Legislative and Licensing Update: Week of May 17, 2021

Setback in Mississippi, dispensary bill signed in Georgia, and rapid patient adoption in Missouri. Plus, Federal research approvals and $1.7 billion in cannabis tax revenues for schools and infrastructure in Colorado.

Hear the details in this week’s news roundup.

Breaking news update: Just after this video was posted, the Alabama governor signed the medical marijuana bill for that state.

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash


After months of cannabis legalization progress, there was a setback in the south last week. The Mississippi Supreme Court on Friday overturned the medical marijuana initiative that voters approved last fall. Leaders with the Mississippi State Department of Health said the agency will stop all development of the medical marijuana program at this time, and the lieutenant governor said lawmakers will work to pass a medical marijuana program in January. If not, we expect it, at the very least, back on the ballot in 2022. 


The DEA is finally approving applicants for growing cannabis for research under a program that was first announced 5 years ago and has been the subject of lawsuits brought by researchers. At least three cultivation license applicants have been approved thus far. 

New Jersey

There was a meeting regarding cannabis regulation set for tomorrow, May 18th, but it has been cancelled. The next meeting is now scheduled for June 1st to cover zoning and new product types. 

New York

New York’s Assembly majority leader will participate in a 2.5-hour forum on implementing cannabis legalization on Saturday, May 22, covering effective dates, CBD and hemp, and how to prepare to enter the industry. 

Also, join us here at Canna Advisors next week for a 30-minute webinar on New York licensing —you can register in advance on our site, www.thinkcanna.com.


A Boston federal jury on Friday convicted the former mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts on most counts in a case alleging he stole from investors and separately extorted cannabis businesses in pay-to-play schemes. The convictions could total decades in prison. 


Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed a bill to allow 30 medical cannabis oil dispensaries to open. State regulators are expected in the coming months to award licenses to eligible applicants to begin cultivating cannabis and manufacturing oil extract products. Senate Bill 195 permits those awarded production licenses to also possess up to five retail dispensing licenses.


Still waiting on the Governor’s signature for their medical marijuana bill that passed both houses last week.


Arizona released regulations around the 26 social equity licenses they’re planning to open applications for later this year. Comments on the draft regulations were due yesterday, May 16. 


The Department of Revenue announced that retailers sold more than half a billion dollars worth of cannabis in the first three months of 2021. Since 2014, Colorado cannabis sales have generated $1.7 billion in tax revenue for schools, infrastructure, and more.


The medical cannabis patient count is growing rapidly in Missouri’s new program and is already hitting what we generally see after several years of medical market operation. 


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