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NY Cannabis Officials Issue First 36 Retail Licenses, Minnesota Governor Wants to See Cannabis Legalized in the State in 2023, and A Cherokee Tribe in North Carolina Begins Harvesting First Legal Medical Cannabis

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NY Cannabis Officials Issue First 36 Retail Licenses

Cannabis regulators in New York have insisted for months that the state’s legal retail cannabis market will launch before the end of the year. The state made a significant step forward by issuing the first 36 retail cannabis licenses today. And in a unique move, the Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) announced that qualifying businesses would be permitted to sell products via delivery before their brick-and-mortar stores open. The OCM said that of the 36 licenses issued, 28 went to individuals with a prior cannabis conviction or a family member with a marijuana conviction. The other licenses went to non-profit organizations. Other issues have hindered the state’s progress toward launching its retail cannabis industry, including a federal lawsuit challenging a requirement that cannabis operators must have a “significant presence” in New York.

Minnesota Governor Wants to See Cannabis Legalized in the State in 2023

Minnesota’s recently re-elected Governor Tim Walz supports cannabis legalization and predicts that adult-use cannabis legislation may be among the first bills he puts his signature on in 2023. Earlier this month, Democrats dominated the election and now control both chambers of the state legislature. Before the mid-term election, the Republican party controlled Minnesota’s Senate and made every effort to block attempts to legalize adult-use marijuana in the state. Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura supported Walz’s re-election and said his endorsement was partly because of his pro-legalization stance.  

A Cherokee Tribe in North Carolina Begins Harvesting First Legal Medical Cannabis

According to local press, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is harvesting the first legal medical marijuana in North Carolina. The tribe plans to open a medical marijuana store in 2023. The general manager of Qualla Enterprises, the tribal subsidiary of the business, told The Charlotte Observer that the company has plans to employ between 400 to 500 individuals once they are fully operational. The Cherokee tribe’s EBCI Cannabis Control Board will be responsible for regulating the medical cannabis market, as well as the issuance of MMJ cards to patients. Patients 21 and older who qualify will be permitted to apply for cards.