Legislative and Licensing Update: Week of March 29, 2021

Regional and State Level Cannabis Legalization News of Note

With so many states in motion with some level of legalization efforts, details are changing quickly. Here’s a quick recap for this week from Sumer Thomas, part of our team who has helped clients win licenses and start cannabis businesses in 31 states and internationally.

East Coast: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware

Western States: New Mexico, Arizona

Central U.S.: Ohio


In the East

Update: March 31 PM: It’s official! Governor Cuomo signed the adult-use bill into law.

New York – After months of negotiations, New York lawmakers and the governor have reached a tentative deal on a bill to legalize. The bill was just released (MRTA Bill) and is now headed for the governor’s desk for signature. Licenses will be limited though no limits set yet. Here’s what else we know now:

    • 50% social equity licenses
    • home grow will be allowed
    • automatic expungement of cannabis offenses
    • only microbusinesses can be verticals
    • medical patients can get a 60-day supply instead of 30

New Jersey finally has a Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The governor appointed a new committee member because the commission lacked a member of a national organization with a stated mission of opposing inequality. Now, the group will have a Latina woman, a Latino man, a white woman, a Black man, and a Black woman. 

    • The regulations are expected to be out on August 23, 2021. 

Riding the East Coast wave, Connecticut and Delaware both have legalization bills moving through the legislature.


Out West 

Update: April 1 AM: The New Mexico legislature voted to approved adult-use last night. Governor Grisham is expected to sign the legislation quickly.

New Mexico legislature goes into a special session tomorrow forced by the Governor to take up cannabis legalization. The most recent draft would require rules for the market to be implemented by January 2022.

Arizona – Nearly 400 applicants applied (hopeful cannabis entrepreneurs ponied up $25,000 apiece) for a shot at an upcoming business license lottery, which will determine the winners of 13 new permits for vertical licenses for eight rural counties. The state will issue 26 more licenses later this year as part of the social equity program. (Adult-use sales started in January). 


In the Middle 

Ohio came out with new proposed rules last week. We learned it will likely have a competitive component and possibly a lottery system and we’re still waiting on the number of dispensary licenses and timeline. Updates from the state likely around April 19th. 

Check back often for the very latest updates and contact our team to get started now.

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