Legislative and Licensing Update: Week of April 19, 2021

Cannabis legislation and action continue the cycle of buzz, with notable actions in 9 states and at the federal level this week.

Get the latest updates for New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, New Jersey, and New York.

Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

New Mexico

New Mexico is supposed to start accepting applications for cannabis producers and micro-producers starting this September! On January 1st, they should begin accepting applications for all license types, and adult-use market sales are set to start April 1st. 


Regulators in Ohio will consider medical cannabis rules changes Monday and Tuesday, which will likely lead to additional dispensary licenses being made available in the coming months


Mississippi regulators released Proposed Testing regulations last week (with public comments due by May 11), and their Timeline shows that the draft regulations for the entire program should be out today and the public comment period will close May 15. 

North Carolina

North Carolina introduced medical cannabis legislation, which is special by having bipartisan support, so we’ll be keeping an eye on that. 

New York

Competition continues to heat up for hopeful cannabis business owners in New York, while residents are forced to wait for their cannabis convictions to be expunged. Technically, convictions are supposed to be expunged immediately and automatically. However, the law allows for the complicated process to take up to two years…so don’t expect a shiny clean record any time soon. 

New Jersey

New Jersey’s new Cannabis Regulatory Commission met last Monday and crept towards establishing the adult-use market. The meeting was full of formalities and little new information on the market formation.


Regulators in Missouri have approved 120 medical cannabis operators to do business in the state — that’s about a third of the total number of operators licensed. So we’ll continue to see that market growing rapidly. 


Denver regulators sent out alerts last week concerning proposed code updates. First, the City Council is considering allowing cannabis delivery and revising social equity opportunities. Second, if you’ve been working on a Denver cannabis business application you need to submit it before the new law is signed or it will be considered under the new rules and would not be compliant with past requirements. That signing is expected to happen tomorrow. 


Medical cannabis reform is advancing through Alabama’s legislature, though with very restrictive provisions prohibiting cannabis flower, smoking, vaping, and candy or baked goods, and allowing only capsules, lozenges, oils, suppositories, and topical patches.


A rather ridiculous medical marijuana program is going to the senate floor in Tennessee. It would not allow dispensaries in TN, but instead would require proof that patients obtained it from “a licensed medical marijuana dispensary in a jurisdiction where the sale of the cannabis” is legal. So, Tennessee is encouraging people to cross state borders with cannabis in their vehicles — what could go wrong? 

On the Federal front

A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers reintroduced a bill that would federally legalize medical marijuana for military veterans. Veterans would temporarily be allowed to possess and use medical cannabis in accordance with state law. Also, for the first time, V.A. Physicians would be allowed to issue medical cannabis recommendations. 


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