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Alabama medical cannabis may not be available until 2023

Alabama medical cannabis may not be available until 2023

Alabama medical cannabis commission holds first meeting

The Alabama Medical Cannabis commission held its first official meeting on September 1, 2021, in which the board’s chairman expressed concern that the rollout of the Alabama medical cannabis program may take longer than expected.

During the first meeting of the 14-member commission, Dr. Steven Stokes tried to establish a timeline for how soon treatment with medical marijuana will be available in Alabama.

“I was hoping next spring,” Stokes said.

However Patrick Moody, the deputy commissioner for the Alabama Department of Agriculture, has said that Alabama medical cannabis growers should not expect to receive their licenses until September 2022.

Accounting for the time it would take growers to produce a harvest after receiving a license with indoor facilities, Alabama medical cannabis likely won’t be available to consumers until 2023.

The medical cannabis commission has a deadline of Sept. 1, 2022 to set up the rules to implement the program and issue licenses to cultivators, processors, transporters, testing laboratories, and dispensaries. The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries will regulate the cultivators.

But without any medical cannabis to sell, dispensaries will struggle to open their days on day one. Additionally, physicians who will prescribe Alabama medical cannabis must also go through a training program, which will likely keep some physicians from participating.

In addition to the medical cannabis program being pushed back, the state’s hemp industry has been struggling as well.

The industrial hemp program in Alabama started with 600 hemp growers and is now down to only 200 farms. The majority of Alabama’s hemp is grown outdoors, which has led to a rise in plant theft.

The cannabis commission has taken note of this and will require Alabama medical cannabis to be grown indoors or in a greenhouse for greater security. The chairmen of the board has also mentioned the possibility of introducing more legislation to help speed up the process.

New York Cannabis Control Board Appoints First Two Members

New York Cannabis Control Board Appoints First Two Members

new york cannabis control board has started assigning its first members

New York’s recreational pot program is no longer a buzzkill.

The state Senate confirmed two long overdue appointments to the agency that will regulate pot sales in the state during a special session ordered by Gov. Kathy Hochul to fast-track the program Wednesday.

Tremaine Wright was confirmed as chairperson of the Cannabis Control Board, and Christopher Alexander was secured as executive director of the new office of Cannabis Management.

Wright is a former Democratic assemblywoman who represented Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Alexander is government relations and policy manager at the Canada-based cannabis company, Vill, LLC.

Four more members still need to be named to the board by the governor and legislative leaders, which is responsible for awarding licenses to cannabis sellers in the state. The appointees do not need to be approved by lawmakers.

Hochul ordered the special session Tuesday with a thinly veiled swipe at her predecessor, disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying she wanted “to jumpstart the long-overdue decisions pertaining to establishing cannabis in the state of New York.”

Recreational cannabis was approved by Albany in the spring after being shelved by Cuomo amid the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

“These two individuals bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their new roles, and I know they will do a tremendous job of outlining and implementing regulations that are safe, fair and transparent, and that recognize the need to remedy the impact that prohibition has had on communities of color,” the Democrat said in a statement.

“I look forward to working with them on building our state’s cannabis industry and effecting real change for New Yorkers.”

State Sen. Liz Krueger, who chairs the powerful state Senate Finance Committee and sponsored the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, said Hochul’s appointees to the cannabis board cleared her committee after being questioned.

Panama medical marijuana bill passed by Congress in unanimous vote

Panama medical marijuana bill passed by Congress in unanimous vote

panama medical marijuana has been passed by congress

The National Legislative Assembly of Panama has approved this Monday a bill that legalizes the medicinal use of cannabis with 44 votes in favor and none against. It thus becomes the first country in Central America to regulate the consumption of this substance.

The new law, which will come into force after its approval by President Laurentino Cortizo, will create a regulatory framework for the use and controlled access of cannabis “for therapeutic, medical, veterinary, scientific and research purposes”, as stated in the approved text.

This measure responds to a historical claim of patients from different pathologies, to which this substance could help mitigate pain, and to which they only had irregular access. Those who will see their quality of life improved are people with glaucoma, epilepsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, migraines or seizures and those who suffer from different types of pain, including those caused by cancer.

From now on, in Panama the import, export, cultivation, production and commercialization of cannabis and its derivatives will be allowed through licenses granted by the state. Its cultivation will take place in established areas with limited access and only pharmaceutical companies or companies specialized in therapeutic services will be able to acquire and commercialize it. Its illegal production and sale will be punished with penalties of 10 to 15 years in prison.

Thus, the sale of cannabis at home, through the Internet or outside authorized establishments is prohibited. Likewise, its advertising in the media or social networks will also be prohibited.

Group Files Another Missouri Marijuana Legalization Initiative For 2022 Ballot

Group Files Another Missouri Marijuana Legalization Initiative For 2022 Ballot

Missouri marijuana legalization bill has been introduced to be on the 2022 ballot

Missouri voters may see a multiple marijuana initiatives on the state’s 2022 ballot, with a new group filing an adult-use legalization proposal on Friday that could compete with separate reform measures that are already in the works.

