Legislative and Licensing Update: May 26, 2022

More Licenses Awarded in New Jersey, New York & Illinois

Anticipated application windows opening in Mississippi and Alabama. Plus legislative action in Deleware, Kansas, Minnesota, and Rhode Island.

In New Jersey, the CRC met Tuesday and approved the next round of adult-use conditional licenses bringing the total to 152, and those also included the first 11 retail dispensary licenses. The next step for conditional licensees is to start their conversion application and to submit it within 120 days. 

Illinois issued new craft grower licenses—at least a dozen from what we hear and more on the way. 

Also in Illinois, a court order requires the state to hold corrective lotteries for the many petitioning and appealing dispensary applicants—to take place by June 24.

The first three social equity craft growers have been given the okay to break ground on construction. These licenses were awarded last year and had been held up in litigation until this March. This seemingly small announcement marks the movement we’ve been waiting on for years for the Illinois cannabis program. Construction permits for new craft growers, infusers, and dispensaries should continue to be awarded across the state. 

New York’s Cannabis Control Board approved 58 additional conditional cultivator licenses for legacy hemp farmers. This brings the total number of licensed conditional cultivators to 146. 

The application window for the Adult-Use Conditional Cultivator License closes June 30, 2022A Conditional Cultivator can grow up to 43,560 square feet (sf) of flowering canopy outdoors, 25,000 sf indoors, or they can grow both up to 20,000 sf in a greenhouse and under 30,000 sf total. Conditional Processor licenses for hemp processors should be coming soon. 

The next step for NY is the release of the Criminal Justice Involvedlicense application for retailers. The comment period for the draft CJI regulations ends May 31. It’s unknown how the regulations may change after the comment period. 

Connecticut received over 15,000 applications in their retail cannabis license lottery—no joke, though I wish it was. Over 8,000 were for the social equity pool and over 7,000 for the general pool. 

  • The fee was $250 for social equity and $500 for general, netting the state over $5.5 million in non-refundable fees. 
  • There are 12 retail and 4 hybrid retail licenses available—half for social equity and half for general applicants. 

In Mississippi, the Department of Health is overseeing cultivator and processor business license release. The state released an application checklist for cultivators that states the application will be available at 8:00 CST on June 1st. There is no preview of the application, very limited information, and no new rules and regs (since April 15). 

The Department of Revenue is overseeing retail licensing in Mississippi – set to begin July 1 in the statute – and has already released draft regulations and an application checklist

In Alabama, in anticipation of the application window opening on September 1, the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission announced they plan to submit rules by the end of June and adopt them in August. 

Delaware’s governor vetoed a bill that would have further legalized possession of cannabis, but the legislature may override him. 

Kansas legislators have until Monday to reach a deal on a bill to legalize medical cannabis, otherwise, the process will restart in 2023. 

Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill to clarify that hemp-derived products—including CBD-infused foods and drinks—are legal in the state. 

Good news: Rhode Island passed bills to legalize cannabis, and the governor is expected to sign soon. 

More good news: Missouri regulators transferred another $5 million in medical cannabis revenue to the state veterans fund. 

In Federal news, the Ninth Circuit held that the plain statutory text of the 2018 Farm Bill results in the conclusion that Delta-8 THC products derived from hemp are lawful (and can thus be trademarked).


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