Weekly Legislative & Licensing Update: February 10, 2022

New York cannabis regulators moving “as fast as humanly possible”.

In this week’s cannabis legislative and licensing update, final passage in Mississippi, regulators moving “as fast as humanly possible” in New York, plus progress reports from South Dakota to South Carolina, and Connecticut and Pennsylvania to New Mexico. And continued watch of the SAFE Banking Act and Mexico’s legalization efforts.

Mississippi legalized medical marijuana…again! Governor Tate Reeves (R) signed a medical marijuana bill into law. In a statement, he reiterated his concerns with the reform but praised lawmakers for making “significant improvements” to earlier drafts.  Also, the statute requires the state to accept applications after 120 days of the bill’s passage (that’s around June of this year). 

The director of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management said regulators are “moving as fast as humanly possible” and are aiming to open up recreational marijuana licensing by the end of this year.

The South Dakota Senate Local Government Committee approved a bill to allow unzoned municipalities to prohibit medical cannabis businesses from being located in sensitive land use areas. The bill also lets an unzoned municipality establish “reasonable setbacks” and says a “minimum distance” between cannabis establishments may be required but doesn’t define those distances.

South Carolina senators filed more than two dozen amendments to a medical cannabis bill being debated on the floor. We’re keeping an eye on this one! 

Connecticut regulators began accepting recreational marijuana business license applications. Adult-use cannabis retail sales are anticipated to begin in the state by the end of 2022.

The House of Representatives formally approved marijuana banking legislation as part of a package of several amendments. It’s the sixth time that the SAFE Banking Act has advanced through the chamber. Final passage by the House of the large-scale bill the measure is now attached to is expected on Friday, but the Senate’s passage is another story.

The Pennsylvania Senate Law and Justice Committee held the Republican-controlled legislature’s first-ever hearing on marijuana legalization. The panel’s GOP chairman plans to hold two more hearings and then file a legal cannabis bill. 

Albuquerque, New Mexico officials are accepting marijuana retail applications. Properly completed applications will be verified and approved on a first come, first served basis.

Legislators in Maryland have launched another attempt to legalize recreational cannabis, including social equity measures. The move comes after an adult-use cannabis legalization effort failed in Maryland last year. House Bill 1, introduced in the state Legislature in January, would legalize recreational marijuana possession and use on or after July 1, 2023, if voters approve a ballot question in the November 2022 election.

Leafly Holdings Inc., a leading online cannabis discovery marketplace and resource for cannabis consumers, announced on Monday that its common stock has begun trading on NASDAQ. Leafly began trading Monday after the cannabis marketplace was acquired by blank check company Merida Merger Corp. Merida is changing its name to Leafly as part of the deal. 

Mexico’s Senate majority leader said lawmakers will prioritize marijuana legalization legislation this session.



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