Ohio has legalized recreational cannabis. Click HERE to learn more about cannabis business opportunities in Ohio.

Cannabis News Roundup: See What's New in Cannabis Opportunities: PA, OH, ND, FL, NH

The cannabis legislation landscape in the United States is rapidly evolving across various states. Pennsylvania has introduced a bill focusing on safety and social equity, while Ohio plans an early start for recreational marijuana sales by mid-2024. North Dakota is campaigning for legalization with a highly regulated market approach, Florida faces hurdles in garnering enough support for its legalization initiative, and New Hampshire is reviewing proposals for both recreational and medical cannabis. These developments highlight the ongoing and diverse efforts to reform cannabis policies nationwide.

Pennsylvania House Introduces Marijuana Legalization Bill with Focus on Social Equity

On April 9th, Pennsylvania House lawmakers introduced a marijuana legalization bill aimed at safety and social equity. The legislation sets the consumption age at 21, boosts DUI enforcement, and prohibits marketing to children. It supports social equity by enabling home cultivation for medical patients, prioritizing licensing for disadvantaged individuals, and simplifying the expungement of past offenses. The bill also seeks to raise revenue with an 8% sales tax and a 5% excise tax while protecting user rights concerning firearms and child custody. A later hearing emphasized the need for equitable reforms, such as limiting licenses to prevent a few companies from taking over the market and enhancing capital access for minority business owners, reflecting Pennsylvania’s commitment to balancing public safety, social justice, and economic benefits in its cannabis policy. To stay informed on Pennsylvania’s evolving cannabis landscape, click here.

Ohio Recreational Marijuana Sales Set for Early Start Under Expedited Regulatory Plan

On April 9th, Ohio lawmakers moved forward with an expedited plan to launch recreational marijuana sales, potentially by June 2024. The Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) has developed a strategy to issue dual licenses to existing medical marijuana operators, allowing them to serve adult consumers early this summer. While legislative revisions to the voter-approved legalization law have stalled, the regulatory plan has advanced with the expectation that it will be approved by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review at a meeting scheduled for May 13th, 2024. Despite opposition from some legislators and the personal disapproval of Governor Mike DeWine, the plan aims to implement voter intent promptly, with sales possibly starting before July 4th, 2024. You can learn more about Ohio’s existing cannabis program here.

North Dakota Initiates Cannabis Legalization Campaign, Imposes Business Limits

On April 16th, North Dakota’s campaign to legalize recreational cannabis kicked off with the filing of initial paperwork with the secretary of state, proposing a “consumer-friendly yet highly regulated” framework. The initiative, facing a tight deadline to gather at least 16,000 signatures by July 8th, 2024, limits the number of marijuana stores to 18 and manufacturing facilities to 7, with strict ownership restrictions. Despite the 2022 rejection by voters, supporters, including medical marijuana executives, are hopeful. If passed, the measure mandates the start of sales by October 1st, 2025. For further information about North Dakota’s current cannabis program, you can read our guide.

Florida Faces Challenges in Marijuana Legalization Efforts

On April 18th, a recent poll indicated that Florida’s initiative to legalize recreational marijuana is facing significant challenges, with support falling short of the required 60% mark for passage. Currently, less than 50% of voters support the measure, despite the Florida Supreme Court’s approval of Amendment 3 for the November 2024 ballot. The initiative allows adults over 21 to purchase and possess cannabis but does not permit home cultivation or provide for the expungement of past offenses. You may learn more about the current cannabis program in Florida by reading our blog article on the topic here.

New Hampshire Reviews Cannabis Legislation: Recreational and Medical Proposals on the Table

On April 18th, New Hampshire lawmakers reviewed six medical marijuana bills—HB 1278, HB 1231, HB 1349, HB 1581, SB 357, and SB 426—that propose measures such as home cultivation and a broader range of qualifying medical conditions. The bills were considered in legislative committees, where testimony was gathered but decisions were deferred. This follows the April 11th House passage of a recreational marijuana bill proposing 15 retail stores and a 10% sales tax, now facing challenges in the Senate and from Governor Sununu, who advocates a state-run model. These efforts aim to regulate and improve public safety by transitioning sales from illicit to legal markets. To stay updated on New Hampshire’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 other relevant cannabis business services. Please visit this page for further details.

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