Latest Cannabis News: May 21, 2024

Latest Cannabis News: May 21, 2024

MAY 21ST, 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.



The Justice Department on Thursday formally moved to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, a historic shift in generations of U.S. drug policy. A proposed rule sent to the federal register recognizes the medical uses of cannabis and acknowledges it has less potential for abuse than some of the nation’s most dangerous drugs. The plan approved by Attorney General Merrick Garland would not legalize marijuana outright for recreational use. The Drug Enforcement Administration will next take public comment on the proposal in a potentially lengthy process. If approved, the rule would move marijuana away from its current classification as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD. Pot would instead be a Schedule III substance, alongside ketamine and some anabolic steroids.


No Legalization

Nebraska: Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana says it has obtained the minimum number of signatures needed on two petitions aimed at putting MMJ legalization on the state ballot in November. The MMJ legalization campaign has collected at least 55,000 signatures in the required 38 counties on each of its petitions, according to the news outlet.




Indiana: Starting later this summer, Indiana lawmakers will split up into small groups to discuss issues surrounding education, health care costs and tax reform. However, cannabis reform, a hot-button issue due to the DEA reclassification announcement, didn’t make the cut this year.




Kentucky: Applications for business licenses open July 1 and close Aug. 31.

Types of business licenses include cultivator, processor, safety compliance facility and dispensary.



Louisiana: House lawmakers in Louisiana rejected legislation on Monday that would have laid out a regulatory framework for legalizing adult-use marijuana in the state, voting 57–37 against the proposal from Rep. Candace Newell (D).



New Hampshire: Following considerable debate on the New Hampshire Senate floor on Thursday, state lawmakers have revised and approved a House-passed bill that would legalize marijuana in the state. The measure, which senators advanced on a 14–9 vote, next heads to the Finance Committee before returning again to the chamber floor and then potentially going back to the House of Representatives for concurrence on recent changes.




Delaware: Delaware may create a pathway for existing medical marijuana compassion centers to enter the recreational business.

Temporary conversion licenses would be available if an existing compassion center meets certain conditions and comes up with the conversion license fee of $100,000, under legislation introduced in the Delaware General Assembly. (House Bill 408). According to the sponsors, the following conditions for a conversion license would need to be met:

  • Eligibility for renewal in the Delaware Medical Marijuana Program.
  • Documentation showing current ability to meet medical market demands, plans for continued service, and plans for supporting the social equity program
  • A signed labor peace agreement with a legitimate labor organization.
  • Submission of facility dimensions for cultivation facilities, if applicable.
  • Payment of the conversion license fee.



Minnesota: Minnesota lawmakers made changes to the state’s cannabis law to expand the social equity program to all military veterans, while also implementing new regulations for the industry, the Minnesota Reformer reported. Social equity applicants will receive benefits such as preapproval of licenses and early cultivation rights, which could allow them to start selling products as soon as the first retail stores open, possibly in the spring of 2025. In addition, the legislature implemented the following regulations:

  • Caps on the number of licenses granted to cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers.
  • A shift from a points-based licensing system to a random lottery.
  • Exemptions to license limits for cities and towns seeking to open municipal cannabis stores.
  • Permission for bars to sell both THC and alcoholic beverages to individuals who are not visibly intoxicated.

However, the OCM had not drafted formal rules for such dispensaries yet.



Ohio: Ohio medical marijuana companies are gearing up to begin the process of entering the recreational marijuana business. The DCC needs to file the rule in final form with JCARR, the Legislative Service Commission and the Secretary of State’s office by Wednesday. Then applications will be available before June 7. Medical marijuana dispensaries can apply for a dual license so they can also sell recreational marijuana. There will also be applications available for companies that only want to sell recreational marijuana.



Rhode Island: A Beverly Hills attorney who has filed lawsuits against cannabis social equity programs in CaliforniaMarylandNew York, and Washington state has a new target: Rhode Island’s nascent marijuana social equity license structure. Rhode Island lawmakers legalized recreational use of marijuana in 2022 – and the future expansion of its sale – while applauding the Cannabis Act’s focused goal of “social equity.” The Rhode Island social equity system was designed to favor small mom-and-pop entrepreneurs over big multistate operators, The Journal reported, and includes a residency requirement intended to eliminate out-of-state players. It allows for just 24 retail cannabis retail permits total, only 25% of which would go to social equity businesses and another 25% for worker-owned cooperatives.

The state has yet to issue rules or criteria on how social equity licensees will be chosen, The Journal reported.



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 for more information on how to apply for a cannabis business license.




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