While Nebraska has shown potential for easing cannabis laws in the past, recreational and medical marijuana continues to be illegal. The state has, however, decriminalize small possession.
Recreational Marijuana in Nebraska
In a progressive move, the state of Nebraska has decriminalized the possession of a small amount of marijuana. First offense possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana is subject to an infraction and punishable by a fine of up to $300 and a possible drug education course.
The leniency ends there in the state of Nebraska. Second offense possession of up to 1 ounce is a misdemeanor, but carries just a $400 fine and up to five days in jail. Third offense possession is also a misdemeanor and subject to up to a week in jail and a fine of up to $500. Possession of greater amounts is punished more seriously, with up to a pound being charged as a misdemeanor, punishable with up to 3 months in jail and a $500 fine. Possession of more than a pound is a felony, punishable with up to 5 years of jail time and a $10,000 fine.
Medical Marijuana in Nebraska
Unfortunately, the state of Nebraska is yet to approve any medical marijuana laws. A medical marijuana initiative to amend the state’s constitution to legalize marijuana for patients with debilitating medical conditions failed to acquire the necessary signatures to make the November 2016 ballot. In 2015, the Legislature introduced a medical marijuana bill, LB 643, but the session ended without the lawmakers taking any action. Since that time the makeup of the Senate has fewer medical marijuana supporters and Gov. Pete Ricketts has been a vocal opponent to medical marijuana in the past.
CBD from Hemp Oil in Nebraska
Hemp-derived CBD products are legal under Federal Law in the United States; however, individual state laws are dynamic and fluid. Individual states may enact their own laws governing hemp-derived CBD.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Nebraska
The personal cultivation of hemp or marijuana is prohibited in Nebraska.
In May 2019, the Nebraska Legislature passed a bill (LB657) allowing Nebraskans to grow, process and handle hemp and hemp products in the state. The state Department of Agriculture will now establish, operate and administer a program to license and regulate those who cultivae, process, handle or broker hemp. License holders must be at least 18 years old and cannot have been convicted of a felony related to a controlled substance within the preceding 10 years. The department’s director will submit a state regulatory plan for approval by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
The new law replaces LB 1001, which classified industrial hemp as an agricultural product and gave the Department of Agriculture and universities the ability to cultivate hemp as part of a pilot program.
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