Stay up to date with the latest legalization and cannabis news with the CB 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.
Texas: Texas still hasn’t given up on trying to ban smokable hemp. The state of the smokable products have been in limbo ever since last August. The fight to keep these products legal in the state has gone all the way to the Texas Supreme Court.
After district courts decided the ban was illegal, the state’s Department of State Health Services filed a notice of appeal to the ruling in the Texas Supreme Court on Dec. 1. This notice of appeal supersedes the final ruling, meaning the smokable hemp ban in Texas is back in effect until the Supreme Court rules otherwise.
Florida: Florida officials will finally begin accepting applications for a long-awaited new medical marijuana business license reserved especially for a Black farmer.
One vertically integrated permit will be up for grabs, following an emergency rule enacted by the Legislature in October, and the state health department will accept applications for the license March 21-25, the News Service of Florida reported. The new license was required under a 2017 law passed by the Florida Legislature and is connected to a 1981 discrimination case that found Black farmers were disadvantaged in the state by federal officials.
The $146,000 license fee for whichever Black farmer wins, however, is also at issue: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has called the fee “discriminatory” because earlier MMJ business permit fees were less than half that amount.
Another round of licensing in Florida will follow at some point, the news service reported, with 19 more permits available for hopeful market entrants. The timeline is not clear yet, however.
South Dakota: The South Dakota Department of Health is beginning to issue medical marijuana cards, but officials say it could be months before dispensaries will have anything to sell. Municipalities across the state are also receiving applications for permits from those who want to open a dispensary. The businesses must sell marijuana that is grown in the state. And, with no cultivation facilities licensed in South Dakota, the dispensaries, for now, will have nothing to sell.
State health officials say they’ve received 11 cultivation applications. Commercial grow facilities are now going through the state and local application process. It could take months for them to begin selling cannabis. In the meantime, medical marijuana cardholders can grow up to three marijuana plants for personal use.
Arizona: The Arizona Department of Health Services has started accepting applications for “social-equity” marijuana shop licenses despite lawsuits seeking to stop the program and make it more inclusive. The new licenses are intended to help people harmed by previous marijuana laws before the drug was legalized for recreational use last year by giving 26 individuals licenses to run lucrative marijuana shops. But as with social-equity programs in other states, Arizona’s program run by ADHS is facing headwinds from people who don’t think the rules are fair to everyone who should have a chance to apply for them.
People who want to apply for the program have until Dec. 14 to submit the required paperwork. Those applicants are required to have begun a mandatory business training from
New Mexico: New Mexico will provide business loans of up to $250,00 toward small-scale cannabis businesses in an effort to provide economic opportunity to communities that were hit hard by past criminal enforcement of marijuana laws.
New Jersey: Several south New Jersey towns have been inundated with calls from cannabis-related businesses interested in setting up operations within their towns.
Vermont: The Vermont Cannabis Control Board has decided not to recommend specific warning labels wanted by the Vermont Medical Society on the health effects of cannabis products, and James Pepper, the board chair, explained to VTDigger how the board made the decision.
The Vermont Medical Society urged the board and the Legislature this week to require warnings that cannabis and its main active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol — THC for short — may cause psychosis, impaired driving, addiction and harm to fetuses and nursing babies.