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EU Marijuana Legalization: A Wave is Coming

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Exciting developments lie ahead for European Union (EU) marijuana legalization. It is inevitable that marijuana legalization sweeps the globe–if you haven’t seen it yet, please watch our webinar with Clifford Chance about the existing global economy of marijuana. The question is just one of timing.

In Germany, as one prominent example, we’re looking at legalization for adult use within the next two years. Earlier this month, the country began down the long road of legalization by concluding public hearings with stakeholders, countries that already have legalization, industry experts, and those groups opposed to legalization. The world will likely see a German legalization bill sometime this year. It’s not just Germany though. The stage is being set for a EU marijuana legalization wave.

This is a big deal internationally

The conclusion of these hearings in Germany is a big deal since Germany represents the EU’s largest economy (and the fourth largest worldwide by nominal GDP). Legalization by such an economic powerhouse will undoubtedly spur change across other EU countries. Similar to the U.S. states, it seems that other European nations are mainly waiting on the right legalization roadmap from a given country in order to follow suit.

Based on the hearings

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New York to Accept Retail Dispensary Apps August 25

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It is finally here: New York’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced that it will begin accepting applications for the Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) Licenses on August 25, 2022. Applications will be accepted through the OCM’s online portal and the application window will close on September 26, 2022. This is obviously a huge deal and the first step towards legal sales of adult-use cannabis in New York.

As a brief refresher, this is a conditional license that moves forward New York’s stated goal of prioritizing social equity applicants. Even if the non-conditional adult-use licenses follow shortly hereafter, it means a lot that the first sales of cannabis in New York will come from businesses owned by individuals who have suffered from New York’s needless and damaging war on cannabis. The two big ticket items for CAURD applicants:

Applicants must have a marijuana-related offense conviction that occurred prior to the MRTA being passed on March 31, 2021, or a parent, legal guardian, child, spouse or dependent with a pre-MRTA marijuana-related offense conviction in the State of New York; and Applicants must have experience owning and operating a qualifying business.

We have all of the critical breakdowns of the

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States to Feds: End Cannabis Prohibition Now

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After a vote last week, the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) adopted a revised cannabis policy measure (the “Directive“) which supports federally descheduling cannabis, as well as cannabis banking reform. At this point, it’s abundantly clear that the states have moved beyond cannabis prohibition.

The NCSL is a non-partisan organization that represents all state legislators nationwide. A state legislator present at the summit, held in Denver, said that most of the discussion leading up to the vote centered on federal cannabis banking reform, but there was no debate on the language of cannabis legalization. The legislator said that there was minimal opposition, with an estimated five to seven states of the 44 in attendance that vocalized their opposition.

NCSL passed similar measures back in 2017 and 2018 calling for cannabis descheduling, though those measures were limited in scope, specifying that states should be free to establish their own cannabis legislation without federal intervention. This time, the NCSL made an explicit call for federal cannabis legalization. The Directive also states that “until cannabis is federally descheduled,” the federal government should focus on enforcing penalties for criminal enterprises in “illicit” cannabis production and distribution instead of citizens who comply with state

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Interstate Cannabis Agreements in California

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I get asked a lot of questions about what California cannabis licensees can and cannot do under the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”). California is actually business friendly once operations get going with a license– despite its many issues with the cannabis industry. For example, vertical integration is allowed. There’s no license cap, and you can apply for a license year-round. We allow for cannabis delivery apps. And California permits consumption lounges in line with local law.

So what’s next? Well, at this point California is also going to try to allow for interstate cannabis agreements, similar to what Oregon did back in 2019 under its Senate Bill 582. In California, the proposal up for discussion is SB 1326.

Interstate cannabis agreements

According to AB 1326:

MAUCRSA specifies that its provisions shall not be construed to authorize or permit a licensee to transport or distribute, or cause to be transported or distributed, cannabis or cannabis products outside the state, unless authorized by federal law. This bill would make an exception to the above-described prohibition and would authorize the Governor to enter into an agreement with another state or states authorizing medicinal or adult-use commercial cannabis

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