MJBiz - July 2023 - 22
INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS State by State
Gov. Tim Walz signed a unique marijuana legalization bill into law that also permits the sale of hempderived
cannabinoids such as delta-8 THC, making Minnesota the 23rd
state in the U.S. to legalize
Walz signed the bill at the state capitol while flanked by cannabis advocates as well as former
Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, a steadfast legalization advocate.
Minnesota is one of a growing handful of states to legalize cannabis via the legislature rather than
with a ballot initiative. The state does not allow for citizen-initiated ballot questions.
It's expected to take about a year for the new state Office of Cannabis Management to issue the
first retail business licenses. Sales will be taxed 10%.
Two companies operate the state's 15 dispensaries: Green Thumb Industries and Goodness
Growth Holdings, formerly known as Vireo Health. Medical operators will be allowed to enter the
The state's adult-use marijuana industry will remain closed to new entrants for at least two more
years, thanks to bills signed into law by Gov. Greg Gianforte.
Gianforte's signature means that 16 businesses statewide that had been allowed to sell only medical
marijuana since receiving licenses in 2020 will be able to start selling adult-use products.
House Bill 903 also mandates that holders of multiple licenses pay higher fees. An initial license now
costs $5,000, with each additional permit costing an additional $5,000.
Social equity advocates in Missouri are questioning the validity of numerous ZIP codes submitted by
law enforcement that would qualify residents to apply for cannabis microbusiness licenses.
Leaders of the local and state NAACP are criticizing the inclusion of several ZIP codes that
encompass government buildings, post office boxes and affluent suburbs, while omitting several
others primarily in north St. Louis, where roughly half the city's Black population resides.
The microbusiness licenses were designed to allow " marginalized or under-represented individuals
to participate in the legal marijuana market, " according to an April news release issued by the Missouri
Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), the state's cannabis regulator.
The list of eligible ZIP codes was provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Missouri plans to
license an initial round of 48 cannabis microbusinesses via a lottery in October.
A settlement between New York cannabis regulators and a Michigan plaintiff will finally open up retail
licensing in the state's Finger Lakes region.
The five-member Cannabis Control Board unanimously approved the agreement with Michiganbased
Variscite NY One. Variscite had filed a lawsuit in November seeking an injunction against the
state after unsuccessfully applying for licenses in five regions.
A federal judge granted the company a temporary restraining order, which blocked the issuance
of licenses for months in the Finger Lakes, as well as Brooklyn, Central New York, Mid-Hudson and
Western New York.
In late March, a federal judge halted the injunction in four regions but left the temporary restraining
order in force in the Finger Lakes, where Michigan resident Kenneth Gay sued the state Office of
Cannabis Management on behalf of his marijuana company, Variscite.
Under the settlement, Variscite would be guaranteed an adult-use retail license once licensing resumes.
22 July 2023 | MJBizMagazine
MJBiz - July 2023
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