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Key state information and updates
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Alaska

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational
Last updated: Nov. 20, 2019

What’s the size of the market?

  • Combined medical and recreational cannabis sales totalled US$31-million in 2018, according to data from CannaRegs, with projections for that figure to increase more than four-fold to US$122-million by the end of 2022.

Who oversees licensing?

  • The state Alcohol & Marijuana Control Office handles all licensing of cannabis cultivators, retailers, processors and individual sellers (referred to by state regulations as “marijuana handlers”)

License types

There are seven types of cannabis licences in Alaska with several of them being sub-types of a broad “marijuana licence” allowing for cultivation, processing, distributing and selling of cannabis for medical or recreational purposes. Within that main application, businesses can specify whether they are seeking authorization for limited cultivation, full cultivation, extract-only manufacturing, full manufacturing and/or testing.

Businesses must separately acquire a “marijuana establishment licence” for any retail location they wish to operate, with the per-location licencing fee being US$5,000 and any individuals with a position requiring them to be in direct contact with cannabis (i.e. a grower or a retail clerk) must obtain a “marijuana handler permit” after taking a state-approved course. The state government has a detailed flow chart explaining how the licencing application process works.

How many licences have been issued?

As of September 2019, Alaska had issued 148 cultivation licences, 70 retail licences (marijuana establishments), 14 manufacturing licences and 4 testing licences.

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There is no limit on the number of licenses an individual company can hold.

What’s the retail environment?

The state passed regulations in 2016 allowing individual municipalities to prohibit cannabis retail in their communities, but thus far none have done so.

What’s the tax environment?

Starting in 2014, the state levied a flat US$50-per-ounce tax on dried cannabis, collected directly from cultivators when products were transferred to retail locations.

As of January 1st, 2019, Alaska’s cannabis taxation regime:

  • US$50 per ounce of “mature bud/flower”
  • US$25 per ounce of “immature/abnormal bud/flower”
  • US$15 per ounce of “trim”
  • US$1 per cannabis “clone” sold

No state-level sales taxes are applied to cannabis in Alaska, however, local jurisdictions such as the City of Anchorage, which imposes a five per cent cannabis sales tax that in 2019 thus far has generated US$880,000 in municipal revenue.

What else should you know?

  • In March, Alaska’s lieutenant governor signed into law rules that will allow on-site consumption of cannabis at licensed retailers in the state. Those rules formally took effect on April 11th
  • According to the Anchorage Daily News, cannabis cultivators in the state are lobbying for lower taxes given the falling wholesale price of cannabis
  • Anyone with a direct or indirect connection to a cannabis licencee must be an Alaska state resident

Arkansas

Latest news

Arkansas may revoke retailers’ inactive medical pot licenses

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the state of the medical market?

  • Sales of medical marijuana began in May of 2019. The U.S. National Cannabis Industry Association estimates that the medical market will be worth about US$130-million in 2022.
  • There are currently 32 dispensaries licensed in the state, and five cultivators.
  • Arkansas still has some of the most punitive pot laws in the United States, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, with jail time still possible for personal possession of amounts under four ounces. A decriminalization bill put forward in 2019 did not make it through the legislature.

Who oversees licensing?

  • The state Department of Health oversees the licensing of medical patients while the Alcohol and Beverage Control agency licenses dispensaries and cultivators.

What else you need to know

  • Five cultivators and 32 dispensaries were approved in 2017, but not all have opened, and the state is threatening to revoke the licences of operators who have delayed opening.
  • Arkansas still has some of the most punitive pot laws in the United States, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, with jail time still possible for personal possession of amounts under four ounces. A decriminalization bill put forward in 2019 did not make it through the legislature.

California

Latest news

Industry fears lawsuits if California warns pregnant women over THC risk

Legislator wants explanation for pot-tax boost

California boosts pot taxes, shocking unsteady industry

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational
Last updated: Nov. 20, 2019

What’s the size of the market?

Who oversees licensing?

  • CalCannabis (the California Department of Food and Agriculture): licenses medicinal and adult use cannabis cultivators and runs the state’s seed-to-sale track-and-trace system.
  • The Bureau of Cannabis Control (the California Department of Consumer Affairs): licenses cannabis retailers, distributors, testing labs, micro-businesses, and temporary cannabis events.
  • Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (the California Department of Public Health): licenses manufacturers of edibles for both medical and non-medical use.

License types

There are 12 types of commercial cannabis licenses in California, which include licenses for activities such as cultivation, distribution, retail, testing and manufacturing. Vertical integration is allowed, but not required.

All companies require both local and state approval to operate commercial cannabis businesses at a given location. Municipal governments can decide whether or not to permit different types of commercial cannabis activity in their jurisdiction, and can determine the number of licenses issued.

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How many licences have been issued?

There is no limit on the number of licenses an individual company can hold.

What’s the retail environment?

It varies across counties and municipalities depending on local rules.

What’s the tax environment?

California imposes a 15 per cent excise tax on retail purchasers of cannabis and cannabis products.

