Our editors break down the big day at the polls for cannabis
Today was a historic day for many reasons, most of which for the cannabis industry which absolutely dominated at the polls today. We’ll take a look state by state at what happened so that you are fully in the know at how the midterms played out.
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA STATE VOTES
First and foremost, Michigan which became the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational cannabis under Question 1. The law now permits individuals who are at least 21 years of age to possess and consume marijuana and marijuana-infused goods. Adults will also be allowed to grow a maximum of 12 plants, and retail tax on recreational use will be kept to a 10% rate. We expect legalization to be fully enacted by the end of the year as results will require certification.
Unfortunately, you win some and you lose some. North Dakota, which attempted to pass a legalization bill under Measure 3, did not join Michigan in the ranks of adult use today. Thankfully, we here at Marijuana Retail Report think Measure 3 was a pretty confusing and bad bill, and we hope North Dakota legislators take a hard look at the language in the bill and try again in 2020.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA STATE VOTES
Missouri legalizing medical marijuana under Amendment 2 is another major victory for the industry. The path to legalization was confusing with 3 potentially conflicting laws on the ballot, but Question 2 passed with 65% approval becoming law. Amendment 2 is a constitutional amendment which will now allow medical cannabis for any qualified condition that a doctor deems fit for cannabis use and a 4% tax will be taken at retail transactions. We expect big things due to this being a state constitutional amendment, and will stay tuned to see what develops in the months to come as it gets implemented.
Utah passed Proposition 2 joining Missouri in ushering in medical marijuana in the 2018 midterms. Proposition 2 allows up to 2 ounces of medical marijuana in any two week period, or products containing up to 10 grams of CBD or THC. Smoking medical marijuana will, unfortunately, be banned under Proposition 2 but in as conservative a state as Utah is, the fact that it passed at all is a miracle. Patients 100 miles from a dispensary or more will be allowed to grow their own, up to 6 plants, and a caregiver program will be set up. The state will also begin issuing licenses for cultivation, processing, dispensaries, and testing facilities. We look for this to possibly be a bumpy rollout as stricter LDS elders still oppose medical marijuana, but we will see in the coming months.