by Travis C | May 9, 2022 | Blog, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Industry News, Legalization
Over 15,000 thousand people submitted applications for Connecticut cannabis cultivation licenses before the deadline this week. However the state is only handing out about a dozen licenses to start.
The state reported on Friday that they received over 8,000 applications just for the six social equity licenses they will be handing out. Additionally the state received another 7,000 applications for the general lottery.
The general lottery pool will reward adult-use Connecticut cannabis retail licenses.
The first lottery for social equity applicants seeking Connecticut cannabis retail licenses is expected to happen this week. After being chosen, the applicants will still need to be reviewed for eligibility before the general lottery can proceed.
There was no limit placed on how many applications one person could submit, making it likely that multiple applications were submitted on behalf of one individual. The large number of applications for so few licenses could be explained in part by this factor.
An additional 1,800 applications were submitted for micro-cultivator licenses. This license allows a licensee to grow in spaces between 2,000 and 10,000 square feet (3,048 meters). Other Connecticut cannabis retail licenses will be available to sell medical marijuana, operate delivery services, make cannabis infused food and beverages and other cannabis products, as well as package and transport products.
Connecticut legalized adult-use cannabis last July. The law allows residents over the age of 21 to legally possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana, or up to 5 ounces locked at home or in a vehicle’s glove box or trunk.
But retail recreational cannabis stores are not expected to begin operating in the state until late this year at the earliest.
by Travis C | Mar 23, 2022 | 420 News, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Legalization, Politics
It is easy to look at the massive profits of the Illinois legal cannabis industry and think it’s been a huge success. But to nearly 200 cannabis dispensary license holders who have been put on hold, the industry isn’t meeting the promises made when the state legalized.
Since legalizing cannabis sales for adult use in 2020, Illinois has brought in over $2 billion in revenue. However a major aspect that made the Illinois cannabis legalization bill stand out was its claims of social equity.
The bill included multiple stipulations that would help minority and disproportionately impacted communities get first dibs on licenses. In one sense, they came through on that promise.
However getting a license and opening a business are two separate things. And 185 dispensary license holders — including minority license holders — have been waiting to open their businesses for two years.
For others like Akele Parnell, an attorney on the board of Chicago’s NORML chapter, they were able to open a grow facility, but with no dispensary to shelve the finished product. This has led to financial struggles for many who don’t have the partnerships or financial backing to stay afloat while waiting to be approved to open their business.
by Travis C | Jan 28, 2022 | 420 News, Blog, Business, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Culture, Industry News, Legalization, Politics
Thousands of business have been put on a timeline as provisional cannabis licenses in California will be coming to and end in the future.
The end to a longstanding program in the state is going to make entry into the California legal cannabis industry much more difficult for newcomers. However the end to the temporary permit program will impact thousands of legal cannabis businesses across the state.
In fact, this change will impact the majority of California cannabis businesses.
Beginning June 30th, the options for entering the cannabis industry in California will become more limited. Potential newcomers will have two options:
- Obtain an annual state license
- Buy an existing licensed company
But obtaining an annual state license in California right now can take months or even years before a new business could begin operations, not to mention the costs of obtaining said license. Buying an existing cannabis company that is already licensed will be a much speedier process, though likely even more costly.
This could mean an increase in merger and acquisition activity in the state. While the end to the provisional cannabis licenses in California is meant to help existing cannabis businesses in the state, it may be too soon to say.
Of the 12,221 marijuana businesses that are currently licensed in California, only 3,378 currently hold annual state licenses. In other words, over 70% of legal cannabis businesses in California are operating with a provisional license.
Compared to annual licenses, provisional cannabis licenses in California have been much easier to obtain. Provisional licenses have acted as an extension of temporary permits that were issued following the passing of Proposition 64. These temporary licenses were originally intended to allow already licensed medical cannabis businesses in the state to sell cannabis recreationally while the state set up the regulated industry.
That was in 2018.
In 2022, the majority of the industry is still operating under provisional licenses for a variety of reasons. However most would likely argue that the costs of obtaining an annual license alone is reason enough.
As it stands, current provisional license holders don’t need to worry. However those looking to apply for a new provisional cannabis license in California will have their first deadline March 31, 2022. These will specifically be license applications for mixed light and indoor cultivation at or less than 22,000 square feet of contiguous premises and outdoor cultivation at or less than 20,000 square feet of contiguous premises.