There’s also a cultivation tax imposed on cultivators at a rate of:

  • $9.25 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis flowers,
  • $2.75 per dry-weight ounce of cannabis leaves
  • $1.29 per ounce of fresh cannabis plant

Certain medical cannabis products are exempt from sales and use tax.

The state government collected $116.6 million for in the first quarter of 2019, from excise taxes, cultivation taxes and sales taxes. This does not include tax revenue collected by each jurisdiction.

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What else should you know?

  • As a cultural powerhouse, California will likely be key to developing brands. "It becomes hard to conceive of a truly national consumer brand in cannabis, without having at least some modest success in California,” according to Echelon Wealth Partners analyst Matthew Pallotta.
  • Despite the state’s massive potential, no company has emerged as a dominant player, wrote Mr. Pallotta in an August 2019 report. “The market has been plagued by frequent regulatory changes, strong municipal pushback, license expiries, and fierce competition across most of the supply chain.”
  • The state has a well established black market. According to the Los Angeles Times, an audit conducted by United Cannabis Business Association, found that there were approximately 2,835 unlicensed dispensaries and delivery services operating in California.

Colorado

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational

What’s the size of the market?

Who oversees licensing?

The Marijuana Enforcement Division (Colorado Department of Revenue), regulates and licenses both medical and adult-use cannabis businesses. It has separate rules for adult-use cannabis, which Colorado refers to as retail cannabis, and medical cannabis.

Municipal governments decide whether or not to permit cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction, and what types of businesses to allow. As of January, 2019, 108 local authorities allow recreational or medical cannabis businesses in their jurisdiction.

License types

  1. Recreational licences: Cultivation, Manufacturer, Testing facility, Transporter, Retailer, Operator (to provide professional operational services).
  2. Medical licences: Medical Marijuana Center, Medical Marijuana Optional Premises Cultivation, Medical Marijuana Infused Product Manufacturer, Medical Marijuana Testing Facility, Medical Marijuana Transporter, Medical Marijuana Operator, Medical Marijuana Research and Development Facility or Cultivation.

How many licences have been issued?

  • Medical: 455 centers; 487 cultivators; 223 infused product manufacturers ; 11 testing facilities; 6 operators; 9 transporters; 1 research and development
  • Recreational: 574 Stores; 694 Cultivations; 288 Product Manufacturers; 13 Testing Facilities; 8 Operators; 13 Transporters

What’s the retail environment?

It changes from one municipality to another, depending on whether retail stores are allowed. In cities like Denver, there are dozens of medical and recreational dispensaries.

What’s the tax environment?

There are several cannabis taxes in Colorado, including:

  • 2.9 per cent state sales tax on medical marijuana
  • 15 per cent state sales tax on adult-use marijuana
  • 15 per cent state retail marijuana excise tax

The state collected $266.52-million from marijuana taxes, licenses, and fees in 2018.

What else should you know?

  • Colorado recently lifted a prohibition on outside investment in the state’s cannabis industry, opening up the possibility for publicly traded cannabis firms to invest in the state.
  • Because Colorado is the oldest legal jurisdiction, it has generated some of best data on the social, health and criminal justice impacts of legalizing cannabis. Much of this research was compiled in a report from the state’s Department of Public Safety, published in October 2018.
  • Colorado is a fragmented market in terms of brands. According to a March 2019 report from Cowen Inc. and Headset Inc., “dispensary house brands still represent the majority of flower share in CO (65.3%). Indeed, after house brands, the next two largest flower brands in CO, Super Farm and Terrapin, only have a 3.0% and 1.4% share, respectively... The vapor category is less fragmented as the top 3 brands, Craft (10.4%), EvoLab (7.9%) and Colorado Cannabis (9.4%), have a combined ~28% share of the category."

Connecticut

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the size of the market?

  • The National Cannabis Industry Association reports that medical sales in 2018 totalled US$71-million and estimates 2022 sales of US$103-million.
  • There are currently 18 dispensaries open. The Hartford Courant reports there were just over 30,000 registered medical patients at the end of 2018.
  • There are four facilities licensed to produce medical marijuana; up to 10 are allowed under the current law.

Who oversees the program?

  • Department of Consumer Protections, Medical Marijuana Program

What else you need to know

  • Three legislative committees put bills forward in 2019 to legalize adult-use cannabis, but none came to a vote.
  • Recent polling showed a majority of state residents supporting recreational legalization.

Delaware

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the state of the market?

  • There are currently six dispensaries (called compassion centers) licensed and open in Delaware. Vertical integration is required.
  • The National Cannabis Industry Association says sales in 2018 totalled US$10-million. Medical sales in 2022 are estimated at US$12-million and a recreational market is expected to be in place by 2022 and worth an estimated US$67-million.

Who oversees licensing?

  • Delaware’s Medical Marijuana Act regulates the state’s Medical Marijuana Program (MMP).

What else you need to know

  • State lawmakers are currently debating HB 110, which would establish a legal regulated adult-use market. The bill did not get a vote by June 30, 2019, when the assembly adjourned until January, 2020.

