Latest Cannabis News: March 19, 2024

Latest Cannabis News: March 19, 2024

Sabrina
MARCH 19TH, 2024

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.

 

No Legalization

 

Nebraska: Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana is collecting signatures for a pair of initiatives that would decriminalize and regulate the distribution of the drug. According to Eggers, the group has at least 40,000 of the required 87,000 signatures for each petition. Eggers says the group is confident it will meet its signature requirement by the summer deadline.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2024/03/15/medical-marijuana-abortion-nebraska-ballot/72932984007/

 

Medical

 

Alabama: At the latest hearing on March 11, the unsuccessful applicants asked for an extended briefing schedule on the various motions to dismiss to accommodate an upcoming spring break for Alabama schools. The unsuccessful applicants’ request for a longer-than-typical briefing timeline delays the Court’s ability to rule on the pending motions for at least five more weeks.

A legislative fix could be on the way for Alabama’s medical marijuana licensing problems.

Sen. Tim Melson said Tuesday that he’s optimistic that legislation that would expand the number of integrated licenses available from the state will be introduced shortly after the legislature’s spring break, and hopefully can bring an end to the legal logjam that has delayed the distribution of medical marijuana to Alabama patients. Melson declined to discuss specifics of the proposed legislation, because as of now nothing has been finalized and lawmakers and attorneys are still working through possibilities. A source familiar with one draft piece of legislation told APR that lawmakers are discussing expanding the number of available integrated licenses from the current five to somewhere between nine and 15, which would essentially allow the state to issue licenses to all companies that could meet all of the other requirements under Alabama’s laws. However, to ensure the legislation receives support from the majority of lawmakers, it would place additional limitations on the number of dispensaries aligned with each integrated company.

Source: https://yellowhammernews.com/alabamas-medical-cannabis-industry-faces-continued-delay-from-unsuccessful-applicants/

https://www.alreporter.com/2024/03/13/a-legislative-fix-in-the-works-for-alabamas-beleaguered-medical-cannabis-licensing/

 

Florida: Smart and Safe Florida collected over a million petition signatures to put adult personal use of marijuana legalization on the 2024 ballot. The state is arguing before the Supreme Court that the amendment fails to accurately inform voters that marijuana would still be illegal under federal law. If the Florida Supreme Court rules the referendum’s language is legal by April 1, recreational marijuana will likely make it to the November ballot.

Source: https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2024/03/15/recreational-marijuana-legal-florida-pennsylvania-hawaii-south-dakota-new-hampshire/72954301007/

 

Hawaii: Lawmakers at a joint legislative hearing in Hawaii’s House of Representatives have advanced a Senate-passed bill that would legalize and regulate adult-use marijuana. In the joint House hearing, the panels each adopted a wide-ranging amendment that made several changes to the legislation. Some served to relax rules that critics had called overly strict and punitive. The bill currently includes an effective date of December 31, 2050 “to encourage further discussion.” It also asked that the bill take effect “no earlier than January 1, 2026″—which is currently the measure’s target start.

Source: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/hawaii-joint-house-panels-advance-senate-passed-marijuana-legalization-bill-despite-concerns-from-advocates/

 

Kentucky: In his Team Kentucky update, Gov. Beshear spoke on medical cannabis. Specifically, the bill that will go into effect on January 1, 2025. Officials say the governor was joined by Sam Flynn, executive director of the Kentucky Medical Cannabis Program, to announce significant progress as the program builds technical capabilities and a regulatory framework ahead of the full implementation of Senate Bill 47, which goes into effect January 1, 2025. Officials say the Beshear administration filed five new regulations that provide the framework for how Kentuckians with qualifying conditions can become cardholders. The regulations also establish qualification criteria, application requirements, card and renewal fees, digital registry ID cards, patient supply limits and additional documentation required for minors, caregivers and visiting patients. To learn more, visit this website.

Source: https://www.tristatehomepage.com/news/kentucky-news/gov-beshear-mentions-medical-cannabis-in-team-ky-update/

 

New Hampshire: New Hampshire’s House of Representatives passed legislation that would legalize marijuana in February if it can clear subsequent hurdles. According to the New Hampshire Bulletin, the bill is now being fine-tuned by the House Finance Committee and must pass the House again and be submitted to the state Senate by April 11.

Source: https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2024/03/15/recreational-marijuana-legal-florida-pennsylvania-hawaii-south-dakota-new-hampshire/72954301007/

 

Recreational

 

Maryland: On Thursday morning, Maryland’s Cannabis Administration handed out nearly 200 new licenses for cannabis business owners. Out of the 1,515 applicants, 84% were self-reported as minority or woman owned businesses. Well, those 1,515 applications boiled down to 172 licenses being awarded on Thursday.

Source: https://www.wboc.com/news/the-door-for-cannabis-businesses-in-maryland-swings-wide-open/article_f062ad42-e249-11ee-8b7c-87787917681d.html

 

Minnesota: Minnesota state cannabis regulators think a key to getting the state’s program up and running by next spring is a lottery. While the method in current law—deciding which applicants win licenses based on how many points they accumulate—might be just as fast, it is also more likely to attract lawsuits that will slow the process, regulators say. Litigation in other states, often over the preference given to what are defined as social equity applicants, has delayed the opening of stores and other cannabis businesses. Briner said in an interview this week that the state should alter its provisions that give social equity applicants a boost while also reducing the odds of successful legal challenges.

Here is how the OCM bill would do that:

  • Creating a temporary license system. Social equity applicants—either individuals or business groups with social equity participation—could apply for early temporary licenses as soon as this summer. If they meet the criteria and display financial and management preparation, and if there are more applicants than the number of licenses available, they would be entered into a lottery.
  • Allowing temp licenses holders to move toward opening. The winners of what Briner terms “a golden ticket,” could then move toward securing business sites and applying for local permission. If they remain in good standing with OCM, these applicants would be guaranteed full licenses when rules and regulations are finished and the legal program rolls out next spring.
  • Creating a second-chance lottery. Social equity applicants who did not get into the first lottery would have a chance for a second lottery, likely early next year.
  • Creating a third lottery. All other applicants, including social equity applicants who weren’t lottery winners, would be entered in a third lottery sometime in the first three months of 2025.

Source: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/minnesota-governor-indicates-support-for-adjusting-states-cannabis-law-to-avoid-lawsuits-over-licensing/

 

Virginia: Thousands of bills and resolutions are still on Youngkin’s desk, including major Democratic priorities to raise the state’s minimum wage and open a retail cannabis market in Virginia. Youngkin has until the end of the day on April 8 to take action on bills before lawmakers return for the General Assembly’s reconvened session on April 17.

Source: https://www.wric.com/news/politics/capitol-connection/gov-youngkin-vetoes-more-democratic-led-bills/

 

The Cannabis Business Advisors have more than thirty years of combined industry experience, spanning across the U.S. and around the globe. C.B. Advisors offers a comprehensive suite of services, including application and licensing preparation, operational analysis, merger and acquisition support, policy and procedures, exit strategy guidance, and business development planning.

Contact Info@thecannabisbusinessadvisors.com for more information on how to apply for a cannabis business license.

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