The bill HB 470-FN aims to amend the Controlled Drug Act by redefining drug paraphernalia to exclude drug checking equipment. This change is in response to the public health crisis of drug overdoses, particularly from synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The bill proposes to remove testing equipment used for identifying or analyzing controlled substances from the definition of drug paraphernalia and instead specifies that items such as fentanyl test strips and other materials used for testing the presence of substances in drugs are not considered paraphernalia. It also clarifies that drug checking equipment used by harm reduction services is exempt from being classified as paraphernalia.

Additionally, the bill introduces new definitions for terms related to drug checking and harm reduction. It permits activities such as obtaining, possessing, and using drug checking equipment, and allows for the possession and transport of drug supplies and controlled substances for analysis. The bill authorizes the use of state funds, including opioid litigation settlement proceeds, for drug checking activities and provides legal protections for individuals engaged in these authorized activities. The bill includes a fiscal note indicating a potential decrease in expenditures due to fewer criminal prosecutions, and it sets the effective date of the act as January 1, 2025.

Statutes affected:
Introduced: 318-B:1, 318-B:2
As Amended by the House: 318-B:1, 318-B:2