District of Columbia

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational

What’s the state of market?

  • Voters in D.C. overwhelmingly approved the legalization of adult-use cannabis n November, 2014. As the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) reports, D.C. has been unable to get a proper cannabis industry up and running due mostly to the fact that the federal Congress controls its budget and has blocked the region from taxing and regulating marijuana sales. However, MPP says the House of Representatives has removed a block from its spending legislation in 2019, and says D.C. may finally be able to set its own policies around cannabis. This led to a proliferation of illicit and grey market operators.
  • Up to six dispensaries are allowed and five licences have been issues, according to the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA).
  • Ten cultivating licences are allowed, and eight have been issued.
  • The NCIA says 2018 medical sales totalled US$14.4-million, and projects 2022 medical sales at US$37.5-million and recreational sales at US$55.8-million.

Florida

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the size of the market?

Who oversees licensing?

License types

Florida only allows cannabis to be sold through vertically integrated Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTC). Companies are allowed to hold one licence, which gives them the ability to open one cultivation and processing site and up to 35 dispensaries.

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How many licences have been issued?

There is a long-standing court challenge to the requirement of vertical integration, that is on its way to Florida Supreme Court after a district court of appeal decision in August, 2019.

What’s the retail environment?

Dispensaries are permitted in any local jurisdiction unless the municipal government has issued a prohibition against dispensaries. Dispensaries are allowed in sites zoned as pharmacies and located more than 500 feet from schools.

What’s the tax environment?

  • Medical marijuana is exempt from sales and use tax.
  • There is no excise tax on cannabis production.

What else should you know?


Hawaii

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the state of the market?

The National Cannabis Industry Association estimates 2018 sales of US$58-million and projects sales in 2022 of US$120-million.

Medical sales began in 2017, and eight licences were originally made available. Each dispensary license is allowed to operate up to two production centres and two retail-dispensing locations. The Marijuana Policy Project says the state’s Department of Health has been authorized to allow licence holders to open one additional store, which could bring the total number of dispensaries to 24.

Who oversees licensing?

  • The Hawaii Department of Health

What else you need to know

  • In 2019, a senate committee approved a bill to allow adults to consume and possess cannabis, but the bill did not advance before the legislative deadline and died on the table.
  • Hawaii did pass a bill to decriminalize small amounts (3 grams or less), which takes effect in January, 2020.

Illinois

Latest news

Illinois approves two more cultivation centres

Chicago mayor proposes zoning rule limiting cannabis dispensaries

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational (sales will begin in January 2020)

What’s the size of the market?

Who issues licenses?

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation is in charge of issuing licenses and overseeing the medical program and the upcoming recreational industry.

License types

In the existing medical system there are licences for dispensaries and cultivators. Under the incoming recreational system there will be licenses for:

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  • Cultivation centers (up to 210,000 square feet of canopy space)
  • Craft growers (between 5,000 and 14,000 square feet of canopy space)
  • Processors
  • Transporting organizations
  • Dispensing organizations

Vertical integration is not required. In the recreational system, companies will be allowed to own three cultivation licenses and 10 dispensaries. Companies or individuals can only own one craft growing licence.

How many licences have been issued?

  • Illinois has approved 55 medical dispensaries and 22 cultivation/processing facilities.
  • Under the incoming rules, Illinois plans to approve 75 new stores, 40 processors and 40 craft growers by May 2020. A second round of licensing is scheduled for December 2021, “where up to 60 additional craft growers (100 total) and processors (100 total) may become licensed, as well as up to 110 more adult-use dispensaries (295 total).”

Existing medical license holders will have the first shot at applying for adult-use dispensary licenses, and given preferential treatment for the first round of licencing. Existing dispensaries will be allowed to sell recreational cannabis and current dispensaries license holders will be invited to apply for an additional store location, per dispensary licence held. Five dispensaries have already received approval to sell recreational cannabis, although sales won’t begin until January.

What’s the retail environment?

There are 55 medical dispensaries open in the state, with the majority operating in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area.

What’s the tax environment?

There’s a 7 per cent tax on wholesale cannabis sold by cultivators.

At a retail level, there will be a"cannabis purchaser excise tax" of:

  • 10 per cent of the purchase price: Cannabis with a THC level at or below 35 per cent
  • 20 per cent of the purchase price: All cannabis infused products
  • 25 per cent of the purchase price: Cannabis with a THC level above 35 per cent

The regular state sales tax of 6.25 per cent, and an additional municipal tax of up to 3.5 per cent, also apply. According to the Marijuana policy project, “the range consumers will pay at the register — which does not include the 7% tax levied at wholesale — will be between 19.55% to 34.75% retail tax, depending on the product’s potency.

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What else should you know?

