What exactly is the significance of July 1?
July 1 marks the earliest possible day that licensed businesses can legally sell recreational marijuana to adults over 21. Under the voter-approved legalization ballot measure, sales were originally slated to begin on January 1, but lawmakers decided to push back the date six months to allow the state more time to work out the nuances of regulating the new industry.
The new July 1 date is tied to April 1, which was when the CannabisControl Commission could begin accepting and reviewing license applicants. The CCC has to make a decision on license applications within 90 days.
Under the new rules, the commission first accepted applications only from already-registered medical dispensaries and applicants under the law’s economic empowerment program, which is intended to promote opportunity in communities disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement. The CCC then began incrementally accepting other categories of applicants in the following weeks. License applications for all retail stores open June 1.
The commission reportedly received nearly 200 applications on the first day — 77 from medical marijuana companies and 113 from economic empowerment applicants.
That seems a like a good number. So should they all be up and running in July?
Not quite. Hoffman expects the market will be “sparse” on July 1.