Oklahoma seed-to-sales tracking moves forward in Oklahoma

Oklahoma seed-to-sales tracking moves forward in Oklahoma

Oklahoma seed-to-sale injunction is lifted for medical marijuana

Oklahoma’s medical marijuana seed-to-sale system can move forward following a partial resolution.

An agreement between the medical marijuana commercial licensees who filed the lawsuit and co-defendants Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority and Metrc enabled the seed-to-sale system to proceed.

An Agreed Order was filed Friday, lifting the restraining order that prevented OMMA from implementing the seed-to-sale tracking and tagging system for the medical marijuana industry. Metrc is OMMA’s contractor for the program.

“Lifting this injunction clears the single biggest roadblock to OMMA enforcing the law,” said OMMA Executive Director Adria Berry. “This is a crucial step toward cracking down on licensees operating illegally or skirting the system within Oklahoma’s medical marijuana industry. Come May 27th, we will focus the bulk of our enforcement authority on businesses that are not Metrc-compliant.”

Viridian Legal Services obtained the restraining order last April as a continuation in the class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 10,000 state licensed cannabis businesses across Oklahoma.

Ronald Durbin, the attorney who represented the thousands of cannabis businesses, previously told KFOR that implementing Metrc would create a monopoly and that the company would earn over $12 million in just the first year.

Now that the seed-to-sale system can move forward, medical marijuana commercial licensees throughout the state have until Thursday, May 26 (90 days) to comply with the Metrc seed-to-sale tracking system.

Tennessee Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced

Tennessee Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced

Tennessee medical marijuana bill would legalize medical cannabis

A bill introduced to the Tennessee General Assembly in early February that would legalize medical marijuana in the state has moved into the Senate Judiciary Committee for discussion. SB 2477 and HB 2458 were introduced by Reps. Janice Bowling (R) and Iris Rudder (R) respectively.

These bills together establish the framework for a regulated Tennessee medical cannabis industry. Patients with qualifying conditions would be able to purchase cannabis products from licensed retailers. Licensing and regulations for cultivation, production, distribution, transport, selling, and acquiring cannabis for medical use and research will be created.

Tennessee medical marijuana cards will be available to patients and caregivers. Patients and caregivers must be 18 years or older to obtain a medical marijuana card. However a caregiver may not use medical marijuana without having a qualifying condition themself. A Tennessee medical marijuana card will be valid for two years, with an option for renewal.

The bill requires a patient registry to be established by June 1, 2023. This includes application forms and procedures for obtaining patient and caregiver medical marijuana cards, and an integrated, electronic system for tracking the application process and the status of medical marijuana cards.The commission must ensure that a process is available for healthcare providers to electronically report a qualifying diagnosis as part of the patient medical cannabis card registry process by September 30, 2022.

This Tennessee medical marijuana bill will create the Tennessee medical cannabis commission, which will have 12 members. The Governor, Speaker of the Senate and Speaker of the House must make their initial appointments to the commission by August 30, 2022. However each member of the commission must meet specific, individual requirements which are as follows:

(1) One person with professional experience in industrial or agricultural systems management, including commodities, manufacturing, or distribution in a regulated industry;

(2) One person with professional experience in legal or social justice issues related to a regulated industry;

(3) One person with professional experience in public health, mental health, substance use, toxicology, biochemistry, or medical research and

(4) One person with professional experience in the field of law enforcement and peace officer standards (POST) certification;

(5) One person with experience in multiple crop development and agricultural practices;

(6) One person with experience in complex agriculture, health, science, business, or government systems;

(7) One person who is a licensed pharmacist; and

(8) One person with professional experience in the field of law enforcement and POST certification;

(9) One person with experience in public or rural land use management;

(10) One person who is a physician licensed to practice in this state;

(11) One person who is licensed to practice law in this state; and

(12) One person with professional experience in agricultural lending or banking or with state-chartered banks or credit unions.

Each member of the commission will receive $700 for each meeting of the commission that the member attends and will be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in connection with their official duties.

The bill also specifies that the state will regulate medical marijuana from seed to sale to use and reasonably regulate and control all aspects of industry. Any county or municipality seeking to ban the cultivation, processing, manufacture, or sale of medical cannabis may do so by a two-thirds vote of the local legislative body. This must be done by April 1, 2023.

Tennessee medical marijuana law will impose a 9% tax rate on retail medical marijuana sales, with an additional 2.1% maximum permitted from counties or municipalities. The bill also includes a 10% excise tax applied to net earnings.

