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Published on Friday, November 13, 2015

Webinar available on new marijuana rules and open application process

On Monday, November 2, AWC hosted a webinar on new marijuana rules and the updated licensing process currently underway at the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB). Expert presenters included LCB Executive Director Rick Garza, LCB Marijuana Licensing and Regulation Manager Becky Smith, and LCB Licensing Specialist Nicola Reid. Their presentation included an overview of changes to marijuana law in the past year and a detailed look into the new rulemaking and licensing and application process. View the webinar here.

The LCB began accepting new retail license applications in October in accordance with SB 5052, the Cannabis Patient Protection Act. Under the new law, the medical marijuana industry will be folded into the recreational industry by July 1, 2016. As a result of this change, the retail application process at LCB has reopened. Under this new process, current retail stores may now apply for a medical marijuana endorsement, and prospective entities can apply for recreational licenses with or without medical marijuana endorsements. The new rules specify that recreational stores can begin selling medical marijuana in July if they possess the medical marijuana endorsement. On July 1, any marijuana stores (including medical) that are not licensed by the state will be illegal.

During the presentation, LCB provided great detail around the strict licensing process currently underway. For those wishing to apply for a recreational license with a medical endorsement, many criteria must be met, which includes completing a Master Business Application with the Department of Revenue. Once this is complete, applicants can then apply with LCB and undergo a strict prioritization process. That prioritization process can be found here.

Once priority has been established, the applicant must undergo interviews, financial investigations, fingerprinting, background checks, and other rigorous investigations.

At this time, LCB has removed the limit on the number of retail licenses it may grant. However, it does expect to announce a new cap sometime in December 2015, once they have completed a study on the size of the medical market.

In addition to the LCB presentation, the webinar answered participant questions including:

  • Question: Can a municipality allow medical marijuana but not recreational?
    Answer: LCB responded that they will not be monitoring this, rather, they will be licensing “retailers” with or without medical marijuana endorsements.
  • Question: Are violations of compliance checks currently being conducted by the LCB also be being reported to local jurisdictions?
    Answer: Yes.
  • Question: Can local jurisdictions conduct compliance checks using local investigative aides like they currently do with alcohol?
    Answer: The LCB did not know the answer and was checking on it.
  • Question: Will LCB be shutting down medical marijuana providers after July 1, 2016?
    Answer: LCB will look to local jurisdictions to do this. The LCB sees their authority as a licenser. Just as alcohol enforcement is done, they will rely on local jurisdictions to enforce the law.
  • Question: Are medical marijuana delivery businesses legal today? Will they be legal after July 2016?
    Answer: No, they are not legal and will not be legal.
Categories: Marijuana
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