MJBiz - November/December 2023 - 36

INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS State by State
Arizona
More than half of the state's 26 social equity retail licensees missed a key deadline to open their
cannabis shops by Oct. 8. The operators could face penalties for failing to meet the state-mandated
deadline, and potential sanctions include license revocation.
Arizona regulators have indicated that they won't go that far, however, and will instead give the
social equity license holders more time to get their retail businesses up and running.
After awarding the 26 social equity licenses through a lottery in April 2022, the Arizona Department
of Health Services established an 18-month deadline for the winners to be operational.
But a litany of challenges made it difficult for many of the newly minted licensees to meet the
Oct. 8 deadline, including lawsuits, torpedoed legislation benefiting social equity license holders,
statewide zoning restrictions and widespread municipal opt-outs.
Arkansas
A federal judge blocked enforcement of a recent state ban on products containing intoxicating hempderived
cannabinoids such as delta-8 THC, marking at least a temporary victory for the Arkansas
hemp industry.
Calling the ban confusing and arbitrary, U.S. District Court Judge Billy Roy Wilson granted an
injunction that stops the state from enforcing it. The judge's ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed by
four hemp-product makers in July-the day before the ban was to take effect.
The judge noted that Arkansas has the right to restrict delta-8 products but can't prohibit
transporting them through the state. The case is set to go to trial in 2024.
California
Marijuana businesses scored a key victory after Gov. Gavin Newsom spiked a bill that would have
imposed new marketing and packaging restrictions on marijuana products.
The legislation would have added several new product labeling and packaging restrictions, including
banning images of:
* Cartoons, toys or robots.
* Real or fictional humans.
* Fictional animals or creatures.
* Fruits or vegetables, " except when used to accurately describe ingredients or flavorings. "
The California Cannabis Industry Association lauded the veto and Newsom's approval of a much less
stringent proposal, Senate Bill 540, which mandates the state's Department of Cannabis Control to
routinely review marijuana labeling standards and develop brochures highlighting certain risks of MJ use.
The governor also nixed an industry-backed measure that would have permitted marijuana cafes,
dealing a major setback to retailers and consumption-lounge operators.
Meanwhile, social equity applicants, licensees and advocates are celebrating the passage of SB 51,
which provides social equity operators more time to get their businesses up and running.
Colorado
Marijuana transport company IDY Distributors and retailer Simply Pure are the first recipients of
funding from the state's Cannabis Business Loan Program.
The program awards loans ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 to social equity licensees who often
face barriers to raising capital, according to a news release. The loans were awarded to the two
Denver-based companies by Colorado's Cannabis Business Office, which was established in July 2021.
IDY plans to use the loan to expand its offerings to include warehousing and retail-order fulfillment.
Simply Pure, founded by Colorado cannabis pioneer Wanda James, will use the loan to grow its
digital marketing presence, remodel the store's exterior and launch delivery services with social equity
licensee Puff Pass.
36 November-December 2023 | MJBizMagazine

MJBiz - November/December 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBiz - November/December 2023

MJBiz - November/December 2023 - CT1
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