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April 24th Marijuana Weekly Updates: States to Watch for Marijuana Legalization

by Faith Fidura April 24, 2018

 Movement for Marijuana Legalization

As states continue to introduce legislation and initiatives to legalize marijuana, the Dispensary Permits team will keep you informed with our Weekly State Updates. If you missed last week’s updates, you can view them here. Since then, the following legislation has been introduced: 


Medical Marijuana

The following states introduced legislation to allow qualified patients to possess and consume medical marijuana.

Illinois – House Bill 4870, a bill to allow infused medical marijuana products to be administered to students by their parents, has passed in the House and now goes to the Senate. 

Louisiana – The Louisiana Board of Pharmacy has issued the remaining 5 licenses for medical marijuana pharmacies in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, Houma and Lake Charles. All 9 initial licenses have now been distributed, and the state plans to issue a 10th license in the future in a high-demand area.

Maine – A medical marijuana reform bill has passed in the House and Senate and is now headed to the Governor’s desk. The Gov. Paul LePage has 10 days to sign the bill. The bill would increase the number of people who can qualify for a medical marijuana card, increase the number of state-licensed dispensaries and allow registered caregivers to see more patients, hire more workers and run storefront operations.

Michigan – The first 9 medical marijuana businesses have been approved to begin the licensing process by state regulators. The businesses need physical locations and community approval to proceed.

New Jersey – The state Department of Health announced that physicians, caregivers and patients can now register, upload documents and make payments for their medical marijuana visits on phones, tablets, and other mobile devices for easier accessibility.

North Dakota - The North Dakota Department of Health extended the open application period for manufacturing facilities interested in obtaining a medical marijuana registration certificate until Monday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. Nineteen applications were received and two manufacturing licenses will be awarded. The state has announced that once two entities are selected for the licenses, information from them will be used to determine when the application period will open for medical marijuana dispensaries.

Ohio - State Senator Bill Coley has introduced a bill that calls for an audit of the state’s current medical marijuana program to clear up the uncertainty of the validity of the scoring of medical marijuana business applications and continue the implementation of the program. 

Pennsylvania – The state’s medical marijuana program will allow for dry leaf of flower form and add cancer remission therapy, opioid-addiction therapy, and spastic movement disorders to the list of qualifying conditions for use of medical marijuana.

South Carolina – Lawmakers have advanced the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, a bill to legalize medical marijuana, which has been in limbo for over a year. The bill will be sent to the full House for a vote in the 2019 legislative session. 

Washington – The state Liquor and Cannabis Board is conducting a study on how to set up and operate a medical marijuana home delivery system. Lawmakers want a report with recommendations by December 1, 2018.

United States – A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of an epilepsy medication made with a compound found in marijuana. If the agency approves the recommendation, as is expected, the medicine will be the first cannabis-derived prescription available in the United States.


Recreational Marijuana

The following states introduced legislation to allow individuals 21 years of age and older to possess and consume marijuana. 

Alaska – House Bill 316 to erase prior marijuana possession convictions has passed in the House and now goes to the Senate.

California – West Hollywood will join San Francisco, Oakland and South Lake Tahoe in opening social cannabis consumption lounges.

New Mexico – On April 20, 2018, the city of Albuquerque decriminalized the possession of an ounce of marijuana or less. It is now a citable offense that may come with a $25 ticket but no jail time. 

United States – On April 20, 2018, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York announced he plans to introduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana on a federal level.


Interested in Opening a Marijuana Business in One of These States?

Gain more information on your state of interest by filling out our contact form. A Dispensary Permits team member will respond to your request within 48 hours.

You can also schedule an hour consultation with one of our industry experts to ask questions, discuss concerns, and gain insight on best next steps for starting a marijuana business: Schedule Now.