North Dakota Marijuana Ballot Petition Turned In, Alabama Heats Up On Medical Program & More Cannabis Reg. Updates

North Dakota marijuana activists managed to gather enough signatures to submit a petition for placing recreational cannabis legalization on the ballot scheduled for November. The group had a task of submitting 15,582 valid signatures, or 2% of the state’s population, before the July 11 deadline, but they managed to gather much more – 25,762 signatures, writes The Bismarck Tribune

The organization's campaign manager, David Owen, said the group submitted more than 25,500 signatures to the secretary of state, whose office validate the signatures in the following 35 days. 

"We’ve had signature gatherers in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, Minot, Williston…we were at Country Fest this weekend in New Salem. This was campaign that was done in less than 100 days and we averaged 2,000 signatures a week the whole way through,” Owen told KFGO. "We think that this really shows true, strong support across the state, the fact that we were able to get so many people to sign." 

Previously, Secretary of State Al Jaeger already refused two other petitions from different organizations, citing signature irregularities and violations of state law, notifying the attorney general for further investigations. In April, Jaeger’s office greenlighted this measure’s formatting, setting up the deadline for signature gathering. 

The proposed measure would allow adults 21 and older to buy and consume cannabis under specified conditions. It would also set up regulations for marijuana sales in the state, in a process that would be managed by the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services or another entity as determined by the Legislature. The measure would allow cannabis cultivation in restricted amounts, 18 dispensaries, and up to seven cannabis manufacturers. Public consumption of cannabis would remain illegal under this legislation. 

The state already has a medical marijuana program, which was set up some six years ago. In 2018, the adult-use proposal was rejected with some 59% votes against it. 

Alabama Heats On Medical Cannabis Program – Releases First Draft Of Regulations 

As Alabama gets closer to seeing its medical marijuana program go live, regulators in charge of it are working on preparing everything that is needed for this complex industry.  The state Medical Cannabis Commission recently released a draft of regulations, scheduling a public hearing for feedback on Thursday, reported WSFA 12 News.  

The commission, however, doesn’t have power over all the topics. Around 10 documents cover topics such as cultivation and processing licenses, transportation, and dispensaries, and they are available online via the commission’s website, where feedback is also accepted.  

Medical marijuana advocate, Melissa Mullins has already examined some of these documents and provided feedback. She, with her organization, Alabamians 4 Medical Cannabis Freedom & Disability Rights, has proposed six changes. One of them is in regard to dosage caps, something that can’t be amended by the commission as it is a legislative matter.

 “Seventy-five milligrams for a cancer patient is nothing,” Mullins said. “So now my cancer patient can’t go to her can’t go to their treatments. They’re advocating for the industry. They’re not advocating for the patient, the actual patient that is suffering and dying every single day.”

The first licensing season for medical marijuana in the state is in less than two months. Starting Sep. 1, applications will be open to those aiming to grab one of 12 cultivation licenses allowed in the state.

Residents in the Yellowhammer state can expect to see medical marijuana prescribed to patients in late summer or early fall in 2023, reported WSFA 48 News.  

Understanding The Nascent Marijuana Industry In NY 

Members of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management will hold a community discussion on Monday in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn on the new marijuana industry. 

The goal of the discussion is to help people understand what are they entitled to and all the pathways into the cannabis space, and all the other important policies, writes Brooklyn News 12.

Social Equity Efforts In Connecticut’s Cannabis Program 

Connecticut lawmakers are planning to make the first assessment of social equity applicants in the cannabis industry. The Social Equity Council in the Nutmeg State, which was created to ensure that the recreational cannabis program is equitable and that money from sales is being distributed to the communities most impacted by the war on drugs, is supposed to meet Tuesday and review applications, wrote MSN.  

Almost two-thirds of the nearly 37,300 applications for marijuana businesses in the state want to take part in the social equity part of the business.

Photo: Benzinga; Source: Shutterstock

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Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketsAl JaegerAlabama CannabisBrooklyn News 12cannabis regulatory updateConnecticut CannabisDavid OwenMelissa MullinsMSNNorth Dakota CannabisNY CannabisThe Bismarck TribuneWSFA 12 NewsWSFA 48 News
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