Stay up to date with the latest legalization and cannabis news with the C.B. Advisors. Every week, we will release a snippet of what’s happening with each state in the cannabis industry. Did you miss last week? No worries – click here for last week’s cannabis news.
Alabama: A Montgomery County Circuit Judge Thursday put a hold on Alabama’s medical cannabis program amid a lawsuit alleging the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) violated the state’s Open Meetings Act at its most recent meeting. The stay, issued by Judge James Anderson, followed a heated hearing where an attorney for the AMCC suggested the commission would air applicants’ “dirty laundry.” Applicants denied a license won’t be able to request an investigative hearing until after the stay is lifted, and the commission will have to put site visits and evaluations on hold. AMCC Director John McMillan said that it will be “impossible” to issue licenses at an August 31 meeting.
Alabama Always sued the commission last month over the appointment of former chair Steven Stokes. It filed a lawsuit against the AMCC, alleging the commission violated the state’s open meetings law at its August 10 meeting. The company, which applied for but did not receive a license, alleged that commission members privately nominated companies for public votes on license awards during an executive session.
The lawsuit alleges that commission members were instructed to seal their nominations in an envelope during the executive session, and the companies with the most nominations received a public vote in the August 10 meeting. The AMCC re-awarded licenses for the production and distribution of medical cannabis at the August 10 meeting, two months after stopping earlier awards amid questions about the evaluation of applications. The judge allowed other parties to join the suit by the end of the week.
Ohio: This November, Ohio voters decide whether to make recreational marijuana legal for adult use.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol this summer obtained enough signatures to get the citizen-initiated statute on the Nov. 7 general election ballot, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office announced Wednesday.
The law, if passed, would let Ohioans 21 years and older possess up to 2 1/2 ounces of cannabis and up to 15 grams of cannabis extract and keep up to six cannabis plants per person, up to 12 per household. Under the statute, existing medical marijuana facilities could obtain new adult-use cannabis licenses from the newly formed Division of Marijuana Control inside the state’s Department of Commerce — but that process could take up to nine months after it goes into effect, depending on how applications are processed.
New York: A New York judge blocked the state’s retail marijuana licensing program on Friday, dealing a devastating blow to the fledgling marketplace after a group of veterans sued over rules that allowed people with drug convictions to open the first dispensaries.
New York Supreme Court Justice Kevin Bryant blocked the state from processing or issuing marijuana dispensary licenses with an injunction that faulted regulators for creating a program that is at odds with the state law that legalized the drug. The veterans’ lawsuit argues that state marijuana regulators improperly limited the initial round of licenses to people with prior marijuana convictions, rather than a wider group of so-called social equity applicants included in the original law. The judge last week temporarily blocked the state’s program as legal arguments in the case played out, with Friday’s order extending the shut down.