One thing is clear following the recent election, pro-marijuana sentiment continues to take root all across the country. All but one marijuana bill on ballots across the country passed, opening up even more states to recreational and medical marijuana. Across the country now: 8 states have legalized recreational marijuana, 21 states have legalized medical marijuana, and 15 states have legalized limited medical marijuana, which primarily refers to only the allowance of high CBD, low THC cannabis products. Not only do these many new bills provide marijuana to many people it could help, but each new market has the potential to produce large amounts of money for the states they are in. Here’s a review of what bills passed across the United States.
Arkansas: Issue 6
Arkansas’s medical marijuana issue included a list of 17 medical conditions that would qualify a patient for medical marijuana use. It includes the creation of a Medical Marijuana Commission and a tax system that would provide revenue to technical institutes, vocational schools, and a general fund. The issue passed with 53% of the vote. The Arkansas medical marijuana industry is projected to generate $6.4 million.
Florida: Amendment 2
Florida previously defeated a similar amendment to their state constitution in 2014, but this year it passed with 71.9% in favor. The amendment allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/Aids, PTSD, Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, MS, or “other debilitating conditions”. The Florida market is expected to generate $1.6 billion.
Montana: Initiative 182
Initiative 182 amends the previous medical marijuana bill in Montana that had created very strict restrictions on the number of recommendations doctors could give and caused other problems that limited many people from having access to medical marijuana. The new initiative requires providers to get licenses and receive regular inspections. It does, however, remove restrictions on provider limits and allows chronic pain and PTSD patients to access medical marijuana. The initiative passed with 56.9% of the vote, and is projected to produce $127.7 million.
North Dakota: Measure 5
North Dakota’s measure 5 sets up a system for the creation of nonprofit “compassion centers” that allow patients to access medical marijuana. If a patient lives more than 40 miles from a care center, however, they are able to grow a limited number of plants. Patients enrolled in the medical marijuana program are subject to random interviews, with only a 24 hour notice, to ensure their eligibility. The bill passed with 64% of the vote. The medical marijuana market in North Dakota is expected to generate $2.3 million.
Nevada: Question 2
Nevada’s question two sets up a recreational marijuana market in the state, where medical marijuana is already legal. Question 2 defines that tax revenue from cannabis will go towards funding K-12 education in the state. The bill passed with 54% and is expected to produce $621.9 million in the state.
Massachusetts: Question 4
Question 4 allows for people over 21 in the state to possess 10 ounce of marijuana at home, and one ounce in public. It also allows for the growth of 6 plants per person. The state will levy a 3.75% excise tax on marijuana. The bill passed with 53% of the people in the state voting for it. The recreational market in Massachusetts is expected to generate $1.1 billion dollars.
Maine: Question 1
Maine’s Question 1 outlines a legalization, taxation, and regulation process to take place in the state. Revenue from taxation of marijuana in Maine is set to go towards health and schools. Question 1 is known as one of the most progressive recreational marijuana bills and boasts the ability for people over 21 to have up to 12 flowering plants at one time. The bill just barley passed, with only 50.3% of people voting for it, and many opponents are demanding a recount.
California: Proposition 64
Probably the most anticipated recreational marijuana bill, Proposition 64 allows for people over 21 to have access to recreational marijuana across the state of California. The bill legalizes the cultivation of marijuana and hemp and has restrictions in place to prevent corporate monopolies. California’s Proposition 64 was controversial in the marijuana friendly state because of the 15% sales tax that will be levied on marijuana, as well as the $9.25 per ounce cultivation tax. The proposition passed in California with 55% of the population voting for it and the recreational marijuana industry in the state is expected to produce a whopping $7.6 billion.
One Loss: Arizona’s Proposition 205
Arizona’s proposition 205 would have created a market to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the state to distribute cannabis for recreational purposes. People over 21 in the state could have also grown up to 6 plants and there would have been a 15% tax on cannabis. Despite the loss, Arizona’s medical marijuana market will remain intact.