Legislative and Licensing Update: November 3, 2021

Significant adult-use timeline update in New York and more delays in Mississippi’s medical marijuana rollout.

Plus, other cannabis legislative and licensing updates from New Jersey and Florida to South Dakota and Nevada.

New York’s Cannabis Control Board: 18 Months to Licensure

Cannabis Control Board has now publicly stated that it is “working on an 18-month timeline to build the requisite policies framing the new legal marijuana market. Not that they’re open, and not that they’ll be full-blown operations.” 


New York Cannabis Board Declares Marijuana Gifting Illegal

The Cannabis Control Board proclaimed marijuana gifting to be illegal, stating that “There is no gray market in New York state” 


New York: Officials Move to Vacate Over 400,000 Marijuana Convictions

203,000 marijuana-related charges will be suppressed from background searches and are in the process of being sealed or expunged, adding to the approximately 198,000 records already sealed as part of the first round of marijuana expungements.  


New York Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Cannabis and the Workplace

The New York State Department of Labor (“NYDOL”) has issued guidance making it clear that the prohibition on discrimination on the basis of legal cannabis use applies to all public and private employers in New York State, but so far does not extend to independent contractors and volunteers.


N.J.’s Medical Cannabis Dispensaries say they could sell Legal Weed now if the State Stops Dragging its Feet

The New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association posted on its website that the state’s alternative treatment centers have enough cannabis to meet both patient demand and that of a 21-and-older market, contradicting the state’s cannabis commission claims that the supply is not sufficient. 


Vermont Cannabis Regulators want Industry to be Small-Scale, Equitable

In one of their earliest and most important decisions, Vermont’s cannabis board has decided to prioritize small marijuana growers, defining these priority growers as indoor operations no larger than 1,000 square feet.



Mississippi’s House and Senate to address Medical Marijuana Bill in January

The House and Senate have been working on a bill that would allow marijuana use for terminal and some chronic illnesses, with the governor saying he would call a special session of the legislature to address the bill in January.


 South Dakota Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill As Activists Pursue 2022 Ballot Initiative

South Dakota lawmakers on Wednesday advanced a draft bill to legalize adult-use marijuana, with the Marijuana Interim Study Committee passing the legislation in a 14-10 vote. It must now go before the Executive Board before it is formally recommended to be taken up by the full legislature in 2022.


South Dakota Regulators also Released the Application form for Medical Cannabis Establishments 


Pennsylvania Agricultural Authority: Currently accepting 2022 cannabis cultivation permit

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said it has applied for a permit to grow or process cannabis in the 2022 season.


Florida marijuana agency seeks to double workforce to handle pending boom

DOH is seeking nearly $13 million to more than double the Office of Medical Marijuana Use’s (OMMU) staff to 165 employees to handle what it anticipates will be a dramatic surge in state medical marijuana sales in the coming years.


Florida Judge Lifts Ban on Online Cannabis Ordering

An administrative judge in Florida lifted the ban stopping third-party websites from assisting medical cannabis dispensaries with online patient ordering. The lawsuit was filed by Leafly after the Florida Department of Health (DOH) said theirs, and other sites, activities were “directly related to the cultivation, processing and dispensing” of cannabis, which health officials believed was a violation of state law until corrected last week.


In Michigan, Big Marijuana wants to Crack Down on Caregivers who grow Cannabis for Patients at Home 

After extensive lobbying by the Michigan Cannabis Manufacturers Association, the Michigan Cannabis Safety Act cleared the House Regulatory Reform Committee last week, and, if passed by the Executive committee, will radically change how caregivers are allowed to cultivate on behalf of patients, amplifying ongoing battles between a handful of large cannabis corporations and around 30,000 caregivers in the state.


At Long Last, Rhode Island License Lottery to Proceed

October 29, 2021 – Regulators awarded five out of six new medical dispensary licenses via a long-anticipated lottery. Here’s the list: Green Wave CC, Inc., Pinnacle Compassion Center Inc., Plant Based Compassionate Care Inc., RMI Compassion Center Inc., and Solar Therapeutics Rhode Island, Inc. 


Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board Extends Deadline for Dispensaries Stuck in Limbo Due to Local Moratoriums

Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board has extended the deadline for an additional year, until February 2023, for dispensaries to exercise their licenses in order to give operators time to wait out local moratoriums and municipal bans that are keeping their businesses in limbo.


Massachusetts’s treasurer made five new appointments to the Cannabis Advisory Board, further strengthening the qualifications of the Board to regulate cannabis.


Illinois regulators proposed changes that would allow the relocation of an early approval adult use dispensing organization and the text can be found on page 13,444 of the Illinois Register.


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