This week, Vermont inched closer to legalizing adult-use cannabis sales when the House approved S. 54, legislation that would establish a regulated-and-taxed cannabis market in the state. Elsewhere, in New Mexico, the state’s health secretary signed a reciprocity rule that allows the state to honor medical cannabis cards from other states.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- New Mexico: Although Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a law last week that reinstated a residency requirement for patients enrolled in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program, Health Secretary Kathyleen Kunkel implemented a reciprocity rule that allows New Mexico to honor medical cannabis cards from other states starting July 1. At least 613 non-residents have enrolled in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program since the residency requirement was eliminated last year. Read more
- Pennsylvania: Four new companies have been approved to cultivate cannabis for research purposes in Pennsylvania in partnership with the state’s medical schools. Under state law, eight companies—called “clinical registrants”—can grow, process and dispense cannabis for research institutions, and the four new licensees bring the total number of clinical registrants to seven. Read more
- New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced plans to tour legal cannabis states as part of his effort to legalize adult-use cannabis in the Empire State this year. Cuomo plans to visit Massachusetts, Illinois and either California or Colorado to find out which aspects of their legal cannabis program have worked and which have not, as well as their lessons learned. Read more
- Illinois: Tax revenue from Illinois adult-use cannabis sales surpassed $10 million in January, which puts the state on track to top Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget estimates of $28 million in cannabis tax revenue by June 30. Illinois collects sales tax, as well as an additional cannabis tax, on adult-use sales, and January sales brought in more than $3.1 million in sales tax revenue and more than $7.3 million in cannabis tax revenue. Read more
- Massachusetts: The Cannabis Control Commission has announced plans to hire additional staff in order to cut the average wait time for cannabis business licenses from 121 days to 60 days. The agency unveiled its plan at a Joint Ways and Means Committee budget hearing Feb. 24 to address one of the most common complaints from prospective cannabis entrepreneurs. Read more
- Kentucky: Lawmakers have introduced new legislation in the House that calls for more medical cannabis research, days after the full House approved legislation to legalize medical cannabis in the state. The bill, backed by opponents of medical cannabis legalization, has cleared a Senate panel in a unanimous vote, and now heads to the full Senate for consideration. Read more
- Maine: The Office of Marijuana Policy has indicated that the state is still months away from launching adult-use cannabis sales, although regulators expect stores to start opening later this spring, once the state has an adult-use cannabis testing lab. Regulators are currently processing one adult-use cannabis testing application, submitted by Kennebunk’s Nelson Analytical, but the application has not been officially approved. Read more
- Maine also announced plans this week to establish a new division within the state Drug Enforcement Agency to monitor cannabis regulatory compliance and illicit market activity. The announcement has sparked controversy among cannabis advocates, who say regulators should be trying to help businesses comply with state regulations instead of prosecuting them. Read more
- Virginia: Lawmakers have introduced new legislation to tweak the state’s medical cannabis program, including a bill that would allow nursing homes to administer medical cannabis. Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant’s S.B. 185 would authorize caregivers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospices to administer medical cannabis to patients who have been certified and enrolled in Virginia’s medical cannabis program. Read more
- Vermont: The House of Representatives has advanced S. 54, a bill to legalize, regulate and tax adult-use cannabis sales in the state. The legislation now returns to the Senate, which has already passed the bill, and which must now work out differences with the House before sending a final version of the bill to Gov. Phil Scott’s desk. Read more