Tax collected from the retail sale of Tennessee medical marijuana will be apportioned and allocated in the following manner:

(1) Five percent to the POST commission for opioid and methamphetamine drug enforcement training purposes;

(2) 25 percent to the department of agriculture for programs and grants administered by the department that facilitate agricultural development in this state, including, but not limited to, the agriculture enterprise fund and the Tennessee agricultural enhancement program;

(3) 20 percent to the department of economic and community development for community and rural development program grants administered by the department;

(4) 45 percent to the medical cannabis fund; and

(5) Five percent to the department of veteran’s services for programs administered by the department that provide treatment for veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lastly, the bill will license medical cannabis cultivation operations which will be able to sell and distribute cannabis products to retail dispensaries. The bill currently does not include any cap on how many licenses may be given out for cultivations.

The bill will allow the following medical conditions to quality for Tennessee medical marijuana: cancer; glaucoma; epilepsy; HIV/AIDS; Crohn’s disease; muscular sclerosis; opioid addiction; renal failure; severe nausea or chronic pain and many more. The commission may, by rule, add other qualifying conditions at any point.

Read the full text of the bill here.

NY Gov. Hochul signs conditional cannabis cultivation bill

NY Gov. Hochul signs conditional cannabis cultivation bill

New York passes conditional cannabis cultivation licenses

With this legislation, NY is creating a new Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator license, allowing hemp farmers to grow cannabis in the 2022 growing season.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed new legislation on Tuesday that will allow hemp farmers in the state to apply for a conditional license to grow cannabis.

With this legislation, New York is creating a new Conditional Adult-use Cannabis Cultivator license, allowing hemp farmers to grow cannabis in the 2022 growing season. Conditionally licensed cannabis farmers must hit certain requirements under this law.

According to the governor’s office, some of the requirements include, “safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly cultivation practices, participation in a social equity mentorship program, and engagement in a labor peace agreement with a bona fide labor organization.”

“I am proud to sign this bill, which positions New York’s farmers to be the first to grow cannabis and jumpstart the safe, equitable and inclusive new industry we are building,” Hochul said. “New York State will continue to lead the way in delivering on our commitment to bring economic opportunity and growth to every New Yorker in every corner of our great state.”

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes added, “Last year, after many years of fighting, we finally enacted the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, and are beginning to undo the devastating impacts over 90 years of unequal enforcement of marijuana prohibition had on too many lives and communities. MRTA ensures that the legal adult-use market will be centered on equity and economic justice for communities of color and individuals that have been harmed most by the War on Drugs in the State of New York. With the passage of this bill, we have the opportunity to create a responsible start to the adult-use cannabis industry by authorizing temporary conditional cultivator and processor licenses to current New York hemp farmers. This authority will help secure enough safe, regulated, and environmentally conscious cannabis products to meet the demand of the adult-use cannabis market when retail dispensaries open. Importantly, this legislation calls for a Social Equity Mentorship Program, which will create a viable and inclusive path for social and economic equity partners interested in cannabis cultivation and processing to gain invaluable knowledge and experience in this emerging industry. The temporary conditional licenses authorized by this bill will ultimately help realize the vision and goals of the MRTA.”

Missouri Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced

Missouri Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced

Missouri cannabis legalization bill introduced

Missouri is trying to introduce legal cannabis. It remains to be seen if it will pass or remain unattainable for the state.

A Missouri lawmaker introduced a comprehensive bill to legalize recreational cannabis on Tuesday. The measure, titled the Cannabis Freedom Act (HB 2704), was introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives by Representative Ron Hicks, a Republican from St. Charles.

If passed, the bill would legalize cannabis for adult-use, regulate recreational cannabis commerce and expunge convictions for past cannabis-related offenses. In a statement, Hicks acknowledged the assistance from interested parties and an Oklahoma colleague in drafting the legislation.

“The Cannabis Freedom Act is the product of input from many different stakeholders including members of law enforcement and those who have endured incarceration for conduct that society now deems acceptable,” Hicks said. “I am particularly grateful for input from Oklahoma State Representative Scott Fetgatter for his assistance in creating a free market program that is also strictly regulated.”

Missouri Cannabis Legalization Bill Permits Possession and Sale

Under the bill, adults 21 and older would be permitted to purchase and use recreational cannabis. Adults would be also be allowed to grow up to 12 cannabis plants at home for personal use.

