It isn't hyperbole to state that the 2013 legislative session has been the busiest in recent memory for marijuana law reform legislation. Here's a brief summary of some of the more significant statewide reform bills that have: a) been enacted into law, b) are awaiting final passage from the Governor’s office, or c) are pending floor votes within the coming days.

ENACTED LAWS:

Colorado — HB 1317, HB 1318
Summary: Establishes regulations regarding the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis to those over age 21; proposes excise tax and sales tax rates for commercial production and retail sales of cannabis; tax rates must be approved by voters
Status: Both measures signed into law on May 28

Kentucky — SB 50
Summary: Encourages state-sponsored hemp research; establishes regulations regarding the licensed production of hemp as an agricultural commodity
Status: Became law without the Governor’s signature on April 5

Maryland — HB 1011
Summary: Establishes an independent, 12-member medical marijuana commission within the state Department of Health; the commission will request applications from Maryland academic medical centers to operate 'medical marijuana compassionate use programs.
Status: Signed into law on May 2

LEGISLATION APPROVED BUT PENDING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE

Colorado — SB 241
Summary: Creates a program within the Department of Agriculture to regulate the commercial production of industrial hemp
Status: pending Governor’s signature

Hawaii -- HB 668, SB 642
Summary: Transfers the administration of the state's medicinal cannabis program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Public Health; increases the quantity of medical cannabis that may be possessed by qualified patients from three ounces to four ounces; increases the number of mature plants that a patient may cultivate from 3 to 7
Status: Pending Governor’s signature

Illinois — HB 01
Summary: Establishes a pilot program regulating the state-licensed production and dispensing of therapeutic cannabis to qualified patients.
Status: Pending Governor’s signature

Nevada — SB 374
Summary: Establishes rules and regulations for the establishment of up to 66 not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries
Status: Pending Governor’s signature

Oregon — SB 281
Summary: Expands the state’s existing medical marijuana program to include post-traumatic stress as a state-qualified illness
Status: pending Governor’s signature

Vermont — HB 200
Summary: Amends the penalty for the possession of one ounce of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine.
Status: Pending Governor’s signature

IN CONFERENCE

New Hampshire — HB 573
Summary: Establishes a statewide medical marijuana program and state-licensed dispensary system
Status: Awaits action in Conference Committee

PENDING

Hawaii — SB 472
Summary: Amends the penalty for the possession of one ounce of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine.
Status: Approved by Senate; Voted ‘recommit’ by House; pending further action in 2014

Maine — LD 1229
Summary: Asks for a statewide referendum on legalizing marijuana for adults
Status: Pending House floor vote this week

New Jersey — A. 1465
Summary: Amends the penalty for the possession of 15 grams of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine
Status: Approved by state Assembly; awaits Senate action

New York — A. 6716-A
Summary: Equalizes marijuana possession penalties to a civil offense
Status: Approved by state Assembly; awaits Senate action

New York — A. 6357
Summary: Establishes a statewide medical marijuana program and state-licensed dispensary system
Status:  Approved by state Assembly; awaits Senate action

Louisiana — HB 103
Summary: Significantly reduces penalties for repeat marijuana possession offenders
Status: Approved by House, awaiting Senate floor vote this week

Paul Armentano is deputy director of NORML.