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Legalization: Many Strides, Some Setbacks

Gavel and cannabis with sound block on the black mirror background

An update on cannabis legalization progress across the United States.

Federal Update: Across the US, insurers are gearing up for the potential impacts of legalizing adult-use cannabis nationwide. Insurance for growers, testing labs, and retailers is currently held in check by strict federal laws, but this could possibly change if Congress can reach a deal on legalization. Those in states where cannabis is legal can currently offer coverage at the state level, but legalization would drastically expand that availability. (Source: Reuters)

New Mexico: New Mexico’s new rules laying out specific regulations for the production of cannabis for adult use went into effect on August 24. These guidelines include plant count, which is capped at 10,000 plants per licensed grower, though the norm will be between six and eight thousand. The state also introduced requirements to prevent a shortage of medical cannabis. (Source: High Times)

New York: Those concerned by New York State’s sluggish cannabis rollout felt a bit of relief on September 1 when Governor Kathy Hochul appointed two people to fill the top spots on the State’s Office of Cannabis Management. Christopher Alexander was appointed Director, while Tremaine Wright will lead the Cannabis Control Board. The long-awaited appointments have many hoping that the rollout will now move forward, but it’s still not clear when that will happen as several open positions on both panels still need to be filled. (Source: WFBO/NPR

New Jersey: Nearly three-quarters of municipalities in New Jersey have opted out of adult-use cannabis sales. According to the USA Today Network, roughly 71% of New Jersey towns (approximately 400) have approved local ordinances that ban adult-use marijuana businesses. Only 98 of those 400 municipalities have passed laws that will allow for adult-use cannabis retailers, growers, manufacturers, most of them in the southern part of the state. Forty-one towns have banned retail but plan to allow growth and distribution. (Source: Marijuana Moment)

North Carolina: In late August, a North Carolina Senate Committee approved a revised bill to legalize medicinal cannabis. The bill must still clear the Senate Health Care and Rules and Operations Committees to reach the floor before potentially heading to the House of Representatives and then to the governor’s desk. While many advocates have applauded the move, others have criticized the fact that growers will need at least five years of experience, effectively excluding in-state businesses from participating. (Source: Marijuana Moment)

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