Legalization Monthly Digest: December 2021
The year 2022 is gearing up to be an exciting year for opportunities in the cannabis industry. Before moving forward into this new year, let’s take a look at all the most relevant licensing and legalization developments from December 2021.
In the past few weeks, there have been important developments in New Mexico, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Rhode Island, and Maryland, among other states.
A definitive set of rules on license types and restrictions for cannabis manufacturers, retailers and couriers was published on December 28, 2021 by the Cannabis Control Division of the state Regulation and Licensing Department. The rules take immediate effect. You can find the rules here.
Lawmaker Rep. Cindy Ziemke of the Republican Party has written a measure to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana in Indiana for the forthcoming legislative session that begins on January 11, 2022. Her proposal would be modeled after Michigan’s marijuana laws. Those over the age of 21 in Indiana would be able to consume marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes with tight regulations in place.
Ohio Republican Representatives Jamie Callender and Ron Ferguson introduced legislation to legalize marijuana in the state on December 9, 2021. The “Ohio Adult Use Act” is currently awaiting a hearing in the House Finance Committee. Under the measure, adults over 21 may buy and possess up to 50 grams of cannabis. Until January 1, 2027, the state may only approve one retail cannabis shop per 60,000 residents. You may read our post here to learn more about the current program in Ohio.
Another effort, the “Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol” in Ohio presented petitions totaling 206,943 signatures to the secretary of state on December 20, 2021 for verification for a plan that would legalize recreational possession and sales of cannabis. If approved, legislators will have four months to act. Otherwise, supporters may gather another 132,887 valid signatures to place the proposal on the ballot for the next general election. The initiative may be on the ballot on November 8, 2022. You may read our article here to learn more about the current program in Ohio.
On December 21, 2021, lawmakers Joe Bolkcom, Janet Petersen, and Sarah Trone Garriott advocated for a new constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana usage. In the upcoming legislative session, they plan to present this proposal, which they have already filed with the Legislative Services. The objective, according to Bolkcom, is to pass the measure during the 100-day session that begins in January 2022 and again in 2023. To be placed on the ballot, the measure must get a majority vote in both the house and the state senate in two successive General Assemblies; thus, the earliest voters may weigh in is November 2024.
For months, legislators have been working to reconcile rival legalization bills from the House, Senate, and governor’s office. Negotiations went well, and a bill would be tabled in January 2022, according to House Speaker Joseph Sherkarchi (D). According to him, a vigorous public hearing and vetting process will begin. However, Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey (D) said that the objective is to get the bill adopted by both chambers by February 2022. If you’d like to learn more about Rhode Island’s program, you can learn more here.
Maryland senator pre-filed a measure that would place marijuana legalization on the 2022 ballot. The legislation establishes a July 1, 2023, implementation date for the legalization of simple possession. The measure to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot has been labeled House Bill 1, indicating priority. It will be officially presented on January 12, 2022, and referred to the Judiciary Committee. To expedite the process, House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D) has formed a 10-person working group to explore cannabis legalization and regulation and said that legislators will approve legislation early next year to put the issue to voters. More information about the current Maryland program may be found in our article here.
In order to be prepared, connected, and educated for the opportunities that will arise in 2022, Cannaspire offers consultations to help you effectively understand your next steps, how to successfully obtain licensure, and the critical details you will need to understand in order to successfully enter the industry. For more information, please visit here.