Following important cannabis news articles every day can be a real burn-out, we know. That’s why the Emerald rolls up a chronicle of the headiest news hits, and passes them to you at the end of each week. We Bring You: The Dime.
Written by Katie Bryan | Emerald Magazine
An eventful year fraught with strife was bookended with major wins for the cannabis industry this November. Cannabis victories have made recreational use legal in fifteen states and D.C. Thirty-six states now have legalized medicinal cannabis. Here is a brief rundown of the cannabis victories that occurred during this historic election:
The state made history for being the first to simultaneously legalize both recreational and medicinal cannabis, an impressive feat on its own, but even more so considering the state’s conservative predisposition. In addition to easily passing Measure 26 — which creates a medical cannabis market in the state that allows qualified patients to possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis and permits home cultivation — voters also passed Amendment A. Amendment A legalizes possession of up to 1 ounce for adults age 21 and older, and permits them to grow up to three plants if they live in a jurisdiction with no licensed cannabis retailers. Both ballot issues will become law July 1st of 2021.
In Arizona, voters legalized an adult-use recreational initiative after a narrowly defeated legalization measure in 2016. Proposition 207 makes possession of up to 1 ounce of flower, and up to 5 grams of cannabis concentrate legal for adults 21 and older. It allows adults to grow up to six plants at home in an enclosed, locked area out of public sight. Retail licenses will be limited to no more than one per every 10 pharmacies in the state. Arizona is poised to launch adult-use potentially as soon as January of 2021.
Montana became the fourteenth state in the country to approve recreational cannabis use with a 56.9% victory. Combined, CI-118 and Initiative -190, allow adults aged 21 and over to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower and up to 8 grams of concentrate. It also permits home cultivation of four plants per person or eight per household. Only existing medical cannabis businesses will be able to participate in the recreational market for the first 12 months the law is in effect. Initiative 190 also allows people convicted of cannabis crimes to apply for re-sentencing or expungement.
Voters in Mississippi approved one of the more comprehensive of two medical cannabis options, a medical marijuana initiative that is considered business-friendly because it has no license caps. Initiative 65 will allow qualified patients to purchase or possess up to 2.5 ounces every 14 days, but does not allow home cultivation. It is exciting that a state in the Deep South passed a wide-open initiative with the possibility of regional implications.
In a landslide victory, New Jersey voters overwhelmingly supported the legalization of an adult-use recreational market. The vote leads to a constitutional amendment tasking lawmakers with legalizing cannabis for adults 21 and older. The vote also calls for lawmakers to establish a regulatory framework for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, and retail.
Say Yes to Drugs
In adjacent news, the state of Oregon made history this week with two major drug policy reforms. Voters approved Measure 109, which legalizes psilocybin therapy and in the standout legislation of the night, Oregon is now the first state to decriminalize the possession of most drugs, including heroin. Measure 110, which decriminalizes drug possession and reallocates some cannabis tax revenue to help pay for new state-run addiction treatment services, passed with nearly 60% of the vote, reports The Oregonian.
Not Your Average Trip to D.C.
And finally, voters in Washington D.C. have overwhelmingly approved Initiative 81, which decriminalizes psychedelic plants by re-categorizing them “as the lowest level of police enforcement priority,” according to the initiative.