21 and older to grow as many as six plants. House Bill 75 sets a household limit of 24 plants. An attempt to reduce that on the floor to 12 plants failed 27-10.
The bill is a product of six meetings held by the Community and Regional Affairs Committee to discuss the needs of local municipalities for marijuana regulation. While some of the municipalities' questions, like whether or not they can ban marijuana clubs, are addressed by other legislation, the total package is seen an essential step when it comes to marijuana regulations.
The bill has been relatively low-profile compared to the juggernaut that was Senate Bill 30. That bill, which clears up differences between existing criminal law and Ballot Measure 2, has dominated much of the attention in both the Senate and the House during the session so far.
House Bill 75 now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.