Peridot Blog

Cannabis in the Upcoming Elections

The cannabis industry in recent years, has been one of the most rapidly growing industries out there. The known benefits cannabis offers to its consumers seems to be growing month by month, as does the number of consumers in general. Because of the growing popularity of cannabis, the push for legalization across the country is increasing. While legalization at the federal level seems unlikely for the time being, the cannabis industry is making headway at the state level.

Currently there are 34 states where medical cannabis use is legal: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah. In addition to those states, there are 11 other states (and Washington, DC) that have also legalized recreational use for adults: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Among states where cannabis islegal, it is important to know your state’s laws regarding the quantity of cannabis an individual is allowed to possess. For that information check out this link https://disa.com/map-of-marijuana-legality-by-state

At the beginning of 2020, it was thought that at least 15 states would legalize cannabis to some degree in the upcoming elections. However due in large part to COVID-19, legalization campaigns were either forced to shut down or state priorities shifted focus to combat the pandemic. While it’s not the initial 15 states that were thought to have cannabis on their ballots this November, there will still be 6 states votingon cannabis laws. Those 6 states include Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, and South Dakota.

Arizona: Medical cannabis is currently legal in the state of Arizona. In November,
residents will be voting to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 and older. Within the ballot includes a decriminalization provision that would also expunge a handful of cannabis-related charges.

Mississippi: Currently the use of cannabis, medical or recreational, in Mississippi is illegal. However in 2 months, residents will vote on two ballot measures regarding legalizing cannabis, Initiative 65 and Alternative 65A. Initiative 65 is headed by the Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign which aims to legalize medical cannabis use with a specific and detailed program implementation. While Alternative 65A is making its way onto ballots courtesy of the Mississippi State Legislature, which offers little to no details or components needed to establish a medical cannabis program.

Montana: Montana will be voting to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for those 21 and older. Similar to Arizona, Montana will also include decriminalization provisions and allow specific cannabis-related charges to be expunged from records. Montanan’s will vote on a second measure to add a constitutional amendment setting the legal age for cannabis to 21.

Nebraska: In November, Nebraska voters will be voting to legalize the medical use of cannabis. Possession of cannabis in Nebraska is currently decriminalized if it is a person’s first offense.

New Jersey: Medical cannabis has been legalized in New Jersey for 10 years now, and in November voters will be deciding on legalizing recreational use of cannabis for adults21 or older. Earlier this summer New Jersey lawmakers voted in favor of a bill that decriminalizes possession of up to two ounces of cannabis.

South Dakota: Among all the states with cannabis on their ballots this November, South Dakota has a chance to be one of the most revolutionary states in legalizing cannabis. Residents not only will be voting on the legalization of medical cannabis, but will be the first state to simultaneously vote on the legalization of recreational cannabis. Included in those ballot measures will contain decriminalization provisions.

 

Even though it’s not the 15 states that were anticipated to vote on legalization to some degree. There’s a chance that after this election only one state will have zero legalization laws regarding cannabis, Idaho. That itself is something that everyone in the cannabis industry should be rejoicing over, because just 10 years ago cannabis use of any degree was only legal in 13 of the 50 states. In fact, Idaho was supposed to vote on legalizing medical cannabis use in November. Their effort to gather signatures was cut short due to the pandemic just 10,000 shy of the required 55,000. However don’t be surprised to see a legalization measure on Idaho’s next election ballots, that could make medical cannabis use legal in every state nationwide.

Author: Cameran Testerman