June 30, 2022 is when the California Department of Cannabis Control is when these licenses must be issued. Starting July 1st, renewing a provisional cannabis license in California will become more difficult, requiring specific conditions. However local equity applicants and smaller cultivations will still be able to apply for provisional cannabis licenses in California through 2023.
January 1, 2026 is the last day that any provisional cannabis licenses can be in effect. In other words, all current provisional cannabis license holders — 70% of current businesses in California — have until this date to obtain an annual state license.
Four years may seem like ample time for the 8,843 provisional license holders in California to make the switch to an annual license. However since Proposition 64 passed, California has been plagued with suffocating bureaucracy, exorbitant fees and costs, strict regulations and other issues
that already make it extremely difficult to operate for smaller operations.
The state has allocated $100 million to help the 17 cities and counties with the most marijuana companies to finish transitioning provisionally licensed companies into annual permits. However the annual licensing process is so involved, said attorney Ariana Van Alstine, that some companies have taken years to get theirs. Others are still waiting for their licenses, going back-and-forth with local or state regulators on getting theirs completed or both.
With a priority on transitioning existing provisional cannabis licenses in California, one must hope that the process will run smoothly. Ideally, every provisional license holder will be able to make the switch to an annual license before January 1, 2026.
However if California’s past is to act as any reference, one must also be extremely skeptical.
by The Real Dirt | Dec 16, 2021 | Blog, Business, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Industry News, Legalization
The Murphy Administration began accepting applications from cannabis growers, product manufacturers and testing labs on Wednesday — the first step that will usher in the legitimate marijuana industry New Jersey voters endorsed in a referendum 13 months ago.
Within four hours of the application portal going live 9 a.m. Wednesday, 500 people had established accounts, Jeff Brown, executive director for the Cannabis Regulatory Commission announced. By the end of the business day, 635 had created accounts, commission spokeswoman Toni-Anne Blake said.
“We are happy to reach this milestone,” Brown said in a statement. “Applications are coming in, the platform is performing well, and we can officially mark the launch of the state’s recreational cannabis industry.”
The commission will start accepting applications for dispensary owners, the retail shops that will sell the cannabis products, on March 15. There are no deadlines; applications will be accepted and reviewed on a continuous basis, the commission said.
Applicants who are owned by women, minorities and veterans will get reviewed and approved first, as well as from those who have been convicted of marijuana offenses and people from poor communities, the commission has said. One of the goals behind legalizing the sale and possession of weed is to lessen the harm on Black and brown people, who have been more than three times more likely to face arrest and conviction than white people, even though usage rates are the same.
Under the cannabis legalization law signed in February by Gov. Phil Murphy, the commission created the Office of Minority, Disabled Veterans, and Women Business Development to promote diversity.
The commission also created a category for Social Equity Business applicants, defined as entities “owned by people who have lived in an economically disadvantaged area or who have convictions for cannabis-related offenses.”
by The Real Dirt | Dec 9, 2021 | 420 News, Blog, Business, Cannabis Business, Cannabis Law and Compliance, Cannabis News, Legalization
More states are offering microbusiness licenses to cannabis entrepreneurs in an effort to diversify a market that some fear could become dominated by large, deep-pocketed multistate operators.
But the jury is still out on how successful such efforts will be.
So far, only three states have issued microbusiness licenses that require less capital to launch and operate a small, plant-touching enterprise: California, Massachusetts and Michigan.
Michigan already is moving to tweak its program to make it easier for microbusiness operators to survive and thrive.
“A lot of states are talking about the microbusiness game, but few have enacted it,” said Ed Keating, co-founder and chief data officer of Cannabiz Media, a Connecticut-based firm that provides licensing data and other business intelligence.
New recreational cannabis states that haven’t yet issued licenses – but have developed microbusiness and/or craft grower programs – include Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Virginia.
A draft bill also is in the works in Washington state to provide a “craft cannabis endorsement” designed to allow small, independently owned cultivators and processors to conduct on-site retail sales to individuals 21 and older.
Helping those with less access to capital
The programs have similar goals.
“It’s a way to make the business more accessible to citizens of the state that don’t have access to large amounts of capital,” Keating said.
“It’s often a nod to social equity,” he added, referring to efforts to help entrepreneurs who have been disadvantaged by the war on drugs.
“And it’s also maybe a hedge against big cannabis.”
A microbusiness generally is defined as a small enterprise that employs 10 people or fewer.