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.
North Carolina: A bill to legalize marijuana for medical use in North Carolina may not get a vote until next year, lawmakers said this week as the state budget and the redistricting process have become the primary issues being worked on in the final months of the year.
Lawmakers in the Senate held multiple hearings in recent months on the bill, but those advocating for it to pass say there are still some issues with it they’re trying to resolve before moving forward with a vote.
Pennsylvania: Two Democrats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Tuesday unveiled a new plan to legalize marijuana for recreational use, citing the proposal’s potential to bring in new revenue while also righting wrongs in the state’s criminal justice system. The proposal, introduced by state Reps. Jake Wheatley and Dan Frankel, would legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania for adult-use, automatically expunge marijuana-related offenses and release non-violent offenders from prison.
Wheatley said the legislation, slated as House Bill 2050, will set the bar for what state-level cannabis legislation should look like.
South Dakota: Cities across South Dakota are in the final stages of approving their medical cannabis ordinances, determining where and how many dispensaries can be set up in each municipality.
The South Dakota Department of Health is expected to release it’s finalized guidelines for cities next month, and those cities have been preparing. The Mitchell City Council passed it’s ordinance on Monday. And in Aberdeen, the City Council had it’s first reading of it’s ordinance this week as well.
California: Cannabis is coming to the California State Fair. For the first time, the fair in 2022 will host a competition — open to all licensed cannabis cultivators in the state — to judge the finest flower in California.
Entrants will be divided into three divisions: indoor, mixed light and outdoor. Judges will evaluate the cannabis flower, with seven individual cannabis plant compounds being tested and identified for awards. That includes two cannabinoids — CBD and THC— and five terpenes, which are naturally occurring aromatic compounds that give the plant its characteristic smell and which are a source of plant essential oils and resins.
Montana: Montana officials are preparing for the state’s recreational marijuana program to come online in January. Some are worried the process is being rushed.
Kristan Barbour with the Montana Department of Revenue is head of the new Cannabis Control Division and gave a committee of lawmakers an update Wednesday. Barbour and her team are charged with carrying out the policies passed during the 2021 legislative session that are guiding regulation of recreational marijuana in the state.
She says the most pressing tasks for her division are to fine-tune a new licensing and tax system, to develop a payment model and to execute the public rulemaking process for 30 new business regulations.
New Jersey: Marijuana businesses entering New Jersey are facing a sizzling market for retail and industrial cannabis real estate ahead of the launch of recreational sales, forcing them to search aggressively for appropriate sites in limited areas and pay premiums to secure them. “There certainly is a cannabis markup, as soon as the property owner realizes that it’s going to be a potential cannabis use,” said Rob DiPisa, co-chair of the marijuana law group at Cole Schotz and a partner in the firm’s real estate practice.
Boston-based cannabis multistate operator Ascend Wellness Holdings, which operates in northern New Jersey, found that the area had “arguably some of the most expensive real estate, commercial real estate, industrial real estate, definitely in the eastern part of the country,” Chief Strategy Officer Frank Perullo said.
Virginia: As state regulators prepare to launch a legal cannabis market, local jurisdictions will have one chance to opt out of retail sales before they start in 2024. Under Virginia’s new cannabis laws, localities will have a short window to hold public referendums on whether to allow recreational dispensaries within their boundaries.
The vote, to be decided by simple majority, can only take place after July 1, 2022 and must be certified before the end of 2022. The timeframe gives cannabis companies a chance to set up their businesses before the licensing process starts.
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