The most important time of the year has arrived: the political season. This year, 5 states have the legalization of cannabis (recreational and medical) in their grasp. The advancement of cannabis in once-taboo states can help provide the cannabis industry with new, untapped markets. It is now time for the voters to be heard.
Arizona (Prop 207)
Most consumers were under the impression that Arizona has already legalized cannabis to some degree. This is not the case. In 2010, Arizona legalized the medical use of cannabis via the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act. Under this legislation, patients who have received a recommendation from a physician may obtain and possess up to 2½ ounces of cannabis in two weeks. This act completely neglected the recreational use of cannabis. This November, Arizonans may be able to undo this wrong once and for all. Prop 207, or the “Marijuana Legalization Initiative” is pretty self-explanatory. This proposition will help install a regulatory agency regarding the possession as well as the cultivation of cannabis within the state. Moreover, adults 21 and over will be able to obtain cannabis without having a doctor’s recommendation.
Mississippi (Initiative 65)
One of the tougher states regarding medical as well as recreational cannabis, people have come together to finally get an initiative on this year’s ballot. Thanks to nearly 250,000 Mississippians, Initiative 65 will be on the ballot this fall. This initiative will ultimately grant patients access to medical marijuana in Mississippi (say that 3x fast…) Patients will be allowed to possess 2½ ounces of cannabis in a two-week window. The initiative does not outline any guidelines regarding the recreational possession of cannabis in the state of Mississippi. However, this is how most states begin the legalization process: with a medicinal scope. Getting this initiative signed into law is not only important for patients, but small businesses as well. the implementation of the initiative would allow for free market competition with a focus on small businesses.
Another state that many did not expect for pro-cannabis legislation to even be heard is up for implementation this fall. Residents will vote on two propositions regarding the legalization of medical as well as recreational cannabis. As outlined in the I-190, adults ages 18 and above would be able to obtain and possess cannabis in the state of Montana. Pro-cannabis political officials believe that the implementation in the sales of recreational cannabis is just what Montana needs for its economy. If successful, Montana will become one of the few states that will allow adults 18 and above instead of 21 and up to purchase cannabis in the country.
New Jersey (Public Question #1)
Another state that would experience an instant boost in their economy with the legalization of cannabis is New Jersey. According to Public Question #1, lawmakers would like to know if they ought to legalize recreational as well as medical access to cannabis in the state of New Jersey. Survey data states that more than 60% of residents would be in favor of legalizing cannabis. This same populace also believes that legalization would also boost the economy by providing more tax dollars as well as job creation. With New Jersey already being the second-most friendly state for gambling/gaming regulations, this move could easily turn New Jersey into the ‘Vegas of the East.’
South Dakota (IM26 & Amendment A)
Another state that will hear from the public regarding the legalization of cannabis is South Dakota. IM26 as well as Amendment A would allow South Dakotans access to recreational as well as medical marijuana. Similar to most states, these legislations would allow adults ages 21 and up access to cannabis. South Dakota expects its economy to experience a noticeable uptick thanks to the legalization of cannabis.