Cannabis Legislative & Licensing Update: December 22, 2021

Municipal opt-outs in New York, floods of applications in New Jersey & Arizona, plus hopeful timelines in Virginia & Rhode Island.



Malta’s President, George Vella, signed a marijuana legalization bill into law that Parliament approved just days earlier. The country is now the first in Europe to legalize cannabis. 


New York has a deadline of December 31, 2021 for municipalities to decide whether they will allow retail sales of adult-use cannabis. Currently, 25% of the state’s towns, and 30% of villages, have enacted local laws banning adult-use retail dispensaries and on-site consumption lounges within their jurisdictions.

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, located within New York, has issued its first conditional marijuana cultivation licenses.


<b>New Jersey received 500 applications for cultivation and manufacturing licenses in the first 4 hours of the online portal being open. Regulators posted an FAQ about marijuana business license applications and also approved 30 medical cannabis dispensary licenses from 2019. 


In Ohio, the Senate approved a bill in a 26-5 vote to expand the medical marijuana program and allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis for any condition they “reasonably” believe patients could benefit from. 


Arizona regulators received more than 1,500 applications for 26 marijuana social equity dispensary licenses


The Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear regulators’ appeal of a lower court ruling that overturned their ban on smokable hemp.


The Virginia legislature’s Joint Commission on Cannabis Oversight voted to recommend speeding up recreational marijuana sales. If approved by the full House and Senate, existing medical cannabis dispensaries could sell to adults on January 1, 2023.


California cannabis companies sent a letter warning Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) that the legal industry is “collapsing” due to high taxes and strict regulations that make it difficult to compete with the illicit market.


Rhode Island’s House speaker says a final marijuana legalization bill will be ready for passage early in 2022, as negotiators have just one major issue left to resolve.


Illinois – An order issued three weeks ago by a Cook County judge is barring Illinois regulators from awarding and issuing sixty craft grow licenses that are, according Illinois law, due to be issued no later than December 21. 


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