Latest Cannabis News: November 9, 2021

Latest Cannabis News: November 9, 2021

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.



Texas: Delta-8, the popular cannabis extract that was recently and suddenly outlawed in Texas, is temporarily legal again. State district court Judge Jan Soifer on Monday granted a temporary injunction against the state to ensure selling or obtaining delta-8 is not a felony offense. It came as Hometown Hero, a CBD dispensary based in Austin, requested the judge block the state from listing delta-8 as a Schedule I drug, which effectively made it illegal.

The company argued an injunction was needed because the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Oct. 15 online notice, classifying delta-8 as a Schedule I drug, did not adequately notify retailers. The order from the Travis County judge said the action from DSHS didn’t comply with the state’s rule-making requirements.




No Legislation

Idaho: U.S. officials have approved Idaho’s plan for growing and transporting hemp with up to 0.3% THC, the cannabis compound that gives marijuana its high. The Idaho State Department of Agriculture on Monday announced receiving the approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture following a new Idaho law approved earlier this year. The agency said it will open online license applications to grow hemp early next week.

The Idaho hemp plan includes:

  • A ban on growing for anyone convicted of a felony drug violation in the past 10 years.
  • $100 annual application fees and $500 annual licensing fees for growers.
  • $100 annual application fees and $1,000 annual licensing fees for processors.





Alabama: The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission said Thursday it would not push to make licenses for cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis available earlier, meaning medical cannabis will not be available in Alabama before 2023. The law allows the commission to accept applications for licenses to grow or distribute medical marijuana on Sept. 1, 2022. Before that date, the law directs the commission to create a central database to register patients.

Supporters of the bill had hoped to see medical marijuana available by the fall of 2022. But the September date makes it unlikely that any cannabis could be grown, processed and ready for transport before 2023.



Arkansas: A proposed amendment was filed in Arkansas that would legalize adult-use marijuana and create a new market for cannabis businesses.

The measure filed Thursday with the secretary of state’s office – the Arkansas Adult Use and Expungement Marijuana Amendment – would allow for at least one cannabis retailer per 15,000 residents and one cultivation facility per 300,000 residents, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.  This marks the third recreational-marijuana proposal attempting to make the 2022 ballot in Arkansas.



Louisiana:  Louisiana will regulate delta-8 THC in food products as the state health department has started reviewing manufacturers’ and distributors’ plans, registering products, and issuing permits. Manufacturers and distributors seeking permits must submit floor plans of their facilities, plans for processing and recalls, and proofs of the labels that they plan to use on their products, according to Law360. They will also have to undergo an initial “preoperational” inspection in order to receive the permits.

Permit fees are based on the businesses’ annual sales and can cost up to $1,375. It will take the Louisiana Department of Health 10 days to issue a permit to allow a facility to manufacture and distribute consumable hemp.  The manufacture and distribution of products containing over 0.3% delta-9 THC or over 1% of total THC, as well as inhalable and dietary supplement products, are prohibited under the Department of Health’s guidance.



Maryland: The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission passed a new rule this week that will allow cannabis business owners to use their licenses as collateral for bank loans, reported the Baltimore Business Journal. The new policy in Maryland establishes the framework for a lender to obtain a security interest in the proceeds from a cannabis commission-approved sale of a grower, processor or dispensary license.

The new policy addresses:

  • Eligibility requirements for secured creditors;
  • The process for a secured creditor to obtain a security interest in the right to the proceeds from a Commission-approved sale of a medical cannabis license;
  • Eligibility requirements for a receiver;
  • Security protocols applicable to receivers; and
  • The disposition of a medical cannabis license.




Mississippi: The push for Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves to call a special session for a proposed medical cannabis program is looking less and less promising. There has been a back and forth between lawmakers and Reeves over the last month, making changes to the bill that was proposed by state legislators in late September. The bill going to regular session is something Wilson does not want. A special session could grant the bill its own stage, whereas regular session would mean it falls in the mix with the rest of the agenda state leaders hope to achieve. It could mean several more months before the bill passed, as well as the possibility other legislators could attach new amendments and provisions to the bill, which could result in less legislators voting for it and possibly the death of the bill.

If the bill does face a regular session and isn’t passed, Wilson says the next elections would be a reckoning for state leaders.



Missouri: Missouri medical marijuana officials proposed new rules this week that would let licensed dispensaries hold promotional events and publicize price discounts.

If they do so, state-licensed dispensaries would be required to include a disclaimer with any promotion that reads: “Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.” According to a July 9 email from regulators, reported at the time by industry publication Greenway, Missouri dispensaries “are not allowed to advertise price discounts on a particular product because that would result in disbursing medical marijuana as part of a promotional event.” The new rules would also allow Missouri dispensaries to sell marijuana seeds or plants, but only plants less than 8 inches tall (i.e., before they typically develop marijuana buds). Seeds and plants would have to be acquired from licensed cultivators only. Dispensaries would not be allowed to “alter the plant or care for it in any way other than watering.”



