MJBizMag May-June 2023 - 21

INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS
Kentucky
Gov. Andy Beshear signed a bill into law that would legalize medical marijuana, fulfilling an earlier
promise.
Forty states have now legalized medical cannabis in some form.
Beshear signed Senate Bill 47 the day after it passed the state House on a 66-33 vote. The new
market is slated to launch no sooner than Jan. 1, 2025.
Kentucky's new MMJ law has no license caps and permits cultivation with canopy ranging from
2,500 to 50,000 square feet.
The legislation is considered relatively restrictive-the list of qualifying conditions is short, there is
no home cultivation and patients are barred from smoking cannabis.
Maryland
Gov. Wes Moore is expected to sign legislation into law that sets regulations for adult-use marijuana
sales and cultivation, just in time for the first legal sales to begin July 1.
Maryland residents voted overwhelmingly in November to legalize adult-use cannabis.
But the industry-funded ballot initiative left vital details-including licensing, taxation and whether
the state's existing medical cannabis businesses would get first crack at what could be a $2.1 billion
market by 2027-to state lawmakers.
After months of debate, regulatory bills passed both the state House and Senate before Maryland's
General Assembly adjourned.
Sales will be subject to a 9% tax, and social equity applicants will be able to sell adult-use cannabis
in 2024.
Adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and cultivate no more
than two plants at home, according to the bill. Qualified MMJ patients can grow four plants.
Michigan
A former Michigan House speaker accepted more than $100,000 in bribes from would-be cannabis
business operators in exchange for help obtaining licenses, federal prosecutors said.
The corruption allegations unveiled against Rick Johnson and three others amount to " the largest
public corruption scandal in the state's capital in 30 years, " according to The Detroit News.
Johnson served as speaker of the state House from 2001 to 2004 and later chaired Michigan's
medical marijuana board until it was dissolved by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2019.
According to U.S. Attorney Mark Totten of the Western District of Michigan, Johnson took " cash and
benefits from at least two companies " and later voted in favor of granting them licenses.
Johnson agreed to plead guilty to accepting a bribe, according to a plea deal filed in federal court.
Three co-defendants also charged with conspiracy to commit bribery have pleaded guilty.
Totten suggested that more allegations could be coming.
New York
Regulators issued 99 new adult-use cannabis retail licenses, including to applicants previously blocked
by an ongoing lawsuit that left key markets such as Brooklyn off-limits to legal sales.
The state has now issued 165 Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CUARD) licenses, a " vast
expansion " made easier by a recent ruling in a court case that's still blocking retailers in one region
of the state, Tremaine Wright, the chair of the New York Cannabis Control Board, said in a statement
announcing the new permits.
Fifty-three of the newly approved licenses are for marijuana retailers in New York City, according to
the Cannabis Control Board.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit seeking to expedite adult-use licenses for a coalition of multistate operators
is pending.
mjbizdaily.com | May-June 2023 19

MJBizMag May-June 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMag May-June 2023

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