Cannabis Licenses in 2023: Top 12 States

Cannabis Applications – New York to Florida, Minnesota & In Between

As we enter the new year, the cannabis industry charges forward with a mix of making progress and facing headwinds. Though our industry continues to face uncertainties, what is clear is that opportunities to enter the industry will continue in the coming months.

In fact, cannabis news is happening so fast, this post will be out of date as soon as I hit “publish.” But, for now, here’s the roundup of where we expect to see cannabis license opportunities in 2023 across the U.S.

(In alphabetical order. See below for details by region and state.)

  1. Florida
  2. Kansas
  3. Kentucky
  4. Maryland
  5. Missouri
  6. Minnesota
  7. North Carolina
  8. South Carolina
  9. New York
  10. Pennsylvania
  11. Texas
  12. Virginia

Plus the US Virgin Islands

We’ll see license applications in New York and Maryland, for sure, with timing still unclear. Based on the NY draft regulations release date, the soonest adult-use applications will be published by the state is the end of March.  In Maryland, adult-use goes into effect in July 2023 and the state legislature will determine regulations and application details during 2023 session that runs from early January through April 10.

Rumblings in Virginia point to finally seeing adult-use application progress by this summer. One bill has already been filed for adult-use provisions. If you live in Virginia, contact your legislators and ask them to support HB 1464.

Pennsylvania is poised to legalize adult-use given the outcome of the 2022 elections. As in Virginia, now is an important time to call your state legislators and ask them to support cannabis legalization.

North Carolina and South Carolina medical programs stand a chance at passing in their legislative sessions. The governor of North Carolina recently indicated support for medical marijuana and that the bill could pass in this legislative session. Two medical marijuana bills have already been filed for the South Carolina legislative session. Advocacy in these two states is key. Speak up. Contacting your legislators only takes a quick phone call and it does make a difference.

Florida’s long-awaited expansion of cannabis licenses is imminent with the release of the Florida license application and pending timeline for “batches” of application periods.

In the West & Midwest: Expect Cannabis License Applications from Texas to Kansas

Rumblings continue to heat up about medical marijuana legalization in Texas. Some say we’ll see news as soon as mid-January, and two pre-bill have already been filed for the legislative session that starts on January 14. Again, contacting state legislators and building community support are the best actions that anyone hoping to apply for a cannabis license in Texas can take now.

Missouri will move forward with adult-use license applications based on the approval vote in November. License application timelines are still to be determined by the Department of Health. Regulators will be required to issue at least 144 micro business licenses through a lottery system with some social justice considerations and existing medical marijuana dispensaries in Missouri will be also be first in line to start adult-use sales with dual licenses.

Kansas and Kentucky are both showing signals of possible medical marijuana approval during their 2023 legislative sessions. And, a bill was filed just today in the Minnesota legislature. What to do in these states? You got it — advocacy. Call or email your state legislators. It takes just a few minutes.

In the US Virgin Islands, lawmakers sent their approved adult-use cannabis act to the governor’s desk this week, with Governor Albert Bryan expected to sign the bill.  

Other Contenders for Cannabis Legalization in 2023

Other states to watch for continued cannabis legalization include Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, and South Dakota, but are less clear on the potential outcome.

And, other states, like Mississippi, will continue to accept medical marijuana license applications on a rolling basis. While the process of conversion from conditional licenses to full cannabis licenses in New Jersey will continue. And, in California and Michigan, new cannabis licenses will be issued at the local-level.

Check back frequently for updates as our team keeps our fingers on the pulse of cannabis legalization and license applications.

Or, go ahead and book a consultation now with our team who has won licenses and helped clients start cannabis businesses in 36 states and internationally.

Get state-by-state details.

How to Prepare for a Cannabis License Application in Any of these States? Start Now. Don’t wait until the application comes out.

Our best advice to anyone who is wondering how to apply for a cannabis license in the coming year is to start earlier than you think you should. As in, start now with your business planning and financial modeling. Don’t wait until the application comes out.

One thing we hear from clients all the time is “I wish I’d started sooner.” The license application process is more detailed and arduous than many anticipate. Start now.

Rely on the expertise of our winning license application team to guide you through the steps you need to be taking right now.

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