West Virginia: West Virginia’s first medical cannabis dispensary will open next weekend. Florida-based, multi-state cannabis operator Trulieve Cannabis Corp. today announced the grand opening of West Virginia’s first dispensary at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, November 12.

Trulieve announced its plan to enter West Virginia’s medical cannabis market in February, having obtained four dispensary permits from the Office of Medical Cannabis. Only days after opening West Virginia’s first dispensary, Trulieve will open a second dispensary at 137 Staunton Drive in Weston on Monday, November 15.

Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers says the company is thrilled to be the first to market in West Virginia and continue building the foundation for the state’s medical cannabis market.



South Dakota: South Dakota has launched its program to begin accepting applications for medical cannabis cards from qualifying patients.

According to an update on the Medical Cannabis in South Dakota website, physicians can now access the medical cannabis patient portal and begin certifying medical cannabis patients. The South Dakota Medical Cannabis Program also released a step-by-step guide on how patients can start the application process.





Connecticut: The state of Connecticut is going to track cannabis from when it is first planted to when it’s sold to the consumer and has selected a service to track the inventory. Cannabis was approved for adult use in Connecticut in June and the state Department of Consumer Protection Drug Control Division said it is going to be using an inventory tracking system to get real-time information on the cannabis inventory and to keep it from being diverted illegally.

The state announced Monday that it has selected Consultants Consortium, Inc., and its partner, Forian, for its Biotrack inventory tracking system.The system will monitor the movement of cannabis products in the state’s medical and adult-use cannabis markets, according to the state Department of Consumer Protection.

Officials said cannabis licensees will be required to enter information into the Cannabis Analytic Tracking System.



Michigan: The governor of Michigan on Thursday signed a bill that makes it so people with marijuana-related felony or misdemeanor convictions on their record are no longer disqualified from obtaining a medical cannabis business license.

There’s an exception for those who were convicted of distributing marijuana to a minor, but overall the legislation is meant to resolve a problem that advocates have identified. Given that people of color are more likely to have been targets of marijuana criminalization in the past, the restrictions on participation in the industry were viewed as discriminatory.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed HB 4295 on Thursday. Beyond eliminating the licensing ban, the bill, sponsored by Rep. Julie Alexander (R), also stipulates that elected officials and employees of federally recognized tribes can obtain a state cannabis license.



Montana: Marijuana industry stakeholders are concerned that a draft state rule implementing Montana’s adult-use cannabis law appears to limit industry employment opportunities for those with past convictions, even beyond the restrictions laid out in the state’s flagship recreational pot bill, HB 701, which passed this legislative session.

The rule is slated to be published for review in the Montana Administrative Register at the end of the week and heard at a public meeting on November 30. A copy obtained by the Daily Montanan notes that a conviction, guilty plea or plea of no contest for any crime in the previous three years would be “grounds for suspension or revocation of a (marijuana) worker permit,” as would be the “conviction, guilty plea, or plea of no contest to violating a marijuana law of any other state” at any time, among other offenses.



New Jersey: Recreational cannabis sales in New Jersey are ready to begin whenever state regulators give the green light, according to the New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association (NJCTA). As the group’s statement notes, the state’s Regulatory Commission is empowered to commence recreational sales at any time between August 22, 2021 and February 22, 2022. The ostensible reason to hold off on allowing extant retail locations to begin serving the general public in addition to medical patients is the question of supply—inventory problems have been a common headache when a state transitions from a medical regime to a recreational one and regulators try to ensure that medical consumers aren’t left out in the cold, unable to procure necessary medication.



Washington, D.C.: The D.C. Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill to help the city’s medical marijuana dispensaries, some of which say they have seen a steep drop-off in business this year because many patients who saw their medical marijuana cards expire during the pandemic have not renewed them yet.

The emergency bill allows patients whose cards expired since Mar. 2020 to continue using them to purchase medical marijuana through the end of Jan. 2022. It also creates a new two-year medical marijuana card (instead of the current one-year card), and increases the amount of marijuana a patient can buy at a time to eight ounces, up from four.

An original version of the bill Mendelson introduced also included provisions that would have ramped up civil enforcement against marijuana “gifting” stores and delivery services, which have grown in number in recent years and have been accused of stealing business from the regulated medical marijuana program.

But after an outcry from operators of the stores and their advocates, Mendelson dropped the enforcement provisions from the bill — though he warned on Tuesday that the issue would eventually have to be addressed.




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