Connecticut Official Hints at Delay in Launch of Legal Cannabis Sales

A Connecticut state official said on Wednesday that regulators working to implement the state’s legalization of cannabis still have many details to work out before accepting applications for business licenses and hinted that the launch of legal recreational marijuana sales may be delayed. 

Connecticut became the fourth state to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2021 with the signing of legislation by Governor Ned Lamont in June. The law became effective on July 1, with lawmakers originally anticipating that legal sales of recreational marijuana to begin in the summer of 2022. 

However, Michelle Seagull, the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, said this week that the launch would likely come later.

“We’ve been suggesting that there will likely be sales by the end of 2022, and we’re still aspiring for that,” Seagull told local media. “Obviously, we have to see how things play out in the next few months.”

Seagull told the audience at a “Business of Cannabis” breakfast held by the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday morning that state regulators are still ironing out some of the details of legalization. One issue still being discussed is how to protect the existing market for medical marijuana, which began operating in 2012. Connecticut now has 18 licensed medical cannabis dispensaries across the state, all of which will be permitted to apply for a license to sell recreational cannabis, as well.

“It’s really important to us that we preserve the medical marketplace that currently does exist,” Seagull said. ‘It’s important to us that that market, which is working well and helping a lot of people, doesn’t get swallowed up.”

Many Decisions Left To Social Equity Council

Seagull also noted that many decisions still to be made, including what documentation will be necessary for social equity applicants, will be the responsibility of a social equity council appointed by Lamont and lawmakers. The 15-member panel met for the first time last month.

When asked about “large corporations trying to circumvent rules” to obtain social equity licenses, Seagull said that decision will be made by the social equity council, which will “need to take a look at ownership and corporate documents to understand who truly controls the business.”

An audience member, Matthew Ossenfort, said that he was considering a change in careers to the cannabis industry after 18 years in fashion. He asked if the criteria for social equity applicants could be expanded to include race, gender and sexual identity in order to more expressly prioritize participation in the cannabis industry by members of diverse groups.

“I hope the commissioner takes that question seriously, because my biggest fear is that if they only look at qualifications based on income, a bunch of licenses are going to go to people who can’t afford to actually get these businesses up and running, and the other licenses will all go to millionaires,” Ossenfort said. “The middle class should have a way into this industry, too.”

Kurt Smith, a panelist at the business breakfast who works as a consultant assisting cannabis businesses with licensing, planning, licensing and design, told the audience that legalization will affect many business sectors in Connecticut outside of the marijuana industry.

“They’re creating an entirely new industry that’s going to reach all of the businesses in this room,” Smith said. “The capital-intensive nature of this business makes it difficult for these companies to start up and have all of their own infrastructure, like HR and IT departments, so I think the ancillary business market is going to see that there is a lot of opportunity here.”

Smith is also a co-founder of Four Score, a licensed cannabis cultivator and retailer in Massachusetts. He suggested that Connecticut follow that state’s lead by making funding available to social equity applicants, noting that “many of the people who get social equity licenses won’t just have $20,000 sitting around to hire an architect.”

Smith also advised that rolling out Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis market will require patience and people should not expect regulations to be drafted right away.

“It’s going to take longer than everybody thinks,” Smith said. “It’s not going to happen on that timetable, because it always takes extra time to get these things right.”

The post Connecticut Official Hints at Delay in Launch of Legal Cannabis Sales appeared first on High Times.

State by State Cannabis Legislation – What’s Legal Now and Where?

Throughout the country, cannabis regulations are changing every day. Some areas are experiencing more dramatic legislative upgrades than others, but every little step forward still counts. At the moment, there are 5 states that come to mind because, one, they are making big moves, or two, they are conservative states that most people were expecting would hold on to prohibition for much longer.

This week we’re focusing on the East Coast and Deep South, with updates from Connecticut, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. To learn more about cannabis legislation, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter, where you will get all the latest news as well as access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products.


Connecticut

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D), along with other state lawmakers, just reached a compromise on an adult-use cannabis bill that will likely be implemented in late spring of 2022. The bill would finally lay the groundwork for retail sales to launch in the state. According to estimates from MJBizDaily, the Connecticut recreational market could exceed $250 million in sales in just the first year, and reach a total of roughly $725 million by the fourth year.

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Senate Bill 1118 has only just been drafted, however, and it still needs to a pass votes in both the House of Representatives and Senate. Opponents may still try to interfere, which could result in Gov. Lamont calling a special session on the issue this summer. It’s hard to say whether that will also delay the launch of recreational sales or not.

