Legislative & Licensing Update: August 18, 2022

License Application Periods to Open in New York, Alabama & USVI

New York will accept CUARD licensing from August 25 – September 26. Alabama cannabis license applicants must request an application form by October 17. US Virgin Islands opens first license application windows in October. Application delays in Detroit. Cannabis license, operating, and tax news in Massachusetts and Illinois. Plus ballot initiative updates for Maryland, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island.

Areas with Active License Application Periods


New York marijuana regulators announced they will officially begin accepting applications for the state’s first adult-use retailer licenses. These licenses are reserved for people impacted by the war on drugs and the application window opens on August 25 and closes on September 26, 2022. 

Also in New York, the Cannabis Control Board approved the first recreational marijuana processors, authorized additional cultivators, and signed off on rules for laboratory testing and sampling.       


In Alabama, the Medical Cannabis Commission amended rules for the licensing and regulation of medical marijuana. Hopeful business owners must pre-apply by October 17 to request a full application form, which will be sent out to requesters on October 24, 2022. 


In the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Cannabis Advisory Board (VICAB) approved draft regulations. Applications for cultivation licenses will be available starting October 3, followed by research and development licenses on October 26, manufacturing licenses on December 5, and dispensary licenses on December 27. The applications for each license type will remain open a month from their start date, and a review committee will score the applications. Once the applications are scored, regulators will publish a list of qualified applicants – those who score over 80%, and a lottery will select the final license winners.  


Massachusetts approved a new Equity-Focused Act, which also allows cities to approve cannabis consumption lounges and removes state-level 280E tax repercussions rather than denying federal tax deductions


Illinois IDFPR issued five more Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Licenses to applicants who were selected in lotteries last summer. The awardees join the 177 conditional licenses issued in July, bringing the total number of issued licenses to 182 of the 185 available licenses.


2022 Ballot Watch

Maryland election officials certified the final text of the marijuana legalization referendum that will appear on the upcoming November Ballot asking the voter if they want adult-use legalization 


North Dakota’s secretary of state certified that activists collected enough signatures to place a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.


The Arkansas Supreme Court ordered the secretary of state to conditionally certify the petitioners’ proposed legalization amendment, pending the court’s decision. 


The Oklahoma Attorney General submitted a revised Marijuana Legalization Ballot Title, which advocates do not plan to contest. If the secretary of state’s office announces that there are enough valid signatures for Question 820, the measure will be transmitted to the governor to formally certify it for ballot placement. 


In Rhode Island, voters in thirty-one of Rhode Island’s cities and towns will see measures on whether to allow cannabis businesses on their November ballots. 


States to Watch

In Michigan, a temporary restraining order preventing the city of Detroit from accepting applications for recreational marijuana licenses was extended, delaying the city’s plans to begin accepting applications for retail, consumption lounge, and microbusiness licenses on August 1. 


General Cannabis Industry News

Curaleaf is being forced to remove thousands of medical cannabis products from New York dispensary shelves after the company switched to an unauthorized potency labeling method. 

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