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May 21st Marijuana Weekly Updates: States to Watch for Marijuana Legalization

by Faith Fidura May 21, 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 – Governor Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1098 into law on May 14, 2018. The new law allows for an industrial hemp agricultural pilot program in Arizona. Marijuana Legalization

Florida – On May 16, 2018, Florida Judge Karen Gievers heard testimonies challenging the state's ban on smoking cannabis. Gievers will soon decide if patients approved to use medical marijuana will be allowed to smoke it.

Louisiana – On May 16, 2018, both House Bill 579 and House Bill 627 were approved by the House and are now sent to the Governor’s desk for approval. 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.

Missouri – Medical marijuana legislation died this week, as a Senate hearing for House Bill 1554 was canceled and the legislative session ended shortly after on May 18, 2018. However, four medical marijuana ballot initiatives submitted their petitions to appear on the November 2018 ballot. 

New Jersey – A new bill was introduced on May 15, 2018 to allow for more dispensaries and cultivation centers to open and to permit more medical professionals to refer their patients.

Nebraska – Keystone State Testing doing business as Dakota State Testing was selected to conduct medical marijuana testing for the state’s medical marijuana program.

North Dakota – Two manufacturing facilities have been selected to move forward with the registration process. The two entities selected are Pure Dakota LLC, located in Bismarck and Grassroots Cannabis (legal name GR Vending ND LLC), located in Fargo. Once the division has a better indication of when manufacturing facilities will have product available to transfer to dispensaries, the open application period for dispensaries will be determined.

Ohio – A pair of Franklin County judges ruled this week against stopping Ohio's medical marijuana program to review the appeals of unsuccessful applicants for medical marijuana business licenses. The program will continue to rollout so patients may receive their medicine.

Pennsylvania – On May 14, 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of Health approved neurodegenerative diseases, terminal illness, dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders and opioid-use disorder to the list of qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana treatment. This makes Pennsylvania the first state to approve medical marijuana to treat opioid addiction. Additionally, eight universities were certified as Medical Marijuana Academic Clinical Research Centers. 

Utah – Drug Safe Utah, also listed in the lawsuit as Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Utah, sued Utah Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, making a long list of arguments about why the ballot initiative should not be approved.


Recreational Marijuana

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

Alaska – The state is currently processing 467 applications for marijuana business licenses, and another 46 marijuana business are set for inspection.

California – On May 18, 2018, the three California agencies overseeing the licensing for marijuana businesses submitted updated emergency regulations to govern the industry up to six months.

Massachusetts – The state’s recreational program may experience a slower rollout than expected as roughly two-thirds of the state’s 351 towns and cities have either banned or issued moratoriums on marijuana businesses, according to The Boston Globe Newspaper. 

Nevada – The Department of Taxation will be accepting applications for recreational marijuana businesses from existing medical marijuana licensees from June 13 – 26, 2018. The Department will also accepting applications for dispensary licenses in White Pine County from existing medical marijuana licensees from June 14 – 27, 2018.


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.