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May 30th Marijuana Weekly Updates: States to Watch for Marijuana Legalization

by Faith Fidura May 30, 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 – The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that medical marijuana on college campuses is no longer a state crime. Those who hold a valid patient ID card may possess medical marijuana on campus.

California – On May 24, 2018, lawmakers introduced a new bill to exempt compassionate care centers from paying state marijuana taxes when they donate free medical marijuana to financially disadvantaged people. Marijuana Weekly Updates

Connecticut – On May 18, 2018, at the state party convention, Connecticut’s Democratic Party announced it has endorsed cannabis legalization as part of its platform. 

Illinois – On May 24, 2018, a House panel endorsed a proposal to expand medical marijuana use to those with opioid prescriptions. The plan would allow those with an opioid prescription to apply to the state’s medical marijuana program. 

Maryland – House Bill 2, a bill to allow for 20 new medical marijuana business licenses - 7 for growing and 13 for processing - was recently approved by the Governor on May 15, 2018. The licenses would be issued in such a way that ensures racial diversity among the companies that win them.

North Carolina – A new bill, House Bill 994, was introduced to decriminalize the possession of up to 4 ounces of marijuana. No penalty will be charged to someone with 4 ounces or less, but someone with more than 4 ounces would receive a Class 1 misdemeanor. Currently, possession of 1.5 ounces of marijuana is a Class 3 misdemeanor. Similarly, the amount punishable as a Class 1 felony would increase from 1.5 ounces to sixteen (16) ounces.

Ohio – On May 23, 2018, dispensary license applicants were supposed to learn whether or not they received licenses. The decision has now been postponed until June. The Board reported they are awaiting applicant background check information.

Oklahoma – The Oklahoma Department of Health has started making preparations for the possible event that Question 788 is passed in June. The Department has started drafting administrative rules to be considered by the State Board of Health in July if the question is passed.

Pennsylvania – A judge put a hold on plans to implement the research provision of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana law, siding with dispensaries and growers who challenged the Health Department's approach.


Recreational Marijuana

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

Colorado – In 2017, ¾ of the marijuana business licenses issued in Colorado went to recreational establishments rather than medical establishments.

Nevada – The Nevada Gaming Commission ruled unanimously that a gaming license holder can lease a building from a businessman who also rents to someone in the marijuana industry. This is the first time regulators had to decide how close a marijuana business may be associated with a gambling licensee. 

Rhode Island – On May 23, 2018, a new bill was introduced to legalize marijuana for the state of Rhode Island in a way that mirrors the regulatory framework set by Massachusetts. 

Massachusetts – Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission wrapped up its review of priority applicants for recreational marijuana businesses May 22. The commission received 320 applications for priority status—205 were approved and 115 were denied due to missing the April 16 deadline or failing to meet the requirements for consideration. 

Wisconsin – The Milwaukee County Board has approved putting a marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot.


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.