  • When recreational sales begin in January 2020, Illinois will be the second largest cannabis market in the U.S. (after California).
  • A number of multi-state operators are headquartered in the state, including Green Thumb Industries, Cresco Labs, Verano (being acquired by Harvest Health) and PharmaCann (being acquired by MedMen).
  • Because of the priority being given to existing medical cannabis companies during the transition into the legal market, existing MSOs are well positioned in the state. As Echelon Wealth analysts put it, ”licensed medical dispensaries will also be allowed to sell recreational cannabis in existing dispensaries (of which there are 55 locations), and grow/process recreational cannabis in their existing facilities, allowing medical operators to take advantage of their already established retail footprint and cultivation/processing infrastructure.”

Louisiana

Latest news

Questions about cost swirl around medical marijuana program

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What is the state of the market?

  • Medical marijuana became legal in 2015, but the first sale didn’t occur until August of 2019.
  • There are currently nine dispensaries authorized to sell medical pot
  • There are only two licensed cultivators (Louisiana State University and Southern University). To date, only LSU has grown and harvested cannabis.
  • The National Cannabis Industry Association predicts sales in 2022 of US$44-million.

What else you need to know

  • Louisiana does not allow cannabis to be smoked; non-smokable methods are permitted.
  • In 2019, the state legislature passed a bill that would allow for vaping of marijuana via a “metered-dose inhaler.”

Maryland

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What is the state of the market?

  • Medical marijuana became available in Maryland in 2017. The state is currently awaiting a report from a working group studying recreational legalization, and reports suggest legislation could be put forward in 2020.
  • There were 102 licences issued to medical dispensaries as of October, 2019, according to a state website. There were 16 grow licences issued and 17 for processors.
  • The National Cannabis Industry Association estimates 2018 medical sales at US$79-million, and projects 2022 medical sales of US$139-million and recreational sales of US$289-million.

Who oversees the program?

  • Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

What else you need to know

  • Cannabis edibles were legalized for medical use in 2019.
  • In early 2019, the city of Baltimore said it would no longer prosecute cases of marijuana possession – for any amount – after acknowledging that those arrested were disproportionally African Americans.

Massachusetts

Latest news

Boston overhauling pot review process to close race gap

Massachusetts lawmakers approve home delivery

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational

What’s the size of the market?

Who oversees licensing?

  • Voters in Massachusetts approved the legalization of recreational cannabis in November 2016. The Cannabis Control Commission was created in 2017 to guide and oversee the cannabis industry.

License types

The 2017 Act requires five types of licences to be available: retail, manufacturer, cultivator, craft marijuana cultivator cooperative, and independent testing laboratory licenses.

As Echelon notes, the “CCC has overseen the adult-use market since its inception, and inherited control of the medical program in December 2018. Cannabis regulators have not limited the total number of licenses that can be issued in Massachusetts. However, each license holder is capped at three cultivation or processing facilities and three of each type of retail location (adult-use and medical dispensaries), with the ability to co-locate on the same premises.”

What’s the tax environment?

  • There is no tax on medical cannabis.
  • Recreational pot is subject to an excise of 10.8 per cent, a sales tax of 6.3 per cent, and up to 3 per cent local tax.

What else should you know?

  • Each licensee in the state is permitted to operate a cultivation/production site and three retail dispensaries. The state has issued 47 of 50 vertically-integrated licenses.
  • As Echelon writes, “progress toward expanding access to recreational cannabis in the state has been slow, bogged down by state regulators as well as municipalities that hold significant power in the licensing process.”

Maine

Latest news

Dozens apply to open marijuana businesses in Maine

Maine to issue applications for first marijuana stores

Maine on track for legal marijuana sales by spring 2020

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational

What’s the size of the market?

  • Medical sales in 2018 reached US$59-million, but are projected by the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) to fall to $28-million by 2022 as the recreational market takes shape. The NCIA expects recreational sales to reach $237-million in 2022.
  • Voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016 but the rollout of adult-use retail stores has been delayed by legislative manoeuvring and delays. There are currently just under 50 medical cannabis dispensaries in Maine. Recreational retail stores are expected to start opening in spring, 2020.

Who oversees licensing?

  • Medical: Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Recreational: Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations, Office of Marijuana Policy.

License types

  • Medical marijuana: vertical integration is required (dispensaries must cultivate their own cannabis)
  • Recreational: Vertical integration will likely be a feature of the retail regime.

What’s the tax environment?

  • There is currently no tax on medical marijuana, but medical users must pay between $100 and $200 for a card that allows them to purchase cannabis.
  • The effective tax rate on recreational marijuana are expected to be as high as 20 per cent.

What else should you know?

  • The use of marijuana for medical conditions has been legal since 1999, but a system to allow for bricks-and-mortar dispensaries wasn’t established until 2010.

Michigan

Latest news

Michigan, Illinois set to usher in recreational pot sales

Michigan issues first recreational marijuana license

Recreational sales could start Dec. 1, 2019

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational

What’s the size of the market?

  • Michigan residents voted to approve Proposition 1 on Nov. 6, 2018, creating a legal recreational market. However, the state has not yet unveiled its regulated adult-use regime.
  • Value of medical marijuana sales in 2018 ranged from US$600-million (Cannacord) to US$869-million (National Cannabis Industry Association). Cannacord projects a potential market of US$2.4-billion.

