West Virginia Announces Dispensary Licenses, California Approves Cannabis Banking Regulations: Week in Review

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This week, the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis announced the winners of the state’s medical cannabis dispensary licenses. Elsewhere, in California, the Office of Administrative Law approved proposed emergency regulations to allow cannabis businesses to access banking services.

Here, we’ve rounded up the top 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.

  • West Virginia: The Office of Medical Cannabis (OMC) announced the winners of the state’s medical cannabis dispensary licenses this week. Patient registration opened shortly after, on Feb. 3. Read more
  • New Jersey: The New Jersey Assembly Community Development and Affairs Committee has voted to advance a new adult-use compromise bill, lawmakers’ second attempt to pass an adult-use implementation bill that Gov. Phil Murphy will sign into law. Murphy refused to sign an earlier version of adult-use legislation until lawmakers added penalties for underage cannabis use, but that attempt at a “cleanup bill” fell apart when Black lawmakers voiced opposition to the proposal, arguing that the penalties outlined in the legislation would disproportionately impact minorities. Read more
  • Idaho: Lawmakers have voted to advance a joint resolution that would implement a constitutional ban on cannabis. The proposed constitutional amendment would ban all psychoactive drugs that are not already legal in Idaho, but the list of banned substances could be adjusted if drugs are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read more
  • Minnesota: House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler reintroduced an adult-use cannabis legalization bill alongside other Democrat lawmakers Feb. 1. Winkler’s proposal would expunge past cannabis convictions; direct funds to public health awareness campaigns, youth access prevention and substance abuse treatment; provide grants, loans, technical assistance and training for businesses; require the testing and labeling of medical cannabis products; place restrictions on product packaging based on dosage size; and allow home cultivation. Read more
  • Virginia: An adult-use legalization bill is moving through the Virginia Legislature, with the Senate Judiciary Committee voting to advance the legislation this week. S.B. 1406, which is sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin and backed by Gov. Ralph Northam, would legalize the production, sale and use of cannabis for adults 21 and older. Read more
  • Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf included adult-use cannabis legalization in his state budget proposal Feb. 3. Wolf’s call for legalization is part of a broader plan to combat the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, and follows a similar legalization push he made last summer. Read more
  • Illinois: Rep. La Shawn Ford is renewing a push to create new cannabis retail licenses in the wake of a controversial licensing process aimed at issuing 75 dispensary licenses in the state. Ford introduced legislation Feb. 3 that would create up to 110 additional retail licenses, and expects the bill to be called in the House later this month. Read more
  • California: The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the proposed emergency regulations to implement processes for cannabis businesses to authorize release of information to financial institutions. The adopted regulations are intended to facilitate greater access to financial services for licensed cannabis businesses that face challenges obtaining banking, insurance and other financial services commonly available to other businesses. Read more
  • New Mexico: Four legalization bills have been introduced in the New Mexico Legislature to date—two in the Senate and two in the House. The New Mexico Legislature is just about halfway through its 60-day legislative session. Read more
  • South Dakota: Rep. Mike Derby and Sen. Brock Greenfield filed legislation Feb. 3 that would implement the state’s adult-use cannabis program, which voters approved in the 2020 election. H.B. 1225 includes a provision that would void the proposed laws if Amendment A, the voter-approved ballot initiative, gets overturned in a pending lawsuit. Read more
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