The bill tasks the Missouri Department of Agriculture with regulating the recreational cannabis program. The department would draft the rules for the program and issue licenses for cannabis producers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, without caps on the number of licenses that could be issued to qualified cannabis businesses.

The Cannabis Freedom Act directs the state Department of Revenue to set a tax of up to 12 percent on recreational cannabis products. Medical cannabis purchases by registered patients would not be subject to the retail tax. Revenue raised by marijuana taxes would be used to administer the recreational cannabis program, with the remainder divided equally among the Missouri Veterans Commission and funding for teachers’ salaries and pensions for first responders.

No limit on New Mexico cannabis licenses leads to hundreds of applications

No limit on New Mexico cannabis licenses leads to hundreds of applications

New Mexico cannabis licenses are being applied for by the hundreds

You’re starting to see them pop up across New Mexico and they can’t even open yet.

More than a hundred applications are in — some already approved — to turn established medical marijuana shops, smoke shops, an old strip club and plenty of other closed businesses into recreational cannabis shops.

The Cannabis Control Division received the first retail applications on Monday, December 6, 2021.  Entrepreneurs can open their doors on April 1, 2022, with an approved license.

“There’s no limit to the amount of licenses that can be issued as long as they’re able to meet the law in the Cannabis Regulation Act and the rules and requirements set forth by the Division and the Department,” explained Victor Reyes, Deputy Superintendent of the Regulation & Licensing Department.

No limit means the Cannabis Control Division can approve countless retail licenses and New Mexicans could theoretically see pot shops on every street across the state. “We have so much interest in our in, in folks who are applying to be part of this industry,” Reyes said. “And that’s because it’s an industry like none other.”

Going off the state’s website, KRQE plotted every address in Albuquerque where retail license applicants are hoping to open a shop come April 1. So far, there are more than 80 of them.

While a lot of people see the new industry as a positive for New Mexico, not everyone wants it moving in next door. “I’m not really for the recreational,” Laurel Kehoe said. And, she has her reasons. Her family’s optical clinic butts up to a shopping center on Montgomery that used to house a medical marijuana shop. She said it had its problem.

“They kept getting broken into,” Kehoe explained. “They also got held at gunpoint.” That prompted the Kehoes to take extra security measures for their employees and patients. She said they are always armed and even installed a gate around the perimeter.

The shop closed a while back, but now there’s an application in to turn the vacant business into a recreational cannabis shop. Kehoe said they’re “not thrilled,” but she’s aware they don’t have a choice. “We have no control over what’s going to go in next to us,” she commented.

The Cannabis Regulation Act gives every local government the discretion to choose where a pot shop can be located. Specific to Albuquerque, recreational cannabis can’t be sold within 300 feet of a school or daycare and shops have to be 600 feet apart from each other.

“We don’t want concentrations of certain businesses in certain places,” Albuquerque City Councilor Isaac Benton said. He explained the City has that rule for liquor stores too. But looking through applications, KRQE found several addresses close together which may violate that rule. Benton just introduced a resolution to Council clarifying that the first applicant gets dibs.

New York bill would allow conditional licenses for cannabis cultivation

New York bill would allow conditional licenses for cannabis cultivation

New York bill for conditional cannabis licenses

While the Office of Cannabis Management lags behind establishing a regulation and licensing process for recreational cannabis in New York, lawmakers are trying to find a workaround in the meantime.

In an effort to ensure that equity applicants — those who will open dispensaries first in the state — have product on their shelves when they open, a bill has been introduced to permit limited cultivation of recreational cannabis via already licensed hemp farmers in the state. Assembly Bill A2682A and Senate Bill S8084A propose the use of “conditional adult-use cultivator licenses” that would give cannabis-adjacent growers (i.e. hemp growers) the ability to plant and process recreational marijuana.

Assembly Speaker Crystal Peoples-Stokes was a sponsor of the bill and one its biggest proponents.

“It provides a conditional license to make sure when licensing is in place that equity business will have a product to put on their shelves,” she said. The legislation would only permit recreational cultivation licenses to valid industrial hemp growers that have been authorized from the Department of Agriculture and Markets, as of December 31, 2021.

With the outdoor planting season beginning in May in New York, legislators are hoping that the bill will pass before then. Should the bill pass, the conditional licenses would eventually expire, requiring the grower to apply for a full license.

New York legalized cannabis for adult use in 2021. However the state has yet to establish a regulated market and regulators say legal sales likely won’t begin until 2023.