Who issues licenses?

License types

  • For producers, there will be licences for “Growers,” “Processors” and “Testing Labs," The number of licenses issued will be decided by local municipalities. The local municipalities may limit the type and number of facilities authorized within its boundaries.
  • Vertical integration is currently prohibited.

What is the tax regime?

The state adds 10 per cent to pot sales, but that could drop to 3 per cent under yet-to-be-passed legislation.

What else you need to know

  • The state has yet to officially announced the date for the launch of the adult-use cannabis sales.
  • Last summer, the state drafted rules for the legalization of recreational cannabis. According to these regulations, the state will start accepting applications for commercial licences on Nov. 1.

Minnesota

What’s legal?
  • Medical (under strict rules)

What’s the state of the market?

  • Minnesota legalized medical marijuana on May 29, 2014. The first dispensary opened on July 1, 2015. As of Sept. 1, 2019, there were eight medical dispensaries open in the state, according to the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA).
  • The NCIA says 2018 medical sales totalled US$39,000,000, and projects 2022 medical sales of US$101,000,000.
  • Vertical integration is a requirement.

Who oversees licensing?

  • Minnesota Department of Health – Division of Health Policy – Office of Medical Cannabis

License types

  • The state has selected and regulates two in-state manufacturers.

What else you need to know

  • Late in the summer of 2019, Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Tim Walz told state agencies to prepare for legalization of recreational marijuana. The directive came despite vows from the state Republican-led Senate to thwart any legislative progress in 2020. In the meantime, the state’s House of Representatives began in late September a state-wide public listening tour to gather the public’s thoughts on legalization.

Missouri

Latest news

Missourians compete with out-of-state marijuana businesses

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the state of the market?

  • In November, 2018, state voters approved Amendment 2, legalizing the growing, manufacturing, sale and consumption of marijuana for medical use.

Who issues licences?

  • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

License types

  • The state will allow 192 dispensaries, 61 cultivators, and 82 manufacturers.
  • Vertical integration is required.

Montana

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What is the state of the market?

  • As the Marijuana Policy Project writes, the state’s history with medical pot has been difficult. “For a period of several years, lawmakers made efforts to shut down the popular state program, first by repealing the law — an effort vetoed by the governor — and later by passing a law that was largely unworkable.” However, voters in 2016 supported a fresh initiative for a medical regime.
  • As of August, 2019, the state reported that 35,158 residents had licences to buy medical marijuana, and had issued licences to 327 cultivators and 378 dispensaries.
  • The National Cannabis Industry Association estimates 2018 medical sales at US$103-million and projects 2022 sales of US$148-million.

Who oversees the program?

  • Department of Public Health and Human Services

What else you need to know

  • Advocates in the state are organizing and hope to have a citizen initiative to legalize adult-use cannabis on the ballot for the 2020 elections.

Nevada

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational

What’s the size of the market?

Who issues licenses?

License types

How many licences have been issued?

What’s the retail environment?

The majority of cannabis dispensaries are located in the populous Clark County, which contains in Las Vegas, and 80 per cent of the state’s retail sales happened in Clark County. The highest earning dispensaries are located near the Las Vegas Strip.

“The sales figures being generated by recreational dispensaries located near The Strip are near unheard of compared to retail locations in most any other market in the country,” according to Echelon Wealth Partners.

Cannabis stores, however, are not directly allowed on the Las Vegas Strip, and few are within walking distance to The Strip.

What’s the tax environment?

Retail marijuana is subject to:

  • 15 percent excise tax on the wholesale sale; paid by the cultivator
  • 10 percent excise tax on the retail sale; paid by the retail store
  • Retail sales tax at the local rate

Medical and recreational cannabis is kept in the same stream until it is sold to a customer: “If it is sold to a retail customer, the additional 10 percent retail excise tax will be applied. If it is sold to a medical cardholder, the 10 percent will not be applied to the sale.”

What you should know?
  • Because of the roughly 45-million tourists who come to Las Vegas annually, the potential recreational cannabis market is significantly larger than Nevada’s population would suggest.
  • Because a large portion of Nevada cannabis consumers are tourists staying in hotels, non-flower form factors that can be consumed discreetly are popular, and extract-based products command premium pricing.
  • While the City of Las Vegas approved cannabis consumption lounges in May 2019, the state government stepped in to delay the introduction of lounges until at least mid-2021.

New Hampshire

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the size of the market?

  • The National Cannabis Industry Association estimates 2018 medical sales at US$14,000,000.
  • The are about 7,000 medical marijuana patients that are served by four state-sanctioned dispensaries.

What else you need to know

  • On April 4, 2019, the state House of Representatives approved a bill (200-163) to legalize recreational cannabis. The state Senate then voted to delay the bill’s progress until January, 2020.
  • New Hampshire has decriminalized possession of less than three-quarters of an ounce and less than 5 grams of concentrates.

