Legislative & Licensing Update: July 27, 2022

Application Updates in 4 States. Local Opportunities in 3 States.

Fresh from his cannabis industry conferences in Germany, Brian Hart gives this week’s updates on license application processes in Mississippi, Alabama, New York, and New Jersey.

Plus, local license opportunities in Michigan, Colorado, and California. And, rumblings of increasing support for medical marijuana in Texas.

States with Active Application Processes

In Mississippi, an additional SOP for Remediation and Failed Batch was added to the application without notice. For those who are applying, this unannounced detail is an important reminder that the rules and regulations require repeated review as you prepare your application. As a reminder, application windows remain open for all license types, but those who plan to apply should act now.


In Alabama, the deadline to comment on preliminary rules is August 5 and the window to request applications opens in just 34 days. Anyone who wants to apply for a cannabis business license will need to submit a request during this finite window that closes on October 17. 


New York regulators are hosting workshops to help social equity businesses prepare to apply for marijuana dispensary licenses. In addition, the chief lawyer for the Office of Cannabis Management, Rick Zahnleuter, stepped down from his position. More application specifics are expected from the Office of Cannabis Management on August 5.


New Jersey is expected to award 81 new conditional licenses by the end of this week. That means this new batch of licensees will need to begin the conversion licensing process within the required timeframe. 


In Michigan, Colorado, and California, new local cannabis business licenses will soon be available. Those interested in applying for these licenses should be preparing business plans and financial models now.

In Michigan, at least 11 municipalities throughout the state will open license applications for adult-use cannabis with Detroit starting as soon as August 1. 

In Golden, Colorado, the city council approved Ordinance 2183 allowing up to four retail dispensaries to operate. The license application period opens on August 1 and is a hybrid merit- and lottery-based which adds complexity to the process.

In California, cities that had originally opted out of allowing dispensaries are now opting in and are expected to open application periods in the summer or fall of 2022. Applications are expected to be released in the Sacramento area, the Bay area, and the greater Los Angeles area. The application process, number of licenses, and timelines will vary by municipality.

Ballot Watch 2022

With six months to go, Wyoming activists have collected nearly 40 percent of the signatures they need to qualify marijuana decriminalization and medical cannabis for the 2024 ballot. 

Signature verification is still pending in the handful of states with hopeful ballot initiatives for the November 2022 election cycle.

States to Watch for Action & Opportunity

In Texas, rumblings of cannabis support intensify as Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller formally expressed  support to expand medical cannabis access and some on-the-ground sources go as far as saying we could see an expansion of the current medical program as early as this October. Cannabis entrepreneurs in Texas should be gearing up their business plans now.

In Other General Cannabis News

In South Dakota, Unity Road is the first state-licensed medical cannabis dispensary that has opened its doors for business.

In Connecticut state regulators discussed expectations that many of the 18 dispensaries will become hybrid dispensaries to accommodate for adult use legalization later this year and Connecticut regulators filed marijuana business rules.

North Carolina’s House of Representatives senator Bill Rabon is gathering support to pass his medical cannabis bill.

Oregon regulators are accepting applications to serve on psilocybin services rules advisory committees.

Hawaii Republican gubernatorial candidate BJ Penn said he supports legalizing marijuana.

Montana regulators proposed rules on additional canopy license tiers for marijuana cultivators and authorizing dispensary customer loyalty programs.


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