One of the major points in this agreement is offering priority licensing status to social equity applicants. According to the bill text, to qualify as a social equity applicant, the individual will need to have spent the last five out of ten years living in a “disproportionately impacted area, as defined by a jobless rate above 10% or a historically high drug conviction rate. Municipalities would be limited to one marijuana retailer and one micro-cultivator per 25,000 residents until July 1, 2024.”

Tennessee

Tennessee is a relatively conservative state, but the influx of new residents from blue states along the east and west coasts might be having an impact already. Last month, Republican Governor Bill Lee passed a limited medical cannabis bill that would lead to many changes in the way businesses operate within the state.

Once implemented, the bill will legalize possession of CBD oil containing up to 0.9 percent THC for approved medical patients. This is three times higher than the federal government’s cutoff of 0.3 percent. Additionally, the enacted bill would expand on the current list of qualifying conditions by adding the following diseases and disorders: Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, cancer, inflammatory bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease.

People would need to keep proof of their medical conditions with them at any time they are in possession of the cannabis oil. Additionally, there is still nowhere to legally purchase these products in the state. So, although it will be legal to possess now, it will have to be obtained illegally or out of state. Further legislation will be needed to regulate the manufacture and distribution of cannabis products.

Louisiana                    

Louisiana’s medical cannabis program has faced harsh criticism from industry advocates for making it nearly impossible for patients to access product. Over regulation combined with high prices, limited cultivation licenses (only 2 issued statewide) meant that patients numbers were extremely low, and as such, so were profits.

However, the program should see a major jump in registration starting next year, when House Bill 391 is enacted and dispensaries will be permitted to sell smokable flower. In many established markets, flower accounts for roughly 50 percent of total sales and recent surveys show the demand for smokables is high in Louisiana.

As is standard, patients will have a purchasing limit, although it will fairly lenient allowing up to 2.5 ounces (70 grams) every 14 days. Qualifying conditions include cancer, positive status for HIV, AIDS, cachexia or wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain, post traumatic disorder, and some symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder.

Cannabis Legislation – Alabama

Last month, Governor Kay Ivey officially signed into law the medical marijuana bill that we’ve been tracking, making Alabama the 37th state in the U.S. to legalize medical cannabis. Patients with qualifying health conditions – which include cancer, depression, epilepsy, panic disorder, chronic pain, or any chronic illness – will be permitted to register for the state’s medical program.

After signing Senate Bill 46, Gov. Ivey released this statement: “Signing SB 46 is an important first step. I would like to again thank Sen. Tim Melson and Rep. Mike Ball for their hard work over the last few years and their willingness to address the legitimate concerns. This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue and something that is continually being studied.”

“On the state level,” he added, “we have had a study group that has looked closely at this issue, and I am interested in the potential good medical cannabis can have for those with chronic illnesses or what it can do to improve the quality of life of those in their final days.”

Mississippi

Interestingly, Mississippi is really where it all began, considering that University of Mississippi won the very first grant to cultivate and study medical cannabis back in 1968. Despite that, the laws for consumers have been less than progressive until recently.

Last week, Senate lawmakers discussed the potential of medical cannabis legalization within the state, but unless Governor Tate Reeves (R) calls a special session. It still seems promising that changes will happen before the end of the year, with Reeves telling Biloxi TV station WLOX that it is “imperative that a medical marijuana law be passed to support the will of the voters.”

The initiate is business friendly but also gives some power to municipalities should they want to utilize zoning restrictions to opt of medical cannabis programs. There is also some opposition to the proposed purchasing limits of 2.5 ounces every 14 days, which some conservatives say is “too generous” and should be lowered.

Cannabis Legislation – Final Thoughts

Progressive legislation has also been moving forward in states which have already legalized or decriminalized cannabis, such as Nevada and New Mexico. There have also been notable changes in some of the nation’s strictest states, like Wyoming, Texas, Idaho and Kansas. For more updates, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter, for all the latest news as well as access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products.

