Legislative and Licensing Update: Week of April 12, 2021

Virginia timeline updates, Alabama moves through key approval points, and Idaho finally moves on hemp, plus progress in five other states in motion on cannabis programs.

Update: April 12, PM:

New Mexico‘s governor makes it official by signing the state’s adult-use bill into law. Stay tuned for more details.


Though Shadowed by New York’s fanare, Virginia’s Democratic-controlled Legislature passed a bill legalizing the possession of an ounce of marijuana last week, making it the 16th state to do so. You can legally possess in Virginia starting on July 1, but you won’t be able to legally purchase until 2024. 

  • Virginia’s Cannabis Control Authority will be able to accept applications starting in mid-2023. 
  • The bill also sets caps on the number of licenses allowed. 


Georgia’s Medical Cannabis Commission is expected to announce license awards in late May or early June for 6 production licenses. As a reminder, 70 teams submitted applications back in January for the chance to cultivate & process low-THC oil. Additionally, a bill is on the Governor’s desk to let each of the 6 licensees open 5 medical cannabis dispensaries (totaling 30). 


The moratorium on marijuana businesses in Grand Junction (out on Colorado’s western slope) is over, however, further action by the City Council is required to make licenses available. 

New Jersey

New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission launched its social media accounts and will hold its first meeting today, Monday. Things are moving right along in Jersey! 

New York

With competition already heating up for New York licenses, keep in mind that Social and Economic Equity Applicants will have access to approximately 50% of all licenses offered by the state. To qualify, a social equity applicant must be: 

    1. from a community disproportionally impacted by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition, or
    2. a minority-owned business, or
    3. a woman-owned business, or
    4. a disadvantaged farmer, or 
    5. a service-disabled veteran.

New Mexico

Oddly, New Mexico has not actually passed their legalization legislation — since they’re still waiting on the Governor’s signature — but already unveiled their Cannabis Control Division webpage


As if we needed more convincing that New York created an unstoppable wave, Roll Tide on down to Alabama where a bill to legalize medical cannabis has passed the Senate and a key House committee. 


Finally, In the only state that hasn’t legalized hemp after the 2018 farm bill, lawmakers finally sent a hemp legalization bill to the desk of the governor. 

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