In this marijuana news recap we look at the shifting laws across the country over the past month.
More states have legalized recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis programs have been expanded. And new business applications are available.
The future is bright for the cannabis industry.
Nevada Approves Cannabis Consumption Lounges
Nevada is on its way to having its first cannabis consumption lounges. Right before the legislative session ended, Nevada lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 341 allowing two types of cannabis lounge licenses*:
- One for dispensaries that want to add a consumption lounge on the same property (one per operator)
- One for standalone consumption lounges that can sell single-use products
*No alcohol can be sold in these establishments.
Consumption lounges are set to open by the end of 2021. Dispensaries can start the application process on July 1, 2021.
The only legal consumption lounge in the state is the NuWu Cannabis Marketplace on the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe land.
Louisiana Approves Smokable Cannabis Flower; Decriminalizes Low-Level Cannabis Possession
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 391 repealing the ban on smokable cannabis flower for medical patients.
The new law will take effect on January 1, 2022, and provide the state’s roughly 5,000 medical cannabis patients with an affordable option to treat their conditions.
Medical patients will be able to buy up to 2.5 oz of medical cannabis flower per 14-day period.
The governor also signed a bill decriminalizing low-level cannabis possession offenses (up to 14 grams of cannabis). Reduced penalties ($100 fine) take effect on August 1, 2021.
Ohio Adds Qualifying Conditions to Medical Cannabis Program
The State Medical Board of Ohio has approved three new qualifying conditions for the medical cannabis program:
- Huntington’s disease
- Terminal illness
Now, the state has a total number of 25 qualifying conditions, including AIDS, cancer, fibromyalgia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The next submission period for qualifying conditions is scheduled for November 1 through December 31, 2021. You can find out more about petitioning for new qualifying conditions on the state website.
Texas Expands Medical Cannabis Program
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1535 into law, adding two new qualifying conditions to its limited medical cannabis program and slightly increasing the THC cap on products.
The new law allows patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and any form of cancer to use low-THC cannabis.
The law also raises the THC cap from 0.5% to 1%.
House Bill 1535 will take effect on September 1, 2021.
Connecticut Legalizes Recreational Cannabis
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Senate Bill 1201, legalizing recreational cannabis. Sales are expected to start as early as May 2022.
The bill will reserve half of the cannabis business permits for social equity applicants.
The bill places THC caps on flower and concentrates. Flower can have a maximum of 30% THC. Concentrates will be capped at 60% THC.
Denver & Massachusetts Accepting Delivery License Applications
Denver is now accepting applications for cannabis delivery licenses. Social Equity applicants will have priority in licensing. There is no cap on the number of licenses available and no deadline for applications. During the first three years of the program, retailers are required to use licensed transporters for delivery.
In Massachusetts, regulators are also accepting applications for cannabis delivery licenses. During the first three years of the program, applications will be reserved for social equity and economic-empowerment applicants.
- One type of delivery license allows operators to buy products wholesale from growers and manufacturers and deliver them. About 400 social equity program applicants and 122 certified economic empowerment applicants are eligible for the license.
- The second type of delivery license allows businesses to charge retailers a fee to make deliveries. Regulators have issued one permit and seven provisional permits.
Colorado Limits Purchases of Cannabis Concentrates
A new Colorado law will limit the amount of cannabis concentrates that can be purchased by medical cannabis patients. The law will take effect on January 1, 2022.
- Medical cannabis patients will only be allowed to buy up to eight grams of cannabis concentrate per purchase, a considerable reduction from the previous 40-gram limit.
- Medical cannabis patients between the ages of 18 and 20 will only be allowed to buy up to 2 grams per purchase, with some exceptions.
Medical cannabis patients ages 18 to 20 will now require at least two doctor's recommendations to use medical cannabis.
New Mexico Cannabis Legalization Takes Effect
New Mexico's recreational cannabis legalization is now in effect. It is now legal for adults ages 21 and over to do the following:
- Possess, purchase, and give other adults up to two ounce of cannabis, up to 16 grams of concentrate, and up to 800 mg of edibles.
- Grow up to six mature and six immature cannabis plants, up to 12 mature plants per household.
- Produce edibles at home and make extracts that do not require volatile solvents.
- Possess and store large amounts of cannabis at home in a secured and locked place.
Adult-use cannabis sales are set to start in about 10 months.
Mexico Supreme Court Decriminalizes Recreational Cannabis
A limited ruling found that the prohibition of recreational cannabis was unconstitutional in Mexico five years ago. To this day, lawmakers are working towards regulations for the adult-use cannabis industry.
Just recently, Mexico's Supreme Court repealed the cannabis prohibition, effectively decriminalizing the possession, consumption, and cultivation of cannabis for personal use.
Adults ages 18 years and older will now be able to apply for a permit allowing them to possess up to 28 grams and grow small amounts of cannabis for personal use.
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