Legislative and Licensing Update: December 08, 2021

At the federal level, a new bipartisan expungement bill plus new provisional medical marijuana licenses and key license application dates in New Jersey.

Plus, municipal opt-out watch in New York, social equity action in Arizona, draft rules for physicians in Alabama, and the potential for adult-use in Arkansas for the 2022 election cycle. At the decriminalization level, one step forward in Austin, Texas, but one step back in Maryland.


On a federal level, Representative Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) filed a new bipartisan bill in Congress to fund state and local marijuana expungement programs. 


In New Jersey:

Cannabis Regulatory Commission voted last night to award provisional licenses to 30 medical retailers, 10 each in the central, northern, and southern regions of the state. 

As a reminder, the window to apply for a New Jersey cultivation and manufacturing licenses opens next Wednesday, December 15, and the retail window opens on March 15. 

Lastly, New Jersey published a new document with “tips on preparing to submit marijuana business license applications”.


Neighboring New York’s December 31 deadline for municipalities to opt out of the cannabis program is fast approaching. You can monitor local government action with the ‘Municipal Opt-Out Tracker’ kept up by the Rockefeller Institute of Government. 


In Arizona, the Department of Health Services has started accepting applications for “social-equity” marijuana business licenses despite lawsuits seeking to stop the program and make it more inclusive. 


Alabama regulators released draft rules for how physicians can recommend medical cannabis and are accepting public comment on the proposed rules until January 4, 2022. 


Arkansas activists believe they will raise enough money to fund a successful signature-gathering effort to put a marijuana legalization measure on the 2022 ballot.


Maryland lawmakers declined to vote on overriding Governor Lary Hogan’s (R) veto of a bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia. 


And finally, at a local level, Austin, Texas activists submitted what they say is more than enough signatures to put a marijuana decriminalization measure on the city’s May 2022 ballot. 



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