The Alaska Marijuana Control Board issued the state’s first retail business license on September 9, reaching yet another milestone in the rollout of the voter-approved program. Frozen Budz, which plans to make cannabis-infused products in Fairbanks, received Alaska’s first retail license.
Many other applications remain under consideration, and the review process for other retail businesses continues, if slower than many expected.
In addition, despite the board’s assurances earlier this year, it has not adopted rules or considered applications for cannabis cafés. With establishments that allow on-site consumption of alcohol commonly available, adults 21 and over who choose to consume a safer product should be able to partake at a regulated establishment, whether a resident or not.
The board previously issued a limited but sensible rule enabling some retail establishments to allow on-site consumption. It is troubling that the board’s decision to clearly authorize and regulate these important businesses could be stalling. With the recently issued opinion by Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth that bring-your-own cannabis clubs are unlawful, the board should proceed with the licensed alternative — retail cafés — without further delay.
[caption id="attachment_7612" align="alignright" width="300"] Jonathan Ogden[/caption]
Jonathan Ogden, retired Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle, has applied for a medical marijuana dispensary license in Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. There are a limited number of licenses available in Nevada, so it is still unclear whether or not Ogden will own a dispensary.
One hundred and nine other companies have filed applications, and only 66 will be licensed this year, 40 of which will reside in Las Vegas (Clark county) where Ogden has applied. Applicants must also show they have $250,000 in liquid assets and have a licensed physician as the medical director to apply.
Hopefully, the NFL will feel the pressure of having Hall of Fame leaders like Ogden publicly support medical marijuana. The NFL's stance on medical marijuana hasn’t evolved to the same extent as that of the nation at large, and the organization still imposes strict laws on players via steep fines and suspensions. However, with the NBA and NCAA rethinking their marijuana-use policies, perhaps, the NFL will move in the direction of acceptance.
The Washington State Marijuana Retail Licenses Lottery begins today with a total of 334 retail licenses to be awarded. Washington State University's Social and Economic Sciences Research Center will be conducting the lottery for the state’s liquor control board, which oversees the marijuana retailers once they become licensed.
Approximately 1,500 applicants are in the lottery pool. With such a large applicant pool, the lottery process is expected to take all week with the board reviewing background checks on not only the applicants, but also their investors and financiers. The Washington State Liquor Control Board says, “The process will be extremely secure and will determine who gets a retail license to sell pot legally in Washington.”
“Legally” is the key term here. This lottery marks the beginning of WA businesses controlling the marijuana market and taking it out of the hands of criminals. Since small amounts of marijuana possession were legalized on Dec. 6, 2012, Washington residents have been acquiring marijuana through unlicensed, illicit dealers.
Final results of the lottery will be released on May 2, and the state expects to have the first marijuana stores open sometime in July of 2014, in accordance with the Implementation of I-502.
Central City, the original site of the 1859 Colorado gold rush, is now the first city in Colorado to have a store licensed to sell marijuana to adults! The store, called Annie’s, is a medical marijuana dispensary that will begin selling marijuana to adults on January 1st, pursuant to Amendment 64. Annie’s is the first store to receive a license, but it won’t be alone for long. The state is considering hundreds of other applications and is expected to issue many more licenses in the coming weeks and months.
The state is scheduled to allow retail marijuana sales to begin on January 1, 2014.
"Colorado is moving forward and leaving marijuana prohibition behind. For the first time in history, those who sell marijuana are receiving licenses from the state instead of rap sheets,” said MPP’s Mason Tvert. “Marijuana will be sold to adults by legitimate, taxpaying businesses instead of drug cartels in the underground market. [...] Colorado is proving to the rest of the world that marijuana can be regulated like alcohol. It will not be long before voters and lawmakers in other states decide to adopt similar policies. Marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and it is finally starting to be treated that way."
Today, after a delay of more than two years, patients eligible for New Jersey’s medical marijuana program were finally allowed to apply for the licenses that would protect them from arrest. Seriously ill individuals who could qualify for the program have been waiting diligently while the state government dragged its feet with implementation since the law took effect in mid-2010.
Unfortunately, it could be some time before licensed patients will be able to legally acquire their medicine. New Jersey’s law does not allow for home cultivation, and all medicine must be purchased at state-licensed nonprofit dispensaries. Licensing of these dispensaries has been consistently delayed as well. To date, only six have been granted preliminary approval, and only one is preparing to serve patients.
This is great news for the seriously ill of the Garden State and their families. If there are no further delays, patients should be able to access their medicine by the end of the year. How easily they will be able to get it will be another story, but at least licensed patients will no longer have to fear being treated like criminals for using the medicine that works best for them.