This week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a cannabis banking bill into law that will make it easier for cannabis businesses to strike up a financial relationship with a bank. Elsewhere, in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced plans to pardon more than 2,700 low-level cannabis possession convictions through an executive order.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: The U.S. House has again included the SAFE Banking Act in its latest COVID-19 relief package, newly proposed legislation that is an updated version of The HEROES Act and that initially passed the House in May. The SAFE Banking Act would allow state-legal cannabis businesses to work with banks and other financial institutions, and was also passed as a standalone bill in the House last fall. Read more
- New Jersey: The state legislature has approved a bill that would allow doctors to use telemedicine to recommend medical cannabis to their patients. The legislation would allow certain patients with limited access to in-office consultations to receive medical cannabis recommendations from their doctors via telemedicine, while other patients would be required to attend one in-office consultation but could then have future recommendations renewed using telemedicine. Read more
- Missouri: The Department of Health and Senior Services has announced that a medical cannabis testing facility has passed its commencement inspection and received final approval to operate. The state’s medical cannabis supply chain is now fully operational with cultivation, dispensary and testing facilities, and sales are expected to launch soon. Read more
- Massachusetts: The Cannabis Control Commission has agreed on a regulatory framework for cannabis delivery, with a proposal that would create two types of licenses and establish a timeline to implement the new rules. The first license type, a “limited delivery license,” would allow a licensee to charge a fee to deliver from licensed cannabis dispensaries, while the second license type, a “wholesale delivery license,” would allow a licensee to buy cannabis wholesale from licensed cultivators and manufacturers, store it in a warehouse and sell it to consumers. Read more
- Maine: Portland received 43 cannabis dispensary applications last month for the city’s 20 available retail licenses, but a preliminary staff review has found that a dozen of the applicants could be disqualified for not meeting basic requirements. The 12 applicants could be disqualified for not having a conditional state cannabis license, being more than 30 days late on paying a local tax or fee in the last five years, having unresolved land-use violations, or planning to operate a dispensary too close to a school or in the wrong zoning district. Read more
- Hawaii: Gov. David Ige has signed legislation into law that allows the sale of cannabis edibles in the state, effective Jan. 1, 2021. The bill, H.B. 2097, cleared the legislature in July, and would authorize the state’s eight medical cannabis licensees to produce and sell cannabis-infused edible products for registered patients. Read more
- Colorado: Gov. Jared Polis announced plans this week to pardon 2,732 low-level cannabis possession convictions through an executive order. The move comes after the passage of House Bill 1424, which allows the governor to pardon convictions involving the possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis, which is the current legal limit for those registered in Colorado’s medical cannabis program. Read more
- California: A bill became law this week that will provide safe harbor for banking institutions doing business with cannabis companies. Essentially, the law states that financial services and banking institutions are not acting criminally when engaging with a licensed cannabis business. Read more
- Arkansas: The Medical Marijuana Commission held a meeting this week where it rejected issuing an additional dispensary license and considered closing a loophole in the program’s reciprocity rules. The commission briefly considered adding a fifth dispensary license in Zone 6, which spans eight counties between Pulaski County and the Oklahoma border, due to rising customer demand, but ultimately shot down the idea in a 3-2 vote. Read more
- Maryland: The Medical Cannabis Commission awarded 11 medical cannabis cultivation and processing licenses this week in an effort to diversify the state’s industry. The three cultivation and eight processing licenses were issued after more than a year of delays stemming from logistical errors and allegations that the process was flawed. Read more