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Cannabis News Roundup: 9/4/23 - 9/17/23

In the past two weeks, noteworthy developments in the U.S. cannabis industry include Maryland’s exclusive licensing for social equity applicants, Florida’s strong support for marijuana legalization, New Jersey opening applications for cannabis businesses, New York’s new licensing regulations, the Virgin Islands’ draft rules, and California’s pending approval for marijuana cafes. Here’s what you need to know:

Exclusive First Round of Licensing for Maryland Social Equity Applicants Announced

On September 8th, the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) announced the first round of new cannabis business licenses, which will be open for applications from November 13, 2023, to December 12, 2023. The first round of licensing will be exclusive to social equity applicants. To check eligibility as a social equity applicant, you can use the Social Equity Verification Portal, available until November 7. To access the portal, complete the Cannabis Business Licensing Interest Form. More information regarding the present program in Maryland can be found in our article here.

Florida Survey Shows Strong Support for Marijuana Legalization

On September 6th, a survey was released by University of South Florida and Florida Atlantic University and found 60% support for adult-use marijuana legalization, matching the needed support for the initiative to pass. Democrats (71%), independents (59%), and Republicans (50%) support recreational reform, while medical cannabis has strong bipartisan backing: Democrats (87%), independents (84%), and Republicans (78%). You may learn more about the current cannabis program in Florida by reading our blog article on the topic here.

New Jersey Starts Applications for Wholesale, Distribution, and Delivery Cannabis Businesses Soon

On September 7th, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission announced that starting September 27, social equity businesses can apply for wholesaler, distributor, and delivery service licenses. On December 27th, diversely-owned businesses will gain access to the application process, and by March 27th, all prospective applicants can apply for these licenses. To assist with understanding the new license types and application process, regulators will conduct a webinar on September 14. For further information about New Jersey’s current marijuana program, you can read our guide.

New York Cannabis Industry Set to Expand with Latest Licensing Regulations

On September 12th, the Cannabis Control Board in New York approved new regulations and licensing guidelines for the expanding weed industry. Starting October 4, the public can apply for adult-use licenses through the New York Business Express (NYBE) platform, with a 60-day application window. The state’s Office of Cannabis Management will offer licenses for cultivators, processors, distributors, microbusinesses, and retail dispensaries. Additionally, existing adult-use conditional cultivators (AUCCs) and adult-use conditional processors (AUCPs) in “good standing” can apply to transition to permanent licenses when applications open. Find out more about the cannabis program in New York by visiting this page.

Virgin Islands Cannabis Advisory Board Releases Draft Rules

On September 8th, the Virgin Islands Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs (DLCA) revealed that the Virgin Islands Cannabis Advisory Board (VICAB) has issued draft rules for both medical and adult-use cannabis markets. These regulations are open for public input until October 10 and are undergoing review by the Office of Cannabis Regulations, VICAB, and the Department of Justice. Find out more about the US Virgin Islands’ cannabis program here.

California Bill on Marijuana Cafes Awaits Governor’s Approval

As of September 15th, California’s AB 374, a bill aimed at legalizing marijuana cafes, has been Enrolled and submitted to the Governor. AB 374 grants local governments the authority to permit cannabis consumption lounges to serve and sell non-cannabis food and soft drinks while maintaining the prohibition on alcoholic beverages and tobacco smoking in these establishments. You can learn more about California’s existing cannabis program here.

Keep an eye out for our email updates throughout the year, and we’ll be sure to let you know about any changes in 2023 as they occur. Cannaspire can assist you in determining your next steps, obtaining a license, complying with regulations, and other relevant cannabis business services. Please visit this page for further details.




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