The post State by State Cannabis Legislation – What’s Legal Now and Where? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Friday April 9, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, April 9, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Mexican Senators Weigh Yet Another Extension Of Marijuana Legalization Deadline (Marijuana Moment)

// California cannabis firm Glass House Group to be bought in $567M deal (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Canopy Growth to Acquire Supreme Cannabis for $435 Million in Stock (New Cannabis Ventures)


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// Connecticut Governor Says Marijuana Legalization Will Be Decided By Voters If Lawmakers Fail To Enact Reform (Marijuana Moment)

// Delaware Marijuana Activists Stage Boycott Of Medical Dispensaries That Testified Against Legalization Bill (Marijuana Moment)

// Verano Holdings Reports 2020 Pro Forma Revenue Grew 196% to $355 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// KushCo Holdings Q2 Revenue Increases 23% Sequentially to $32.9 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Maine Lawmakers File Bill To Decriminalize Possession Of All Drugs (Marijuana Moment)

// Texas Lawmakers Unanimously Approve Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill In Committee (Marijuana Moment)

// Most Americans Think Marijuana THC and CBD Are the Same Chemical Poll Says (Newsweek)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Photo: VV Nincic/Flickr

Wednesday, April 7, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Judiciary Committee Passes Recreational Marijuana (CT News Junkie)

// California Senators Approve Bill To Legalize Possession Of Psychedelics Like LSD, MDMA, And Psilocybin (Marijuana Moment)

// Gov. Lujan Grisham to sign regular session bills before special session bills (KOB 4 News)


These headlines are brought to you by MJToday Media, publishers of this podcast as well as our weekly show Marijuana Today and the most-excellent Green Rush Podcast. And check out our new show Weed Wonks!


// Biden Is Too Busy To Decriminalize Marijuana, Harris Says (Marijuana Moment)

// Slang Revenues Rise In Fourth Quarter, But Drop Overall In 2020 (Green Market Report)

// 4Front Q4 Revenue Increases 90% to $17 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Organigram Buys Edibles Manufacturer for $22 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Advances In Senate For Second Day In A Row (Marijuana Moment)

// Workers at Rhode Island medical cannabis dispensary vote to unionize (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Washington Lawmakers Hear Drug Decrim Bill After Supreme Court Strikes Down Prohibition (Marijuana Moment)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Photo: MMR Dad/Flickr

Friday March 26, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, March 26, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill As Governor Pushes Competing Reform (Marijuana Moment)

// Mexico: Cannabis Regulation Delayed In The Senate (Yahoo Finance)

// North Dakota lawmakers sink recreational marijuana legalization bill (Marijuana Business Daily)


These headlines are brought to you by Agilent, a Fortune 500 company known for providing top-notch testing solutions to cannabis and hemp testing labs worldwide. Are you considering testing your cannabis in-house for potency? Agilent is giving away a FREE 1260 HPLC system for one year! If you are a Cultivator, processor, or cannabis testing lab you may qualify for this giveaway. Open up bitly.com/cannabis-contest to answer a few quick questions to enter to win!


// Marijuana foes seek to impose THC potency caps to curb industry’s growth (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Cresco Labs Q4 Revenue Increases 292% to $162 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Charlotte’s Web Finds Solid Footing In Fourth Quarter (Green Market Report)

// Aleafia Health Q4 Revenue Increases 152% to C$15.2 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Vireo Health Q4 Revenue Increases 38% to $12.4 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Kansas Lawmakers Approve Changes To Medical Marijuana Bill In Committee (Marijuana Moment)

// Illinois Lawmakers Approve Bill To Legalize Any Amount Of Marijuana And Expunge Past Records (Marijuana Moment)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Photo: Marketeering Group/Flickr

Wednesday March 17, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Connecticut House Speaker Says ‘Optimism Abounds’ As Marijuana Legalization Negotiations Proceed (Marijuana Moment)

// Legalizing Marijuana Has Been A ‘Uniformly Positive’ Move In Washington State Governor Says (Marijuana Moment)

// Oregon Governor Appoints Panel To Implement Historic Legal Psilocybin Therapy Measure (Marijuana Moment)


These headlines are brought to you by Agilent, a Fortune 500 company known for providing top-notch testing solutions to cannabis and hemp testing labs worldwide. Are you considering testing your cannabis in-house for potency? Agilent is giving away a FREE 1260 HPLC system for one year! If you are a Cultivator, processor, or cannabis testing lab you may qualify for this giveaway. Open up bitly.com/cannabis-contest to answer a few quick questions to enter to win!


// California awards $15 million more in cannabis social equity grants (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Ann Arbor to put $476K in new marijuana revenue to social equity programs (Michigan Live)

// Majority Of Florida Voters Back Marijuana Legalization And Oppose THC Limits, New Poll Finds (Marijuana Moment)

// Columbia Care Beats On Revenue, Misses On Earnings (Green Market Report)

// Village Farms Cannabis Sales Grow 2% Sequentially to $17.3 Million in Q4 (New Cannabis Ventures)

// It’s completely legal, but still the hemp industry has trouble finding banks – here’s why (Columbus Dispatch)

// State’s first on-site consumption cannabis bar set to open (KFVS 12 CBS)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

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Photo: Dannel Malloy/Flickr