New Jersey

Latest news

NJ lawmakers considering referendum to legalize cannabis

NJ lawmakers planning cannabis question for 2020 ballot

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the size of the market?

  • The total number of patients registered in the state’s medical cannabis system recently surpassed 51,000, with more than 1,000 physicians now authorized to issue prescriptions, according to a September 2019 state government report. That equates to triple the number of patients and double the number of doctors participating in the program 18 months earlier before Governor Phil Murphy took office.
  • US$97-million worth of medical cannabis was sold in New Jersey over the course of 2018, according to CannaRegs data, with projections for that total to nearly triple to US$284-million in 2022.
  • New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services oversees the medical cannabis program broadly and is responsible for licensing
  • New Jersey Department of Agriculture has specific oversight in relation to enforcement of cultivation-related regulations

License types

Alternative Treatment Centre (ATC) licences are the only cannabis licences currently available in the state. ATC licences authorize holders to grow, process, manufacture and sell a wide variety of dried cannabis flower and cannabis extract-based products. The state government itself is directly responsible for product testing and thus no licences specifically related to cannabis testing or analysis are available in the state.

Within the ATC category, applicants can request an endorsement for cultivation, dispensing or vertical integration, which provides simultaneous endorsements for cultivation, manufacturing and dispensing.

How many licences have been issued?

Six ATC licences have been granted and all holders are currently operational. State law requires them to be geographic distributed such that two locations are in the northern part of the state, two in the central region and two in southern New Jersey. Another six businesses were selected in late 2018 to apply for ATC licences, with the same rules for geographic distribution.

The Department of Health is currently reviewing applications for another 24 ATC licences, with eight allocated for the north, another eight in the central region, seven in the south and one “at large” licence. Once those licences are issued, New Jersey could have as many as 36 locations selling medical cannabis across the state.

What’s the retail environment?

Only patients registered in the medical cannabis program, or their registered caregiver are allowed to access ATCs, but they also have the option of home delivery. Purchase limits were recently raised from two ounces of dried flower per month to three ounces per month. Patients were previously required to renew their prescriptions every 90 days but that timeline was also recently extended to one year.

What’s the tax environment?

  • The state is in the process of phasing out an existing 6.63 per cent sales taxes on medical cannabis sales, with the goal of eliminating it entirely by the end of 2022. However, once the state sales tax is phased out, municipalities that host ATCs will be allowed to levy local sales taxes of up to two per cent on cannabis transactions that occur within their boundaries.

What else should you know?

  • In late March 2019, Governor Phil Murphy and state legislative leaders agreed on a framework to regulate sales of recreational cannabis in New Jersey. The framework, which would impose a US$42-per-ounce excise tax on recreational cannabis, failed to gain sufficient support in the State Senate and backers now expect the next opportunity for a vote on adult-use legislation will be 2020 at the earliest.

New Mexico

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the size of the market?

  • The National Cannabis Industry Association says medical sales in 2018 totalled US$199-million and is expected to reach US$275-million by 2022.
  • As of June, 2019, the state says there were 74,100 patients registered in the medical marijuana program. In the second fiscal quarter of 2019, New Mexico said the average price per gram of medical marijuana was US$9.92.

Who oversees licensing?

  • New Mexico Department of Health

License types

  • The states refers to producers and retailers (vertical integration is required) as licensed non-profit producers.
  • There are currently 34 LNPPs in New Mexico growing close to 70,000 plants a year.

What else you need to know

  • A bill to legalize recreational marijuana passed the state House of Representatives in 2019 but died in the Senate Finance Committee.
  • Polls show about 60 per cent of New Mexico resident support recreational legalization.

New York

Latest news

New law sets standards for New York’s hemp industry

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the size of the market?

  • There were 106,649 registered medical patients, as of Sept. 10, 2019.
  • Estimates by the National Cannabis Industry Association and Arcview/BDS, respectively, place the size of the market in 2018 at between $219-million and $264-million.
  • A 2018 report prepared for the state ahead of its legislative debate over recreational legalization predicted a potential legal market of up to US$3.5-billion. The same report said the illicit market in New York State was valued at between US$1.7-billion and US$3.5-billion.

Who oversees licensing?

License types

Only 10 Registered Organizations (ROs) have been approved to do business in New York State. Vertical integration is required for approval, and each RO can have one growing/processing site and four locations for dispensing. According to Echelon, there were 35 dispensaries open across the state as of August, 2019. The state spread out the locations of ROs in order to ensure geographical representation.

What’s the tax environment?

  • New York imposes a 7-per-cent excise on the sale of medical cannabis.

What else should you know?

