July 2-8, 2019 Dispensary Compliance Updates

by Jayson Filingeri,

Arizona activists are preparing to file a recreational marijuana legalization initiative they intend to qualify for the 2020 ballot. The movement comes after the last initiative, known as Prop 205, was defeated by a slim margin of less than one percent in 2016.

In California, with the passage of Assembly Bill 97 and Senate Bill 97, an applicant is no longer required to hold or have held a temporary license to obtain a provisional license. Applicants who wish to obtain a provisional license but have not yet submitted an annual license application may now do so by registering an account on the Bureau’s online self-service portal.

In Maine, at least 15 municipalities have opted into adult use marijuana, following Governor Janet Mills signing off on a legal framework for the sale of recreational cannabis to adults. Those cities and towns have decided to authorize businesses that grow, process, test or sell cannabis. Among other changes to Maine’s adult use cannabis laws, P.L. 2019, ch. 491 requires several changes to the provisionally adopted rules. Reports indicate that the rules may be finalized by early 2020.

In Massachusetts, the Cannabis Control Commission set out to revise and republish its slate of regulation after assuming control of the medical cannabis program from the Department of Public Health in December. The product of months of policy discussions and hearings, the new draft regulations for medical cannabis as well as the adult-use or recreational industry are open for public input until Aug. 16.

The draft regulations would permit a social consumption pilot program to operate in up to 12 municipalities.

The draft regulations also set the table for delivery-only licenses, a license type that advocates have said would help level the playing field between large corporations and small businesses because the barriers to entry for delivery would be far less burdensome than those for retail licenses.

In Michigan, officials issued a set of heavily anticipated emergency rules for the recreational marijuana market this week that will define how the commercial sale of the now-legal drug will operate. Since the law took effect in December 2018, Michigan residents age 21 and older have been able to possess and consume cannabis. The MRA’s emergency rules will finally allow acceptance of business license applications beginning Nov. 1st. Industry experts predict recreational sales may occur by the first quarter of 2020, and no later than March 2020.

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