With the 2016 election over, 29 states have approved medical marijuana and 9 have approved recreational marijuana. Since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, every state has different regulations for it. In fact, every county, town, and municipality can have its own set of local rules.
Cannabiz Media researched these local rules in its Marijuana Licensing Reference Guide: 2017 Edition, and as we continually update the Cannabiz Media Database with the most current and comprehensive marijuana licensing data available, we’ve come across some common local rules—such as the distance dispensaries must be from schools. However, we’ve also come across some very strange rules.
Here are 10 of the weirdest marijuana laws that license holders must adhere to which are likely to make you pause and wonder why.
1. Arizona Doesn’t Share
There are more than 90 medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona, and the state recently authorized more. Want to know where they are? Want to learn more about them? It will be harder than you think because Arizona doesn’t share the list of licensed dispensaries with anyone but registered medical marijuana patients.
2. Connecticut Wants Lights Out
Typically, businesses are well lit at night. This includes a sign with the business name that lights up when it’s dark outside. Don’t look for such a sign hanging at a medical marijuana dispensary in Connecticut. All illuminated signs are forbidden in the state for dispensaries.
3. Maine, Marijuana, and Meals
Edible medical marijuana products are legal in some states. However, if you live in Maine, they’ll cost you a bit more since the state adds a 7% Meal Tax on edibles. Maine is the only state that uses a meal tax on marijuana products.
4. Arizona’s License Change Fees
Once a business obtains a license in Arizona, they’re not just subject to annual renewal fees. They also have to pay a hefty fee of $2,500 if they need to change their address, location, or name.
5. Michigan Spells Things Its Own Way
If the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 spelled marijuana as marihuana, why change it? Michigan still uses that spelling in the Michigan Public Health Code and in the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2008.
6. Nevada’s Aversion to Font Variety
Nevada’s signage rules limit dispensary signs to using just two fonts at the most. The state prefers sans-serif fonts. While serif fonts might be okay, script, decorative, and gimmicky fonts are not okay—ever.
7. Washington, D.C. Singles out Auto Repair and Gas
In Washington, D.C., marijuana may not be sold anywhere that also sells gasoline. But that’s not all. Marijuana cannot be sold in any location that also offers auto repair either. Weird? Yes.
8. Oregon Has No Love for Creativity
Signage rules in Oregon are quite easy to follow because the only font allowed is bold, 80-point Times New Roman or Arial. No other sizes and no other fonts are allowed. Yes, graphic designers everywhere cringed when they read that because Time New Roman 80-point font is rarely a good choice and Arial is only slightly less cringeworthy. That’s probably the point of the law though, right?
9. Massachusetts Says No to T-shirts and Novelty Items
Medical marijuana dispensaries are not allowed to produce or sell any kind of T-shirts, novelty items, or promotional gifts. Since many of these add-on products not only diversify a business’ product line but also generate a nice revenue stream, this law certainly limits income potential.
10. Delaware Advertising Steps Back in Time
Medical marijuana-related advertising is only permitted in directories and phone books in Delaware—even though the number of people who actually use directories and phone books has plummeted to a very, very small quantity over the years. However, in Delaware, print and broadcast advertising is not allowed.
What are the weirdest marijuana laws you’ve heard? Share them in the comments below.