7 Election Outcomes That Change Cannabis Legislation
In the last few months, Congress has blocked larger initiatives that could potentially help with industry growth and access. For example, one amendment was issued to allow cannabis businesses in legal states to work with banks, but it was shot down. A second blockage happened when Congress denied physicians working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend medical marijuana in legal states. There have been several studies that have shown positive interaction with cannabis and those suffering from PTSD and chronic pain, like our veterans. Chronic pain can lead into pain reliever prescriptions, & opioid abuse, which may even contribute to the amount of veteran suicides each year. However, there is hope for future legalization and normalization as states continue to legalize with ballot measures.
While many lobby Congress to make changes, many others believe that the federal legislative changes around cannabis will be initiated by the citizens’ vote, and Congress will have to make changes with the growing popularity to accommodate.
The election results this month showed even more potential for growth in the cannabis industry nationwide.
State Issue 1 DID NOT PASS
This is a drug reform policy that reduces current cannabis punishment of jail time and felonies to no jail time and misdemeanors. It also aims tot cut jail time for those who participate in rehabilitation programs. Five cities approved local marijuana decriminalization.
Missouri for Medical Marijuana
Amendment 2 PASS 65%
This amendment legalizes medical marijuana and instates a 4% tax. The tax will help fund veteran health care services
Amendment 3 DID NOT PASS
This amendment was initiated by Brad Bradshaw and states that there should be a 15% tax on medical cannabis to help fund a drug research and development institute. The discrepancy in this amendment is that the clinical facility will be run by Bradshaw.
Proposition C DID NOT PASS
Instead of amending a current law, this would create a whole new law around cannabis to legalize medical use with a 2% sales tax that helps to pay for law enforcement, drug treatment, veteran’s services, and education.
Utah for Medical Marijuana (pretty restrictive in growing and smoking - more influence on vapes and edibles)
Proposition 2 PASS 53%
Prop 2 allows for medical marijuana for those suffering with ailments like HIV, chronic pain, cancer, ALS, PTSD, autism, and others. Medical marijuana dispensaries are state-controlled and offer cannabis flower, oils, edibles, and products containing THC & CBD. In a few circumstances, up to 6 personal plants may be grown.
Michigan for Recreational (first midwest state & 10th state to pass recreational use) Proposition 18-1 PASS (56%)
Marijuana is legal for adults 21+ and allows flower, concentrates, and edibles. This proposition allows for 10 ounces of cannabis products stored at home & 2.5 ounces in public (with no more than 15g in concentrates). Michigan will impose a 10% tax on sales that will help stimulate education, clinical research, infrastructure, and the local communities.
North Dakota Denied for Recreational Marijuana (remains medical)
Measure 3 DID NOT PASS
This measure supported the removal of cannabis flower, hash, and THC from the North Dakota Schedule 1 substances list, ultimately making it recreational. If passed, previous criminal records relating to non-violent cannabis crimes would be expunged. This decriminalization would not impose any limits or taxes on possession or personal cultivation, which means the state would not see tax benefits from legalization. This is probably a very good reason that the measure did not pass, as the state would not see tax benefits and there are not any regulations or licensing rules noted in this measure.
Other states that had cannabis-related issues on their ballots or during the election include: California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut, Minnesota, Texas.
Active, pro-cannabis governors were elected in New Mexico, Minnesota, California, Colorado, Michigan, New York, & Illinois, and several Senate and House seats were flipped to pro-cannabis. Our biggest excitement came from one House seat in particular. US Representative Jeff Sessions is the most outspoken against cannabis legalization and has blocked every bill that has come through the House. Sessions was ousted by a Democrat, and might have one of the largest impacts on large-scale legalization.
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