November Ballot Results
Adult Use Cannabis legalization measures were up for consideration on the ballot last month In North Dakota, South Dakota, and Arkansas were defeated, however, voters in Maryland and Missouri have approved Legislation.
Beginning on July 1, 2023 adults will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates and to grow up to two cannabis plants in their homes for personal use. Possessing amounts between 1.5 ounces and 2.5 ounces will be subject to civil fines but possessing more than 2.5 ounces will result in criminal penalties. The law establishes a process to facilitate the expungement of past eligible convictions and also allows for the resentencing of those incarcerated for eligible cannabis crimes. Eligible parties may begin petitioning the courts after 1/1/23.
Missouri voters decided in favor of Amendment 3 legalizing the possession, cultivation, and licensed retail sale of cannabis for those ages 21 and older. Beginning on December 8, 2022, adults will be permitted to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and grow up to six flowering plants, six immature plants, and six plants under 14 inches for personal use. The law requires the implementation of a process for the automatic review and expungement of certain marijuana convictions by June 8, 2023. The regulations have yet to be finalized, but the drafts are available here.
Nevada (Consumption Lounges)
On Wednesday, November 30th, the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) conducted two drawings via random number selection to determine the issuance of cannabis consumption lounge licenses. According to state law, the CCB may issue 20 independent cannabis consumption lounge licenses, 10 of which are designated for social equity applicants. The CCB received a total of 99 applications for 20 retail cannabis consumption lounges, 49 independent lounges, and 30 social equity independent lounges. Upon receiving final inspection, licensure, and approval by the Board, retail cannabis consumption lounges are expected to open during the first half of 2023. According to Las Vegas TV station KLAS, almost all of the 20 licenses went to companies in Las Vegas and unincorporated Clark County.
Rhode Island’s first adult-use marijuana sales began on December 1st, with 5 dispensaries serving consumers 21 and older. During last month’s election, voters in more than 30 cities were asked to decide to allow cannabis businesses to operate within their jurisdictions. Almost all of those cities opted in, but those that didn’t place the question on their ballot will by default allow marijuana businesses in their area, including the state’s largest cities: Cranston, Pawtucket, Providence, and Warwick. These five dispensaries are operating with hybrid licenses that allow them to sell cannabis to both Medical patients and Adult Use customers. According to MJBizDaily, “Rhode Island’s adult-use market is expected to generate $80 million in sales in the first year and $300 million by the fourth year”.
On November 21st, New York regulators issued the first 36 marijuana retail licenses for the adult-use market that officials hope will open by year’s end. The timeline may be possible with the announcement by the OCM that delivery services may launch before retail stores open. New York adult-use retailers are projected to generate $1 billion-$1.2 billion in sales next year, growing to $2.2 billion-$2.7 billion by 2026, according to MJBiz Daily. New York’s existing medical cannabis market is vertically integrated with multi-state operators accounting for almost all of the existing medical market. NY regulators took a much different approach to the adult-use market. In an attempt to limit the presence of these multi-state operators, proposed rules include a one-time licensing fee of $5 million, an additional $3 million fee per store, and a three-year moratorium on opening any retail store for recreational sales. The state’s medical marijuana market is expected to bring in $220 million to $270 million this year, increasing to $320 million-$390 million by 2026, according to MJBiz Daily.
New Jersey Cannabis regulators approved regulations for “public cannabis consumption areas” which would allow a social use option for adults and patients. “Adult-use cannabis shops opened in April, but advocates have emphasized the need to implement regulations that give people additional spaces to lawfully consume” according to marijuana moment. Some of the rules include the prohibition of food items being sold on-site, though people would be able to bring their own food or have it delivered. Alcohol and tobacco can not be sold or consumed at cannabis consumption sites. They could operate indoors or outdoors, however outdoors will require an enclosure. The proposed application fee, micro business, and standard license fees for the facilities will be $1,000
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released a special 93-page report on industrial hemp, that focuses on how developing economies can “exploit hemp’s economic and social potential through a whole-plant approach, based on the exploitive use of all the plant’s parts”. The report goes on to suggest that “this approach could facilitate the creation of production chains that are able to contribute to growth in rural areas, in the manufacturing and food processing industries. Moreover hemp development “should be at the core of any sectoral development strategies” for the future of developing economies.