Legislative and Licensing Update: Week of April 5, 2021

What a week for cannabis legalization efforts! Updates from New York, South Carolina, D.C., New Mexico, and Kansas.

With such a flurry of activity last week, we kept refreshing our news feeds throughout the day to keep up with the very latest. New York finally legalized adult-use, followed by New Mexico in a special session just hours later.

Read through our “cheat sheet” or hear details in this video summary and contact us now to get started on your plans.

In the East: 

New York passed its adult-use legalization legislation, and it was quickly signed by the Governor! 

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) unveiled a new government website for the Office of Cannabis Management or OCM – check it out here
  • New York’s Assembly majority leader said she thinks recreational marijuana sales could start as soon as within a year.
  • Per an official announcement, police in New York can’t arrest adults 21 and older for simply using marijuana in places where smoking tobacco is permitted—that includes “on sidewalks, on front stoops and other public places.” “As a result, smoking marihuana in any of these locations is not a basis for an approach, stop, summons, arrest or search.”

The best overviews of the new NY program are from Harris Bricken: articles here and here

South Carolina’s Senate Medical Committee passed “the most conservative medical cannabis bill in the country,” the Compassionate Care Act, sponsored by Republican Sen. Tom Davis. 

    • They would award 15 licenses for vertically integrated marijuana businesses and more than 100 dispensaries. 
    • Home cultivation would be prohibited.

In the District of Columbia, Letters of Intent are due on April 21 for 5 new licenses: 

    • 2 testing laboratories
    • 1 dispensary registration (for either Ward 3 or Ward 5)
    • 2 cultivation center registrations

Connecticut & Delaware legalization bills are still possible as they are currently working through the legislatures in these states. 


In the Southwest:

New Mexico passed their adult-use legalization legislation in a special session, and are now waiting on the promised governor’s signature. 

  • The start of recreational cannabis sales is set for April 1, 2022. 
  • They’ll have an automated system for reviewing and expunging criminal records for past marijuana activities that are now legal.
  • Home growing is allowed. 
  • Current medical marijuana companies will be able to convert their operation to also sell adult use. A limit has not yet been determined on how much they can grow.
  • Companies that are not currently selling medical marijuana will be able to apply for a license and grow up to 200 plants and open one dispensary. Those licenses will be available starting in September and they are prioritized for people that come from communities that were over harmed by the war on drugs.


In the Plains: 

Kansas has found support from some conservative Republican legislators, allowing a medical marijuana proposal to advance on March 29 after weeks of deliberations.


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