State of the Union is a monthly series curated by regional regulatory teams at Fyllo that recaps important cannabis regulatory activity across the U.S. This edition covers activity in January 2021 across Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
Arizona began recreational cannabis sales just weeks after voters approved legalization. This quick implementation of adult-use sales is currently the fastest turnaround in US cannabis legalization.
Taxpayers currently engaged in commercial cannabis activity in California will use the new form 4197 to report tax expenditure items.
The California Bureau of Cannabis Control was informed that it had 30 days to inform all cannabis business owners that they can no longer advertise on highways that cross state lines.
Governor Newsom signed Executive Order N-01-21 extending the validity of medical cannabis ID cards through the end of the COVID emergency.
Illinois announced $31.5 million in grant awards funded by cannabis tax revenue to aid communities harmed by the war on drugs. The Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program provides grant opportunities for “communities impacted by economic disinvestment, violence and the severe and multilayered harm caused by the war on drugs.”
The city of Northampton became the first in the state to drop an onerous 3% ‘impact fee’ on cannabis businesses.
Missouri lawmakers introduced a bill to create a Medical Marijuana Lodging Establishment license to let hotels/Airbnbs allow guests to consume cannabis onsite, specifically out-of-state medical cannabis certifications. The “Reduction of Illegal Public Consumption by Allowing for Compassionate Access to Medical Marijuana Act” would require the state Department of Health and Senior Services to create a new “medical marijuana lodging establishment” license.
The State Bar of South Dakota issued a second ethics opinion reinforcing that lawyers cannot provide legal services to cannabis businesses.
Texas lawmakers began to consider expanding their medical program. Currently, there are 3,519 Texans registered with the state to use medical cannabis. However, advocates say 2 million people are eligible based on the current medical cannabis program — known as the Compassionate Use Program.
The Virginia Legalization bill was making its way through committee hearings. A Virginia Senate committee approved a bill to legalize cannabis in the Commonwealth, bringing the proposal one step closer to a full floor vote. However, before advancing the legislation to another panel, lawmakers defeated a proposal to remove home cultivation rights for cannabis. Fyllo is actively tracking the outcome as both chambers of the state are merging their legalization bills into one.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) announced that a Cannabis Compliance Consultant Team was created to help provide all licensees with the necessary knowledge and tools to achieve greater compliance with state laws and rules.
On January 28, 2021, Washington State regulators published an interpretive statement on cannabinoid additives. Interpretive statements do not have the force and effect of law. Instead, they are explanatory documents intended to convey the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board’s interpretation of law and regulation as it exists when the statement is issued.
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