This week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that he would clear more than 11,000 low-level cannabis-related convictions ahead of the state’s Jan. 1 launch of adult-use cannabis sales, which generated $3.2 million and more than 77,000 transactions on the first day.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Illinois: Adult-use cannabis sales began at 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day at most retail locations, and businesses made sure to greet the customers who got up early to take advantage of this historic day. While some customers encountered supply shortages or point-of-sale glitches, many on the ground in this newest cannabis market reported smooth sailing. Read more
- On Dec. 31, the eve of adult-use cannabis legalization in Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that he was pardoning more than 11,000 low-level cannabis-related convictions ahead of adult-use sales. The pardon cleared 11,017 convictions involving less than 30 grams of cannabis. Read more
- In its latest round of adult-use cannabis business licensing, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation approved 11 more “same site” adult-use cannabis licenses, which grant existing medical cannabis dispensaries licenses to operate in the state’s newly launched adult-use market. This most recent licensing round raises the total number of adult-use cannabis licenses to 46. Read more
- Indiana: Lawmakers are ramping up cannabis policy reform efforts going into the new year, filing legislation that addresses decriminalization and smokable hemp ahead of Indiana’s 2020 legislative session. Sen. Karen Tallian and Rep. Jim Lucas have both introduced decriminalization bills, and Tallian’s package of legislation also includes a proposal to legalize smokable hemp, as well as one that would create a commission to oversee the regulation and licensing of CBD products. Read more
- Arkansas: Medical cannabis sales in Arkansas surpassed $28 million in 2019. Fourteen dispensaries are currently operating in the state, and patients have purchased more than 4,209 pounds of product, spending $28.13 million since sales launched in May. Read more
- Oklahoma: Two groups are competing to bring adult-use cannabis legalization initiatives to Oklahoma’s 2020 ballot. One group of advocates filed a new adult-use cannabis petition with the secretary of state’s office Dec. 27 after withdrawing a similar proposal, and Tulsa resident Paul Tay filed a similar petition the same day. Read more
- Michigan: The state has granted three adult-use cannabis dispensaries approval for home deliveries. Lit Provisionary in Evart, Battle Creek Provisioning in Battle Creek and Nature’s Releaf in Burton have all been licensed for delivery. Read more
- New Mexico: Rep. Javier Martinez has announced plans to pre-file an adult-use cannabis legalization bill that incorporates recommendations from the state’s governor-appointed work group, which was charged with suggesting what an adult-use program in the state should entail. Martinez’s forthcoming legislation will establish a private adult-use cannabis industry in New Mexico and regulate the market similar to alcohol. Read more
- Minnesota: A federal judge is allowing a Minnesota farmer’s lawsuit over a revoked license to proceed. In 2019, products allegedly derived from Luis Hummel’s hemp crop at 5th Sun Gardens in Lanesboro, Minn., tripped the state testing threshold for THC content. Hummel, licensed under an industrial hemp pilot program that was sanctioned by the 2014 Farm Bill, is fighting back against the state’s enforcement of that rule. Read more
- Federal: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved three U.S. states’ hemp regulation plans, allowing Ohio, Louisiana and New Jersey to proceed with licensed hemp cultivation. None of those states allowed hemp cultivation under the 2014 Farm Bill provisions, making this the first time farmers in Ohio, Louisiana and New Jersey may pursue this newly legal crop. Read more