Legislative and Licensing Update: July 14, 2021

Federal legislation in motion, plus cannabis licensing and legislative updates from Connecticut and New Jersey, to Georgia and Mississippi, to California, and states in between.



Federal news – Senators [Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)] finally released a draft of their long-awaited federal cannabis legalization bill today. It would deschedule cannabis, expunge prior records, fund equity programs, remove collateral consequences, and transfer regulatory authority to the FDA and other federal agencies.


Connecticut regulators launched a new website to help people understand the marijuana legalization law that took effect last week. 


Mississippi – Supreme Court rejected a request to reconsider its decision to overturn the voter-approved medical cannabis law. 


New Jersey – Legislative session ended before giving cities and towns an extra 60 days from the current August deadline to pass ordinances allowing, restricting, or banning cannabis businesses—a popular idea but introduced too late. 


Missouri – Gov. Mike Parson vetoed a bill that would have allowed medical cannabis companies to deduct business expenses from their state taxes like any other company can. 


Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) signed a bill creating a pilot program for harm reduction centers where people can consume illegal drugs under medical supervision. It’s the first state in the U.S. to legalize safe consumption sites


New York’s Assembly majority leader said she thinks there is agreement on a “framework” for making appointments to the state’s new marijuana regulatory body and that while the nominations have yet to be announced, work on a framework for sales has been continuing behind the scenes. 


Also in New York, the town of Riverhead, in conservative Suffolk County on Long Island, voted to allow dispensaries and onsite consumption locations, hopefully Nassau County and the rest of Suffolk County will follow suit. 


Alabama Nominations to the Medical Cannabis Commission have been finalized, subject to Senate confirmation.


Pennsylvania regulators identified 10 rural counties they say are underserved by medical cannabis dispensaries…Does that mean more licenses are on the way? 


Ohio regulators posted an updated map of medical cannabis dispensary locations. 

Also, and thankfully, a State Highway Patrol trooper successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on a man who attempted to swallow a bag of marijuana after he was pulled over for speeding.


California tax officials issued guidance on arm’s-length transactions for marijuana businesses. 


Georgia regulators met on July 7th and voted to finalize application scores for medical cannabis license applicants, but haven’t released them. The state’s next step is to contact the winners. 


A final bit of business news – Clark Hill PLC is bringing on attorneys from Hoban Law Group, and Hoban Law Group is closing. 



Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash


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