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May 14th Marijuana Weekly Updates: States to Watch for Marijuana Legalization

by Faith Fidura May 14, 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: 


CBD Program

The following states introduced legislation to allow qualified patients to possess and consume cannabidiol, a marijuana derivative.

Georgia – House Bill 65, a bill to add PTSD and intractable pain to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, was  signed into law by the Governor on May 7, 2018.


Medical Marijuana

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

Arizona – Senate Bill 1098, a bill to establish an industrial hemp agricultural pilot program in Arizona, was approved by both the House and the Senate and now awaits Governor Doug Ducey’s approval. If he doesn’t veto it by May 14th, Arizona will become the 35th state to make hemp legal under state laws.

WeeklyUpdatesMay14Arkansas – On June 7, the Arkansas Supreme Court will hear the arguments over a judge's decision to stop the issuance of the state’s first medical-marijuana growing licenses.

Colorado – House Bill 1263 was sent to the Governor’s desk for approval on May 4, 2018. The bill would add autism apectrum disorder to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana.

Louisiana – Both House Bill 579 and House Bill 627 have been approved by the Senate and now head back to the House for a final vote before being sent to the Governor’s desk. House Bill 579 would add glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain, PTSD and Parkinson's disease to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana treatment. House Bill 627 would add autism spectrum disorder to the list of qualifying conditions.

Michigan – The state still has not issued any licenses for medical marijuana businesses. There are currently 215 medical marijuana businesses legally operating with a temporary license while the state reviews their applications for an official one. If they have not received a state license by June 15, 2018, they will have to shut down operations until they do. 

Missouri – Two medical marijuana initiatives may be seen on the November 2018 ballot. The Secretary of State's office is currently processing the petitions for these medical marijuana initiatives and will disseminate copies to local election authorities for signature verification by the end of July. 

New Hampshire – Senate Bill 388, a bill to add two more medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, passed in both the Senate and the House and is expected to be signed into law by the Governor.

New Jersey – A final public hearing on marijuana legalization for the state will be held on May 12, 2018. The Assembly Oversight, Reform, and Federal Relations Committee will take testimony from invited speakers and the public on the impact of possible marijuana legalization. 

Ohio – Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Frye will hear arguments in a marijuana grower’s request for a preliminary injunction that would halt license processing until the company is heard. Three other lawsuits also have been filed challenging the state’s selection of 24 applicants to grow medical marijuana. 

Pennsylvania – Senate Bill 1160 was introduced to expunge criminal records of those who can prove their possession of marijuana was for medical purposes,  showing a recommendation from a doctor before February 15, 2018.

Utah – A campaign group called “Drug Safe Utah” sent door-to-door canvassers to convince voters to sign paperwork authorizing the removal of their signatures from medical marijuana initiative petitions they signed, in hopes of keeping the measure from qualifying.

West Virginia – State Treasurer John Perdue proposed legislative changes to help West Virginia’s financial infrastructure behind a medical marijuana program scheduled to start next year. 


Recreational Marijuana

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

California – The Bureau of Cannabis Control has sent about 1,800 cease-and-desist letters to cannabis companies. About 150 of the companies they contacted have shut down operations and began the licensing process. 

Michigan – In late April, the Michigan Board of Canvassers certified a successful ballot initiative by The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol. The Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act will appear on the November 6, 2018 ballot. 

Wisconsin – A Milwaukee County Board committee voted to put a marijuana referendum on the November ballot. Now that the proposed referendum has been approved by the committee, it will head to the full Milwaukee County Board. It will consider the measure at a May 24 meeting.


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.