Nebraska Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS NEBRASKA'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
Content Below Last Updated by Point7 3/28/22
There may be potential for Nebraska to have a medical cannabis market in 2022. Local advocates from the Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) have been working diligently to gather enough signatures from voters across the state before the deadline in July. Initiative sponsors such as State Senator Adam Morefield and Anna Wishart have already filed drafts of the medical cannabis measure with the Nebraska Secretary of State in September of 2021. In early 2022, State Senator Wishart introduced LB 474 to establish a medical cannabis program through the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. Unfortunately, the bill came up two votes short of the 33 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the 49-member legislative body.
The Nebraska Marijuana Legalization Initiative may appear on the ballot in Nebraska as an initiated constitutional amendment on November 8, 2022. This initiative would amend the Nebraska Constitution to legalize the use of cannabis for recreational purposes by adding a new Article XIX which states that all persons have the right to use all plants in the genus Cannabis L.
Nebraska has had an unsuccessful history with their efforts to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use. Many attempts have been made to get a legalizing initiative on voter ballots, but all have been thwarted by lawmakers. However activists and the public’s persistence shows the value and desire for a legal Nebraska cannabis market. Despite receiving enough signatures and being approved by the State Governor, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled on September 10, 2020 that the medical marijuana ballot initiative supported by Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana will not appear on the November 2020 ballot. The disappointing decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by opponents arguing that the measure violated the state’s single subject rules.
WHAT ARE NEBRASKA'S CANNABIS LAWS?
The state of Nebraska has decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis, but the sale of any amount of cannabis is still considered a felony. Possession of one ounce or less is an infraction punishable by up to a $300.00 fine and may require a drug education course. If there is a second offense, it is considered a Class IV misdemeanor punishable by up to five days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.00. If a person receives a third subsequent conviction it is punishable by seven days in jail and another maximum fine of $500.00. Possession of over one pound is considered a Class IV felony with up to five years in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. The sale of any amount of cannabis is considered a felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail and a fine up to $20,000. Higher charges occur if sold to a minor or within a school zone.
Home and commercial cultivation and processing is currently still not allowed, with penalties based upon the total weight of plants found. As of March 2020, no medical marijuana program or any other allowances exist for patients in Nebraska.
WHAT IS NEBRASKA'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Nebraska has no open cannabis licensing applications or any clear future timeline. Come back at a future date to see updates on application requirements and timeline.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN NEBRASKA?
Currently, Nebraska only has laws that outline criminal offenses related to cannabis. In 1969, Nebraska eased penalties for cannabis possession in the state, limiting the penalty for first-time possession to no more than seven days in jail. Cannabis was decriminalized to a civil infraction for first-time offenders in 1978. For possession of 1 ounce or less, first-time offenders must pay a fine of $300 and do not have to serve any jail time. Nebraskans have shown overwhelming support for medical cannabis legalization but have faced strong political opposition squashing any attempt at easing prohibition.
DOES NEBRASKA HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
Nebraska legalized hemp production for fiber, grain, or cannabidiol (CBD) in 2019, with the condition that plant parts of industrial hemp have a THC concentration of less than 0.3%. Production and use of marijuana and THC for medical and recreational purposes remain illegal in Nebraska.
PREPARING FOR THE NEBRASKA CANNABIS MARKET
We are ready to support your team as you prepare for cannabis licensure in Nebraska. Contact Point7 to discuss the fully customizable products and service packages available that have proved successful for operators around the country.