Cannabis Legislative & Licensing Update: January 19, 2023
Dispensary License Applications in Texas & New York Adult-Use Licenses Get Closer
Apply for a Dispensary License in Texas
Big news out of one of the biggest states as Texas regulators are now accepting applications for additional medical cannabis dispensary licenses. Texas’s Department of Public Safety Regulatory Services Division made the announcement last week with dispensary licenses under the state’s Compassionate Use Program will be accepted until April 28 at 5pm Central Standard Time.
Applicants will have to complete a CUP-101 form along with submitting over a dozen plans for operation. Applicants who previously applied in the last round of dispensary licensing will be able to have their $7,356 application fee waived. It’s anticipated that only three dispensary licenses may be awarded for this licensing round, so this will be an incredibly competitive and exhaustive application submission process.
Cannabis Bills in Hawaii, Minnesota & Virginia
Hawaii Adult-Use Legalization
Moving west (very far west), Hawaii Lawmakers Announced a new cannabis Legalization Push For 2023. The state is the only west coast state without an adult-use program and the newly Seated Pro-Reform Governor Josh Green has indicated he would sign into law a legalization bill. Hawaii’s Senate majority leader said that “examining the state’s medical marijuana industry and other potential agricultural revenue streams that will promote diversity within Hawaii’s economy” will be one of the first priorities for the new legislative session. The state has had a long history of back and forth between governors and the state legislator on adult-use cannabis but advocates have said they feel “emboldened” this year.
Minnesota Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced
Say goodbye to warm weather as we swing north to Minnesota where lawmakers have already introduced a cannabis legalization bill. The 243-page bill is being debated in the House currently and has a good shot at passing given the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party’s majority in both chambers. If passed, the bill would decriminalize possession and use of cannabis with some exceptions and begin an expungement process for individuals with past lower-level cannabis convictions. A start date for legal sales has not been included in the bill.
Correcting “Weird” Cannabis Laws in Virginia
Meanwhile in Virginia, lawmakers are considering bills on allowing cannabis sales and enacting regulations for hemp-derived products like delta-8 THC and CBD this session. The Senate majority leader said it’s quote”weird” that it is legal to possess cannabis but not to sell it. Virginia has had its share of confusing cannabis laws, with decriminalization occurring in 2020 while full legalization is anticipated for 2024. Though it’s legal to grow up to four cannabis plants in your home in Virginia, its illegal to sell seeds and it remains illegal to buy cannabis for adult-use in a dispensary. It’s unclear if Democrats and Republicans in the legislature can make headway on this, let alone convince Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin to sign clarifying legislation.
70 Days until New York Adult-Use Applications?
And last but certainly not least, New York. The second adult-use cannabis store to open in New York. The dispensary, Smacked, is having a “soft launch” for only members of the press today while the general public can visit and shop this weekend. Located in Greenwich Village, Smacked is a CAURD holder, the first being opened by either those with past expunged cannabis convictions or select nonprofits.
A NY Cannabis Control Board meeting is expected later this month which would award more conditional retail dispensary licenses and the Cannabis Control Board’s proposed adult-use regulations for annual licenses remain open for public comment until mid-February.
Be ready to submit as soon as the application window opens, which could be as soon as the end of March which is just 70 days away.
Our cannabis application consultants who have helped clients win licenses and start cannabis businesses in 36 states are ready to work with you now.