Three States to Launch Licensed Recreational Marijuana Sales Within the Next Six Months

Among the 23 states that have legalized recreational marijuana sales, three states do not yet have operating retail outlets. That’s set to change for all three within the next six months.

Minnesota, Delaware, and Ohio have all legalized marijuana within the past 15 months, bringing the total number of legal marijuana states to 24 (with all but Virginia allowing licensed distribution). All three states were initially expected to have licensed recreational marijuana sales begin in 2025, but all three have moved to allow sales to begin early, some within a matter of days.

Here’s a look at these three states and when legal marijuana sales may begin:

Ohio

Late last month, Ohio’s Division of Cannabis Control granted over 60 provisional dual licenses for dispensaries, cultivators, processors, and testing labs, just two weeks after the application process began. The state is expected to issue finalized licenses any day now. As soon as licenses are issued, sales can begin.

Under Ohio’s legalization law, which took effect in December, individuals 21 and older can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates. They are also allowed to cultivate up to six marijuana plants at a private residence for personal use.

Issue 2 assigns the Division of Cannabis Control the responsibility of licensing and regulating the new marijuana industry. The law authorizes the agency to issue up to 350 marijuana business licenses, with a minimum of 50 required. Marijuana will be taxed at 10%, though a bill approved by the Senate yesterday would raise this to 15%.

Standalone recreational marijuana stores aren’t expected to open until sometime in 2025.

Delaware

Legislation to establish a temporary conversion license for medical marijuana dispensaries, enabling them to sell recreational marijuana while maintaining their medical operations, was recently approved with overwhelming support by both the House of Representatives and Senate. Governor Carney is expected to sign the measure into law.

The conversion licenses would be available under certain conditions, including:

  • Eligibility for renewal in the Delaware Medical Marijuana Program.
  • Adequate documentation of the ability to meet medical demand and support social equity programs.
  • A labor peace agreement with a recognized labor organization.
  • Submission of facility dimensions for cultivation.
  • A $100,000 license fee per license, supporting social equity applicants financially.

HB 408 sets the application period for conversion licenses from August to November 2024, allowing sales to begin by December.

Minnesota

The Minnesota Legislature recently approved a “preapproval” licensing process for the Office of Cannabis Management, allowing regulators to expedite approval for some businesses. State regulators will first verify applications to ensure eligibility. Once confirmed, eligible applicants can apply for the license starting July 24, with a deadline of August 12. A lottery will randomly select qualifying applicants.

Early-approved cultivators and microbusinesses can start growing crops this fall. Although the law does not allow licensed marijuana stores to open this year, a spokesperson for the Office of Cannabis Management says sales could begin as soon as the start of January.

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