  • New York was widely expected to pass legislation in 2019 that would allow the sale of cannabis for recreational use, but a bill died over disagreements around industry regulation and social justice.
  • The state did pass a bill in July, 2019, that decriminalized possession and expunged past convictions for possession of up to 2 ounces, or 56 grams. Possession of amounts up to 56 grams is now punishable by a fine.
  • Dried flower and edible products are not permitted for sale. Products authorized for sale are: liquid or oil preparations (oils and vape pens), solid and semisolid preparations (e.g., capsules, chewable and effervescent tablets, lozenges), ground plant preparations, topical forms, and transdermal patches. (Source: National Cannabis Industry Association)
  • The law bans pot smoking wherever tobacco is not allowed.
  • “A New York cannabis license has been one of the most sought after in the country, despite its relatively small and restrictive medical market, as operators position for the likely passage of adult-use legislation in the near future.” a report by Echelon Partners says.

North Dakota

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the size of the market?

  • Voters approved the legalization of medical marijuana in 2016, and the first dispensary opened in 2019. There were seven dispensaries open as of Oct. 1, 2019.
  • The National Cannabis Industry Association estimates that the medical market in 2022 will be worth about US$36-million.
  • The state says there were 1387 patients with active patient cards as of Oct. 4, 2019.

Who oversees licensing?

  • The North Dakota Department of Health

What is the licensing regime?

  • The state is broken down into eight regions with one dispensary (called a compassionate care center) allowed in each region.
  • The state has so far selected two growers, two manufacturers and one testing lab.

What else you need to know

  • A ballot measure to legalize adult-use cannabis failed in the election of November, 2018. Cannabis advocates hope to reintroduce the question on the 2020 ballot.

Ohio

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the size of the market?

  • Medical marijuana was approved in 2016, but the first dispensary did not open until 2019. There were 31 dispensaries open as of Oct. 4, 2019, according to the state’s website. The Marijuana Policy Project says more than 31,000 patients have registered for the program.
  • The National Cannabis Industry Association projects medical sale in 2022 of US$298-million.
  • Smoking and combustion are not allowed but oils, tinctures, plant material, edibles and patches are permitted.

Who oversees licensing?

  • Ohio Department of Commerce, and Board of Pharmacy. The Department of Commerce oversees growers, processors, and labs. The Board of Pharmacy regulates dispensaries.

License types

  • The NCIA says current rules allow for 60 dispensaries, 24 growers, and 40 manufacturers.

What is the tax regime?

  • Ohio does not exempt medical marijuana from taxes like it does for prescription drugs. The state sales tax is 5.75 per cent for retail sales. Local taxes can boost the tax rate to 8 per cent.

Oklahoma

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What is the state of the market?

  • Voters in the state opted to bring in a medical marijuana program in June, 2018. Since then, the program – with few restrictions on patients and businesses – is already one of the largest in the U.S.
  • With a population of just under four million, the state already supports more than 1,200 dispensaries, 2,361 growers, 650 processors and about 90,000 registered patients, according to the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).
  • Patients are allowed to possess up to three ounces of cannabis; six plants; one ounce of concentrates; 72 ounces of edibles marijuana.
  • Sales have increased month-over-month since medical pot was legalized, and reached US$18-million in April, 2019.

Who oversees the licensing?

  • The State Department of Health, Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority division (OMMA).

What is the tax regime?

  • The state adds a 7-per-cent excise on top of state and local sales taxes.

Oregon

  • Medical
  • Recreational

What’s the size of the market?

  • The National Cannabis Industry Association says recreational marijuana sales in 2018 totalled US$553-million and medical sales were US$73-million. Sales in 2022 are projected to reach US$848-million.

Who oversees licensing?

  • Medical: Oregon Health Authority
  • Recreational: Oregon Liquor Control Commission

License types

What is the tax regime?

  • Oregon lawmakers set the base tax rate at 17 per cent and said that, under certain conditions, cities and counties can add up to an additional 3 percentage points.

What else you need to know

  • Recreational dispensaries can sell tax-free products to medical cannabis cardholders.
  • Oregon originally planned to allow an unlimited number of licences to grow and sell recreational and medical marijuana, but a glut of product forced the state to legislate authority to the OLCC to curtail licensing.

Pennsylvania

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the size of the market?

  • The National Cannabis Industry Association estimates 2018 sales of medical marijuana at US$116-million, and foresees 2022 sales of US$363-million.

Who oversees licensing?

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health

Licence types

  • The state will issue 50 dispensary licences, with each licence allowed to have a maximum of three locations. So far, 27 licences have been issued. There will be 25 Grower/Processor licences issued, but only 12 in the first phase of the medical regime. There is no cap on testing labs, but all must be independent.
  • The state has been divided into six regions to ensure licences are spread out geographically.
  • Grower/processors are required to use seed-to-sale tracking, thorough record keeping and retention, surveillance systems, and additional security measures, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
  • Grower/Processor application fee: $10,000; Dispensary application fee: $5,000; Grower/Processor permit fee: $200,000 (refundable if the permit is not granted); Grower/Processor renewal fee: $10,000; Dispensary permit fee: $30,000 (refundable if the permit is not granted); Dispensary renewal fee: $5,000

What else you need to know

  • Governor Tom Wolf signed medical cannabis legislation into law in May, 2016. The state’s first dispensary opened in April, 2018.
  • On Sept. 25, 2019, Mr. Wolf called on state lawmakers to introduce legislation to legalize recreational cannabis.

