Latest Cannabis News: January 4, 2022

Latest Cannabis News: January 4, 2022

Shelby Knight

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.


Indiana: Indiana lawmakers will have their pick of cannabis reform bills to take up during the 2022 session, with newly pre-filed legislation covering everything from legalizing possession to initial steps for setting up the regulatory infrastructure for a marijuana market. Rep. Sue Errington (D) is sponsoring that infrastructure legislation—a proposal that the state’s anti-legalization governor recently signaled he could support.

The bill would not immediately legalize marijuana for adult use, but it would create a new Cannabis Compliance Commission and a separate advisory committee to “regulate the growth, processing, distribution, and sale of legal cannabis in Indiana,” including the state’s existing hemp and CBD markets.



Iowa: Last Tuesday Three Democratic state senators said they plan to propose a constitutional amendment that would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in Iowa for people ages 21 and older. “Marijuana prohibition has been a costly failure,” said Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City. “It’s ending across America because it has caused far more harm than good.”

Bolkcom and fellow senators Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines, and Sarah Trone Garriott, D-Windsor Heights, said they will propose the amendment in the upcoming legislative session. They did not know whether the potential amendment would muster any support from Republicans, who control the Iowa House and Senate.



Kentucky: Kentucky Democratic leaders announced on Monday that legalizing medical marijuana is one of their top priorities for the upcoming 2022 legislative session.

At a press briefing, party leaders from the House and Senate laid out their goals for the new year, highlighting cannabis reform as one of several major issues for the year in a list that also includes expanding healthcare, voting access, legalizing sports betting and universal pre-k education.



Texas: South Carolina hemp farming applications will be opening at the beginning of the year. Researchers at Clemson say in the four short years of legalized growing, permits grew from 20 to more than 200. For farmer Ariel Ezekiel, growing hemp is a rewarding challenge. “It’s definitely a different plant and a different process,” said Ezekiel. She’s been raising the legalized cannabis plant on 40 acres in Aiken since being awarded a permit in 2019.



Wisconsin: The governor of Wisconsin announced on Tuesday that he granted 30 pardons, primarily to people convicted of non-violent marijuana or other drug offenses.

This raises the total number of pardons issued so far by Gov. Tony Evers (D) to 337 during his first three years in office, the most granted by a governor in the state’s history at this point into a first term. Advocates have been urging state and federal executives to exercise this type of authority, particularly for cannabis cases as more jurisdictions enact legalization.




Louisiana: Medical marijuana patients packed Louisiana’s nine cannabis pharmacies on Monday, the first day of the expansion of the state’s program to include the raw, smokable form of the medicine as an option, though many complained about the cost of the raw buds.

Until Monday Louisiana’s only two legal growers — LSU AgCenter, Southern AgCenter and their private partners — could only produce the medicine in processed form like tinctures and edible gummies.

There were some long lines and waits at the nine pharmacies across the state, according to media reports.



Maryland: A Maryland lawmaker has pre-filed legislation that would place an adult-use cannabis legalization measure on the state’s 2022 ballot.

Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City), chairman of the House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup that formed last summer to study adult-use legalization in Maryland, drafted House Bill 1, which will be formally introduced when the Maryland General Assembly convenes on Jan. 12, according to a WTOP report. If approved by three-fifths of the Maryland House and Senate, the bill would place the following referendum question in front of voters in November: Do you favor the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Maryland?

If voters approve the measure, the Legislature would then add an amendment to the state’s constitution and advance a law to allow adults 21 and older to possess and consume cannabis, WTOP reported.



Mississippi: Mississippi lawmakers head back to Jackson next week. One of the first orders of businesses for the 2022 legislative session is expected to be hammering out how the sale of medical marijuana will be implemented in Mississippi. Tuesday, Gov. Tate Reeves indicated the legislators will have some work to do. Taking to social media, Gov. Tate Reeves explained his hesitancy for signing a medical marijuana bill.

“The bill allows any individual to get 3.5 grams of marijuana per day. A simple Google search shows that the average joint has 0.32 grams of marijuana. Therefore, any one individual can get enough weed to smoke 11 joints a day. Every day…. That would be 1.2 billion legal joints sold in Mississippi per year. Call me crazy, but I just think that’s too broad of a starting point,” said Reeves in on Facebook.

As the bill is currently written, it would allow 3.5 grams per day, or 105 grams per month, which is 3.75 ounces. If it is cut in half like the governor is requesting, that amount would be reduced to 1.75 grams per day, or 52.5 grams in a 30-day period, which would be 1.875 ounces per month.



New Hampshire: New Hampshire lawmakers will try this week to resurrect a medical marijuana bill vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu.

The bill would allow nonprofit treatment centers that dispense medical cannabis to organize as for-profit business corporations and limited liability companies. In his veto message, Sununu said while he supports the therapeutic cannabis program, the bill would create pre-ordained monopolies that would dominate the marketplace if recreational marijuana ever becomes legal.

Overturning a veto requires a two-thirds majority in both bodies. The bill passed the Senate 18-6 – a veto-proof majority – though there was no roll call in the House.