Legal Missouri 2022 submitted the latest measure to the secretary of state’s office, and it will now go through a review period before being potential certified.

The initiative would make it so adults 21 and older could purchase, possess and cultivate cannabis for personal use.

Regulators would be tasked with developing rules to set possession limits, but they would need to allow adults 21 and older to purchase at least up to three ounces of cannabis. People would have to register with the state to grow marijuana for personal use, and they’d be limited to cultivating six mature and six immature plants, in addition to six clones. 

Under the proposal, there would be a six percent tax on marijuana sales, with the option of an additional local tax of up to three percent.

Revenue from those taxes would first support a provision mandating automatic expungements for people with prior, non-violent cannabis convictions. The surplus would be divided among programs for veterans’ health care, substance misuse treatment and the state’s public defender system.

“There’s widespread support among Missouri voters to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana,” John Payne, Legal Missouri 2022 campaign manager, said in a press release. “The status quo has allowed an unsafe, illegal market to thrive in Missouri, while preventing law enforcement from truly prioritizing the fight against violent crime.”

“Now is the time for Missouri to join the 19 other states to have successfully regulated and taxed adult use marijuana, bringing millions in new funding for vital state services,” he said.

Individual jurisdictions would be able to opt out of allowing marijuana businesses, but only if voters approve such a ban.

New Jersey Cannabis Industry Rules Set by Regulators

New Jersey Cannabis Industry Rules Set by Regulators

New Jersey cannabis industry has had rules established by regulators

New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission has approved rules to set up the state’s recreational marijuana marketplace.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey‘s cannabis regulators on Thursday approved rules to set up the recreational marijuana marketplace, giving application priority to women-, minority- and disabled veteran-owned businesses and paving the way for sales to begin.

A timeline for when people 21 and older could head to a retailer to buy a marijuana cigarette, vape pen or edible wasn’t given, but chairperson Dianna Houenou said after the meeting that a date for when sales can begin hasn’t been set yet because the commission wants to be sure that the application process goes smoothly. She said the start date is “admittedly uncertain.”

“We know that there is a lot of interest in getting this market up and running and we were duty-bound to do it right,” she said in a separate statement.

The five-member commission, which was established under a February law, voted unanimously to approve the the 160-pages of regulations. The rules got expedited treatment under the law, sidestepping the usual public comment and response period.

Commission executive director Jeff Brown said a next step will be a notice that applications will be accepted.

The rules focus heavily on what commissioners called equity — a main driver of the legislation because of years of disproportionate enforcement of marijuana laws against Black residents in particular.

Among the rules is priority for applications from companies owned by minorities, women and disabled veterans, as well as for those from poor areas and past marijuana-related criminal offenses.

Application fees were designed to be low to encourage small business owners, and not just major firms, from applying, with fees as low as $100. Annual licenses for microbusinesses — firms with 10 employees — will cost $1,000. Large businesses could pay up to $50,000 for an annual cultivator license.

[Denver Post] Oklahoma is the new “Wild West of weed” — and Colorado marijuana entrepreneurs are helping fuel the green rush

[Denver Post] Oklahoma is the new “Wild West of weed” — and Colorado marijuana entrepreneurs are helping fuel the green rush

Chip Baker Denver Post interview

Lax regulation and low barriers to entry have triggered cannabis’s explosive growth in Sooner State

OKEMAH, Okla. — Chip Baker surveyed a vast field on the outskirts of an old hay farm an hour east of Oklahoma City, his ponytail waving in the thick, humid air, his voice growing excited.

“This is probably the largest collection of Squirt in the world!” he boasted, pointing to an array of neatly plotted cannabis plants before him that will soon flower pounds of the popular strain.

Baker would know. From the time he planted his first marijuana plant at 13, he’s been all about growing weed. A dream formed in the Georgia fields took him to Humboldt County, California — the nation’s earliest pot epicenter — then Colorado, the country’s first recreational market.

But it’s here in rural Oklahoma, down a dusty dirt road along the banks of the North Canadian River, where true cannabis cowboys — including droves of Colorado entrepreneurs like Baker — are buying mammoth properties to grow mammoth numbers of plants, all in a quest for mammoth stacks of kush-derived cash.

It’s a place unlike virtually any other in America.

“Other states grow patches,” Baker said with a grin, taking in the 90-acre, 40,000-plant cannabis farm before him. “In Oklahoma, we grow fields.”

The Sooner State, as deeply red as the American political palette will go, has almost overnight become the hottest place in the country to grow marijuana. It’s an unprecedented look at what happens when the government stays largely out of the picture and lets the free market run wild.

And Colorado businesses are pumping their sizeable dollars and cannabis expertise into the state, hoping to cash in on what Baker and others in the industry call the next green rush.

“It’s the Wild West of weed,” he said, “in all its glory.”

Read Full Interview with The Denver Post

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