Rhode Island

Latest news

Lottery will determine state’s six new medical licenses

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the state of the market?

  • The state recently approved to tripling of dispensaries – know as compassion centers – to nine.
  • The National Cannabis Industry Association says medical sales totalled US$80-million in 2018, and that expected recreational sales in 2022 should reach US$122-million, with medical sales dipping to US$69-million.

Who oversees the medical marijuana program

  • State Department of Health

What else you need to know

  • In early 2019, a state budget bill included a clause to put forward a plan for adult-use marijuana, but state Democrats removed it from the legislation.
  • Possession of small amounts of cannabis has been decriminalized.

Utah

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What is the state of the market?

Voters in Utah said yes to a ballot measure in November, 2018, that permitted the introduction of a medical marijuana regime. Legislators have since scaled back the initiative, placing tighter restrictions on patient access and a greater level of state oversight.

The state has selected eight companies to participate in the medical cultivation program, although it is authorized to pick 10.

The current law says the state will issue 14 medical cannabis pharmacy licenses. The first eight are expected to open by March 1, 2020, and another six by July 1, 2020.

Who oversees the program?

  • Utah Department of Health

Vermont

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational (with limits)

What’s the size of the market?

  • The National Cannabis Industry Association says the medical market was worth US$22-million in 2018, and is projected to grow to $44-million by 2022. Recreational sales in 2022 are projected to be worth $64-million.

Who oversees licensing?

  • The state’s Department of Health and Department of Public Safety oversee the medical marijuana program.
  • Vermont created the Marijuana Advisory Commission, which has finished a statewide tour and will complete a a report on how to implement a regulated adult-use market under a Cannabis Control Board as the state’s regulatory body.

What else should you know?

  • In 2017, Vermont approved a bill to allow personal possession, use, and cultivation of cannabis but not commercial sales.
  • On Jan. 4, 2018, legislators passed H.511, an amended version of the 2017 bill, which legalized adult personal possession of one ounce of cannabis and allows individuals to cultivate two plants. It took effect on July 1, 2018, but had no sales or revenue provisions. Adults 21 and older can possess up to one ounce of marijuana and can grow up to two mature marijuana plants and four immature marijuana plants.
  • There are bills currently in each of the state house and senate to create a legal retail system. Recreational sales are not expected to commence before the spring of 2021. According to Vermont Public Radio, “the Senate bill would include a 10 per cent tax on all cannabis sales. An additional 1 per cent tax could be levied by towns and cities. All cannabis sales would be exempt from Vermont’s 6 per cent sales tax. ... similar proposal in the House, H.196, proposes higher state and local taxes on cannabis. It would also allow medical cannabis dispensaries to start selling to the general public as early as January 2020.”

Washington

What’s legal?
  • Medical
  • Recreational

What’s the size of the market?

  • The National Cannabis Industry Association says 2018 recreational sales were $1.2-billion. It projects 2022 sales of $1.5-billion. The state’s medical marijuana program was folded into the adult-use program.

Who oversees licensing?

  • The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board

Licence types

  • According to the website of the Liquor and Cannabis Commission, the state is no longer accepting applications producers, processor and retailer. The only current licences available are for transportation services, research, or to form a co-operative. The state breaks down the 10 licence categories and the number of companies licensed.

What is the state of retail?

  • There are currently more than 500 stores selling marijuana. Patients with medical cards can purchase tax free in some stores, according to the NCIA, or join a growing co-op (limited to four members)

What is the tax regime?

What else you need to know

  • Adults age 21 and over can purchase up to one ounce of flower, 16 ounces of infused edibles in solid form, 72 ounces in liquid form, and 7 grams of marijuana concentrates. Many retail stores operate as cash-only businesses.
  • It is illegal to consume marijuana in view of the public.

West Virginia

Latest news

West Virginia to open medical marijuana business applications

What’s legal?
  • Medical

What’s the state of the market?

  • West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Act came into law on April 19, 2017, but has stalled due to political interference and worries around banking services for cannabis companies.
  • The state’s Bureau for Public Health is charged with overseeing the program. Access for patients was supposed to begin in July, 2019, but so far no regulations have been drafted. The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) says sales might be possible in 2020.
  • The legislation allows for pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquid, and non-whole plant forms for administration through vaporization, according to the MPP. Dispensaries cannot sell edibles, but medical cannabis products can be infused into food or drinks by patients. Vaporization of oils is allowed, but smoking is prohibited. MPP says patients may only obtain a 30-day supply of cannabis at a time (definition of 30-day supply TK). It is not clear who will determine the definition of a 30-day supply.

License types

  • Growers, processors, and dispensaries.

What is the tax regime?

  • Medical marijuana sold in dispensaries will be taxed at 10 per cent of gross receipts.

Wisconsin

Latest news

GOP support grows to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin

Last updated: Dec. 11, 2019
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