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Cannabis News Roundup: Cannabis Reform: PA, KY, NC, NE, AL, NH, OH Updates

Cannabis reform is making strides across several states with significant updates recently. Pennsylvania representatives announced plans to introduce a marijuana legalization bill, focusing on job creation and social equity. Kentucky has opened applications for medical marijuana businesses, aiming for availability by early 2025. Nebraska activists submitted signatures to qualify medical marijuana initiatives for the November ballot. An Alabama judge extended a delay on issuing medical marijuana business licenses, while North Carolina’s Senate approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana. Additionally, New Hampshire residents show strong support for legalization despite legislative setbacks, and Ohio issued provisional licenses to prepare for adult-use cannabis sales.

Pennsylvania House Plans to Introduce a Marijuana Legalization Bill Amid Growing Momentum for Recreational Cannabis

On June 24th, bipartisan House representatives in Pennsylvania announced plans to introduce a bill to legalize marijuana. The bill aims to shift law enforcement priorities, create jobs, and increase tax revenues by up to $420 million by the 2028-29 fiscal year. It also focuses on enhancing social equity by automatically expunging non-violent cannabis-related offenses and supporting business equity in communities disproportionately affected by past marijuana laws. For a detailed overview of Pennsylvania’s evolving cannabis legislation, click here.

Kentucky Opens Applications for Medical Marijuana Businesses and Certifications, Aiming for Early 2025 Availability

On July 1st, Kentucky began accepting applications for medical marijuana businesses and healthcare providers to certify eligible patients. This early initiative aims to have medical cannabis available by early 2025. The program, underpinned by a recently accelerated licensing schedule, supports patients with specified medical conditions. To stay informed on Kentucky’s cannabis policies, click here.

Nebraska Activists Submit Signatures for Medical Marijuana Legalization

On July 4th, Nebraska activists submitted over 114,000 signatures for each of two medical marijuana legalization initiatives, hoping to qualify them for the November ballot. Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) prioritized meeting a requirement to gather signatures from at least five percent of voters in 38 counties. This marks the third attempt to put medical cannabis on the ballot, following previous setbacks. The first initiative seeks to protect doctors and patients involved with medical cannabis, while the second aims to create a regulatory commission. To stay informed on Nebraska’s cannabis program, click here.

Alabama Judge Extends Delay on Medical Marijuana Business Licenses

On July 3rd, an Alabama judge extended a temporary restraining order, delaying the issuance of medical marijuana business licenses. Judge James Anderson also directed the state’s Medical Cannabis Commission to begin hearings for companies denied licenses previously. This delay follows lawsuits and complications in the licensing process. More than three years have passed since the Alabama Compassionate Act was signed into law, which allowed MMJ products for patients with chronic health issues. For more updates on Alabama’s cannabis program, click here.

North Carolina Advances Medical Marijuana Bill

On June 20th, the North Carolina Senate approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana, marking a significant step towards legalization in the state. The bill, known as the NC Compassionate Care Act, passed with a 36-10 vote and aims to provide access to cannabis for patients with qualifying conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD. The legislation allows up to 10 suppliers to operate a maximum of eight dispensaries each and establishes a Compassionate Use Advisory Board to potentially add new qualifying conditions. For more details on the evolving stance on cannabis in North Carolina, click here.

NH Residents Back Marijuana Legalization Despite Legislative Rejection

On June 20th, a poll revealed that nearly two-thirds of New Hampshire residents support the legalization of marijuana, despite lawmakers rejecting a related bill, HB 1633. The bill had strong backing from Democrats and independents but less support from Republicans. While legislative efforts stalled, public opinion remains in favor of legalization, although support has slightly decreased from previous years. The poll underscores a significant public demand for marijuana reform, contrasting with the legislative decision to table the bill​. To stay updated on New Hampshire’s cannabis program, click here.

Ohio Grants Provisional Licenses to 62 Dispensaries for Adult-Use Cannabis Sales

On June 21st, Ohio’s Division of Cannabis Control issued provisional licenses to 62 medical marijuana dispensaries, allowing them to prepare for adult-use cannabis sales. These businesses must complete upgrades, including technology and security enhancements, before receiving final certification. The timeline for beginning adult-use sales will vary as dispensaries complete the necessary steps. With the swift issuance of provisional licenses, compliant dispensaries could potentially start operations within weeks, with the final deadline for license issuance being September 7th, 2024. Stay updated on Ohio’s cannabis program, click here.

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