Ohio: A group seeking to legalize marijuana possession and cultivation in Ohio has failed to gather enough valid signatures to put the issue in front of state lawmakers, Secretary of State Frank LaRose told the group in a letter Monday. Coalition to Legalize Marijuana Like Alcohol needed nearly 133,000 valid signatures but fell 13,062 short, reported. Group spokesperson Tom Haren said he is confident that the needed signatures will be collected before a Jan. 14 deadline.

Should the petition drive ultimately succeed, Ohio lawmakers will have four months to decide whether to take up the issue. If they don’t act, the group can get the issue on a statewide ballot by gathering an additional 133,000 valid signatures.



Pennsylvania: On Dec. 29, Pennsylvania’s highest court confirmed a decision by a trial court that said the smell of cannabis cannot be the sole basis of a warrantless search by police officers. The State Supreme Court said law enforcement can use the smell of marijuana as part of the justification for a search, but it can’t be the only reason.




California: The new year brought a small bit of financial relief for California’s struggling cannabis industry. On January 1st, the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) began accepting applications for state license fee waivers. Cannabis business owners that meet equity requirements can apply for one license fee waiver of a single license per 12-month licensure period.

The license fee waiver comes as many in the cannabis industry are contemplating whether or not they can afford to stay in the legal cannabis market. Wholesale cannabis prices have dropped dramatically while taxes continue to rise, as dictated by Prop 64. Many Emerald Triangle cultivators find themselves sitting on product they’re unable to sell or selling units for prices at or barely above the cost of producing it. Industry insiders are putting pressure on the state and counties to enact policy reform to help the struggling industry.



Colorado: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced on Thursday that he granted 1,351 pardons for convictions of possession of two ounces or less of marijuana. The move focuses on people who are eligible for relief under a new law that increased the legal cannabis possession limit for adults in the state, which Polis signed in May. At the time, he directed state law enforcement to identify people with prior convictions for amounts under the new, two-ounce limit.

“Adults can legally possess marijuana in Colorado, just as they can beer or wine,” the governor said in a press release. “It’s unfair that 1,351 additional Coloradans had permanent blemishes on their record that interfered with employment, credit, and gun ownership, but today we have fixed that by pardoning their possession of small amounts of marijuana that occurred during the failed prohibition era.”



Maine: The Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services and a nonprofit trade organization called the Maine Cannabis Coalition have appealed a ruling that allows out-of-state businesses to operate medical cannabis dispensaries in Maine, according to the Portland Press Herald. In August, a federal court overturned Maine’s requirement that all medical cannabis dispensaries must be owned by Maine residents.

Wellness Connection of Maine and its parent company, Delaware-based High Street Capital Partners, had sued the state over the residency requirement, arguing that the law violates the Dormant Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits states from passing legislation that discriminates or excessively burdens interstate commerce.

The state and the Maine Cannabis Coalition filed notices of appeal in September, the news outlet reported, and submitted written briefs last month. Oral arguments have not yet been scheduled.



Montana: The new year in Montana brings the legalization of recreational marijuana to many counties.

Montanans passed the initiative back in November but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to purchase marijuana anywhere in the state. Those in what are called green counties — where a majority of residents voted in favor, will be allowed to have recreational sales.

But residents of red counties — where voters opted out of legal sales — will not have recreational sales, but still have the ability to make the switch as long as they put it up to a vote.

The Montana law allows for adults over the age of 21 to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana. There is a 20% state sales tax added to the purchase of recreational marijuana and some localities may have an additional tax.

Marijuana businesses will only be allowed to open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.



New York: With the passage of Friday’s deadline for New York municipalities to opt out of allowing marijuana retailers and consumption sites in their jurisdictions, hundreds of cities, towns and villages across the state will allow cannabis businesses to operate.

However, there are still a significant number of areas where cannabis commerce won’t be immediately permitted, with one list from the Rockefeller Institute counting 642 dispensary opt-outs and 733 consumption site opt-outs as of Sunday.

But while the institute’s dashboard is regularly updated, it notes that it “does not represent real-time, official information on municipalities’ opt-out decisions.”



Oregon: New year, new cannabis rules. In response to the rapid growth of the legal cannabis market, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) has greenlit several changes regarding recreational marijuana regulations in a meeting on December 28, 2021. For the past year and a half, the commission has partnered with the legal cannabis industry to develop new changes which will decrease violations, streamline oversight, increase THC potency limits, and develop regulations and child safeguards for hemp products.

The new rules will be adopted by the OLCC on New Year’s Day, though some of the changes won’t go into effect until 2023. To avoid mixing products with high amounts of THC with other items, hemp edible products will be limited to 2mg THC per serving, and 20 mg THC per container starting July 1, 2022. For cannabis connoisseurs, the new changes include some major perks for consumers, which include doubling the marijuana purchase limit from one ounce to two ounces, effective January 1, 2022. The commission has also approved the increase of edible concentration limits from 50 mg THC to 100 mg beginning April 1, 2022.



Virginia: The incoming governor of Virginia says that while he’s not interested in re-criminalizing marijuana possession, which became legal in the state last summer, he feels there’s “still work to be done” before he gets behind creating a market for commercial sales and production. In an interview with Virginia Business that was published on Friday, Youngkin made clear that he “will not seek to overturn the law on personal possession,” but he’s not making the same commitment with respect to cannabis commercialization.




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