Five states voted to legalize recreational cannabis this week including Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
- Arkansas – NOT PASSED – 44–56% against
- Maryland – PASSED – 66–34% in favor
- Missouri – PASSED – 53–47% in favor
- North Dakota – NOT PASSED – 45–55% against
- South Dakota – NOT PASSED – 47–53% against
What does this mean for Missouri and Maryland and what exactly lies ahead for New York in 2023? Without further ado let’s dive right in!
Missouri Cannabis Recreational License:
As of November 2022, Missouri is the 21st state to legalize adult-use cannabis through the passing of Amendment 3. While the law goes into effect on December 8th, 2022, purchasing adult-use cannabis in Missouri may not happen until early 2023. Those looking to apply for a cannabis facility license will have to wait until the state reopens the application process. Amendment 3 allows for existing licensed medical cannabis businesses to transfer their license to the adult use license type for the first year and a half of the program.
Missouri’s Impending Recreation Cannabis Licensing Application Period:
The Department of Health and Senior Services which oversees the current medical program will also regulate the adult use program in the state. As of right now, we don’t fully know what to expect regarding Missouri’s next licensing application period. One thing that will differ from the medical licensing application process is that the new process will be a lottery system rather than the previous merit-based application scoring system. The number of licenses to be granted is unclear at this time however Amendment 3 states that the DHSS will issue an equal number of licenses to comprehensive cannabis businesses as they do to medical marijuana businesses transferring over to adult use.
In the November of 2022 midterm elections, Maryland approved question 4 which legalized adult use of cannabis in the state. Beginning July 1, 2023 adults can legally possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, Maryland is the 20th state to legalize the adult use of cannabis. In addition to question 4, a companion bill HB83 was also introduced in 2022. This bill which is currently at the Governor’s desk was designed to dictate the framework for licensing under the adult-use cannabis program.
HB837 stipulates that a report surrounding the general impact of cannabis legalization be submitted by the medical cannabis commission by March 1st, 2023. Based on this report, the new framework for the adult use program will be developed and implemented. It is likely that general licensing for Maryland’s recently approved cannabis legalization will not be available until late 2023 or early 2024. Expect more information and updates on Maryland’s cannabis legalization next year.
New York legalized adult-use cannabis more than a year ago but is yet to issue a single dispensary license. This has resulted in the sale of cannabis everywhere from bodegas to street corners. Therefore, the following requirements are very important for New York regulators to lock down before things become more complicated.
Adult-use cannabis licensees who are not in compliance risk their license being cancelled, suspended, or revoked or other enforcement actions being taken, as authorized by Cannabis Law and Title 9 of the New York, Codes, Rules, and Regulations (9 NYCRR).
Key Recordkeeping Requirements
- Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) applicants may be asked to submit the records and plans described in this guidance on the CAURD application and at the request of the Office. Failure to submit, or refusal to submit, required materials may subject CAURD applicants to denial or non-selection of the applicant for a CAURD license.
- CAURD licensees have an ongoing obligation to maintain up-to-date versions of all records and plans described in this document or submitted with their application. Licensees must submit such records to the Office upon request and have an ongoing obligation to disclose to the Office material changes in such records and plans. Licensees’ noncompliance with requests for such information from the Office may be grounds for a penalty or the surrender, suspension, revocation, or non-renewal of the CAURD license.
- 5 cities in Texas voted to lessen the police response to cannabis misdemeanors.
- 5 more cities in Ohio voted for cannabis decriminalization. Following the 20 others who have already passed similar initiatives.
- 25 of the 31 cities asked in Rhode Island about allowing cannabis businesses voted yes.
- The state of Colorado decriminalized several psychedelics, including psilocybin.
More than half of the US population now has access to legal adult-use cannabis, providing some optimism that we may see federal legalization soon
With Missouri cannabis laws changing to reflect the will of the people and the state, it’s important that you understand the legal requirements when growing or selling cannabis. That way, you can avoid being fined or shutting your business down. In addition, if you want to start a new business in one of these industries, then there are certain steps that go into getting that license before opening up shop. The legalization of cannabis in Maryland on the other hand is still being mapped out and will become more clear in 2023.
How we can help you get a Cannabis License in California:
At Cannabis License Experts, we provide you with the guidance to plan your cannabis business, acquire funding, navigate the legal requirements, and acquire the appropriate cannabis license for your operations.
As cannabis legalization in the U.S. develops, more and more licensed producers, cultivators, and retailers will be needed to meet the demands of consumers. Cannabis License Experts offers support from day one of starting your cannabis business, including strategic planning, floor plan preparation, site audits, SOPs, Preventive Control Plans (PCPs), and more.
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