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In Case You Missed It: Key Marijuana Law Developments in 2022

Date Development May 26, 2022 Governor Kevin Stitt has signed legislation enacting a moratorium on certain new medical marijuana licenses, effective August 1, 2022 and ending August 1, 2024. The moratorium extends to processing and issuing new licenses for:

  • Dispensaries
  • processors
  • Commercial producers

The law allows the Oklahoma authorization from the Medical Marijuana Authority to terminate the moratorium prior to the statutory date.

Earlier in 2022, Oregon declared a similar two-year licensing moratorium.

May 25, 2022 Governor Daniel McKee signed the Rhode Island Cannabis law. The statute :

  • Legalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana and the cultivation of up to three mature and three immature cannabis plants per dwelling for personal use.
  • Allows and taxes legal recreational sales from licensed retailers beginning December 1, 2022.
  • Allows up to 24 new licensed retailers in the state. The nine existing medical marijuana compassion centers can also be converted to sell to recreational customers, for up to 33 retailers.
  • Creates a three-member commission and a cannabis office to implement and administer cannabis laws.
  • Sets July 1, 2024 as the date for the automatic expungement of cannabis possession convictions.
May 25, 2022

The South Dakota The Secretary of State signed off on Initiated Measure 27, a ballot measure to legalize the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana.

If passed, the initiative would allow the use, distribution and possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and older and the home cultivation of up to three marijuana plants in one jurisdiction. where there are no marijuana stores. The initiative does not establish a licensed recreational marijuana market.

Measure 27 initiated will be on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot.

May 19, 2022

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that delta-8 THC is a legal hemp product under the 2018 Farm Bill and not marijuana or a synthetic cannabinoid.

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance marketed as having marijuana-like effects. In the absence of federal guidelines, states have taken various approaches to classifying delta-8.

May 7, 2022 Maine lawmakers passed a law allowing licensed marijuana stores to sell marijuana at offsite events. The statute became law without a governor’s signature. April 21, 2022

Adult cannabis retail sales begin at 13 existing medical dispensaries across New Jersey. In 2021, the state was one of many to pass legalization legislation.

The state Cannabis Regulatory Commission is accepting applications for new recreational cannabis licenses.

April 4, 2022 Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed HB 4016, establishing a moratorium on new licenses for all types of marijuana licenses except labs. The moratorium expires on March 31, 2024. April 1, 2022 The House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Clearance (MORE) Act. The law would, among other things:

  • Remove marijuana from the federal list of controlled substances.
  • Clearing some marijuana-related criminal records.
  • Provide for reinvestment in certain people negatively affected by the war on drugs.

The House passed similar legislation in 2020, but it failed to pass the Senate. This is the latest of several laws passed by the House, but not the Senate, to legalize marijuana and/or allow financial institutions to provide services to marijuana businesses.

April 1, 2022

Maryland voters will have the opportunity to vote on a state constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana in the 2022 general election.

The House of Delegates approved proposed amendment language that would legalize the use and possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

If approved by voters, the amendment will go into effect July 1, 2023.

April 1, 2022

Adult Licensed Recreational Marijuana Sales Begin in New Mexico.

In 2021, the state enacted the Cannabis Regulation Act, which legalized adult use of marijuana and defined licensing and market regulation mechanisms (NMSA 1978, §§ 26-2C-1 through 26-2C-42).

March 10, 2022 The New York The Cannabis Control Board has released for public comment new regulations that would create a conditional adult retail dispensary license. Holders of this license would be the first authorized to open for adult retail. The licenses would be for majority applicants who meet the following conditions:

  • A prior cannabis-related criminal offense before March 31, 2021.
  • Experience owning and operating a qualified business in New York.
March 2, 2022 The Washington The State Liquor and Cannabis Board has passed final rules amending quality control regulations. The rules:

  • Require pesticide testing on all cannabis products.
  • Allow the agency to test marijuana products for heavy metals.
  • Schedule time for selling existing products.
  • Make other technical changes to test procedures.

The rules will come into effect on April 2, 2022.

February 22, 2022

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed legislation creating a conditional adult cannabis grower license. This license allows existing hemp license holders to grow cannabis for adult use outdoors or in a greenhouse for up to two years, subject to social equity requirements and other conditions.

Conditional adult cannabis cultivator license holders can also manufacture and distribute cannabis flower without a processor or distributor license until June 1, 2023.

February 17, 2022 The New York The Cannabis Control Board has approved the filing of new regulations for the National Medical Marijuana Program. Under the new regulations:

  • Operation of the medical marijuana program will transition from the Department of Health to the Office of Cannabis Management.
  • Restrictions on naming conventions will be removed, allowing products to include cannabis strain names, if approved by the agency.

Once approved, regulations are subject to a 60-day comment period.

February 11, 2022 Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that, among other things:

  • Renames the Marijuana Regulatory Agency the Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA).
  • Transfers responsibility for oversight of hemp processing, distribution, and sales from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) to ARC.

MDARD will continue to regulate hemp cultivation. The amendments come into force on April 13, 2022.

February 4, 2022

The United States House of Representatives passed the America COMPETES Act, which includes the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The SAFE Act would allow cannabis companies to use federally insured banking institutions.

SAFE Banking has passed the House several times in previous years, both as a stand-alone bill and joined with other legislation, only to fail to advance through the Senate each time.

February 2, 2022 Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves has signed a bill legalizing medical marijuana. The legislation:

  • Allows registered patients with eligible conditions to purchase a daily maximum of:
    • 3.5 grams of medical cannabis flower;
    • one gram of cannabis concentrate; Where
    • 100 milligrams of THC in an infused product daily.
  • Prohibits any financial inducement for the marijuana industry from the Mississippi Development Authority.
  • Grants oversight responsibilities to the Mississippi Department of Health.
  • Does not limit the number of licenses.

In 2020, voters approved a medical marijuana program, but the following year the state Supreme Court struck down the initiative on technical grounds.

January 4, 2022

The Connecticut The Consumer Protection Department has announced a timeline for accepting applications for adult cannabis licenses, the first since the state legalized marijuana in 2021. The dates are staggered, with license types being accepted for:

Grower and retailer in the disproportionately affected area on February 3, 2022.

  • Micro-cultivator on February 10, 2022.
  • Delivery service on February 17, 2022.
  • Hybrid retailer on February 24, 2022.
  • Food and beverages on March 3, 2022.
  • Product manufacturer on March 10, 2022.
  • Product packager on March 18, 2022.
  • Carrier on March 24, 2022.

The initial application period lasts 90 days after each type of license is open for applications.

January 1, 2022 New laws and regulations governing marijuana have come into effect in several states. States with major changes include:

  • Louisiana. Licensed pharmacies can dispense raw or raw marijuana to patients.
  • Montana. Sales for adult use are now permitted in so-called “green counties” where a majority voted for the 2020 legalization initiative. All vendors are currently medically licensed. The State Department of Revenue is accepting applications for new license classes.
  • Oregon. The legislation clarifies the definition of “common ownership” for licensing purposes and specifies the grounds for license revocation and denial. Amended packaging, labeling and product transfer rules also come into effect.
  • Vermont. Updates to state cannabis laws clarify advertising restrictions and expand social equity provisions.
January 1, 2022 The deadline for municipalities to opt out of adult and on-site marijuana use licenses has passed at the end of 2021. None of New York‘s ten most populous cities passed opt-out resolutions.

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