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July 9th Marijuana Weekly Updates: States to Watch for Marijuana Legalization

by Faith Fidura July 09, 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. 

Arizona – Arizona dispensaries are continuing to sell medical marijuana extracts despite the Arizona Appeals Court ruling banning them. Dispensaries will most likely continue to do so until the issue is taken to the state Supreme Court.      

Arkansas –  The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will consider hiring an “independent consultant” to grade nearly 230 applications for dispensary licenses. The panel scheduled a July 12th meeting to hear from state officials and make a final decision. WeeklyUpdatesImageJULY9

Maine – On July 7th, the governor vetoed a bill revising the state's medical marijuana program. The bill would have replaced qualifying conditions with doctors' discretion, expanded the number of allowed dispensaries, and allowed home-based caregivers to grow their businesses. The bill now goes to the Legislature for override consideration.

Michigan – Marijuana business regulators recently extended the licensing deadline until Sept. 15 for businesses to be allowed to remain open under temporary approval. The state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs posted an advisory bulletin of health and safety rules for medical marihuana facilities.

New York – On July 3, New York’s Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo directed the state’s Department of Financial Services (DFS)  to support the development of medical marijuana and industrial hemp businesses by issuing guidance regarding safe and sound provision of banking services for the businesses.

North Dakota – On Monday, July 2nd, the state Department of Health announced the dates for which applications for medical marijuana dispensaries will open. Beginning July 10, 2018, the division will accept applications for entities interested in obtaining a registration certificate to operate a dispensary in the Bismarck and Fargo regions. In September, the division will open applications for the Grand Forks and Williston regions. The remaining four dispensary regions (Devils Lake, Dickinson, Jamestown, and Minot) are anticipated to have an open application period in January 2019. 

Oklahoma – On July 8th, the state Department of Health posted the final proposed draft rules for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority program. 

Utah – Opponents of Utah’s medical marijuana ballot initiative have dropped their lawsuit seeking to prevent the question from being put to voters in November.


Recreational Marijuana

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

California – In what has been dubbed the “Marijuanapocalypse,” any noncompliant weed remaining on shelves as of July 1st will have to be destroyed. One study estimates $350 million in cannabis products will be sent to the incinerator.

Massachusetts – On July 2nd, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted to award the state's first retail dispensary license to Cultivate Holdings in Leicester. 

New Hampshire – New Hampshire’s state Senate Minority Leader, Jeff Woodburn, has launched a petition get lawmakers to reconsider legalizing recreational cannabis.

New Jersey – Senate president Steve Sweeney (D) Gloucester said that lawmakers are “rounding the corner on marijuana” and that he and the speaker are committed to a goal of having the marijuana bills settled by the end of this summer.


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.