Five States Pass Cannabis Legalization Measures on Election Day: Week in Review


This week, cannabis won big on Election Day as five states passed legalization measures. Voters in Arizona, Montana and New Jersey passed adult-use legalization initiatives, Mississippi approved a medical measure, and South Dakota passed both at the same time.

Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.

  • Ohio: The State Medical Board of Ohio is accepting petitions to add new qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program through Dec. 31. Those petitioning for a condition that was previously considered and rejected by the board may not resubmit documents that have already been reviewed, but may present new scientific research for consideration. Read more
  • Maine: Wellness Connection of Maine has filed a motion to fight a lawsuit against the state that was brought by two small cannabis businesses over adult-use licenses awarded to out-of-state companies. Wellness Connection, which is controlled by Delaware-based investor High Street Capital Partners and operates four medical cannabis dispensaries in Maine, filed the motion on behalf of its adult-use business, NPG, to ask a judge to dismiss the lawsuit, which was brought by two medical cannabis caregivers who claim that the state cannot refuse to enforce a law restricting out-of-state business owners from participating in Maine’s adult-use market. Read more
  • New Jersey: In one of the country’s most highly anticipated referendums on cannabis, New Jersey voters approved Public Question No. 1, which amends the state constitution to legalize cannabis for adults aged 21 and over, as well as the cultivation, processing and sale of recreational cannabis products, by a 67-33 margin. The referendum comes after years of failed attempts to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state legislature, although it does not spell out a regulatory framework of any kind. Read more
  • Arizona: Arizona voters approved adult-use cannabis legalization on Election Day in the form of a statutory measure, Prop. 207, by a 60-40 margin. The initiative allows adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis, as well as grow up to six plants at home for personal use. Read more
  • Mississippi: Voters approved Initiative 65, the measure from Mississippians for Compassionate Care’s Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign, on Election Day to legalize medical cannabis in the state. Initiative 65 received about 48% more votes than a competing measure put on the ballot by the state legislature, Alternative 65A. Read more
  • Montana: Fifty-nine percent of Montana voters approved of I-190, the state’s adult-use cannabis legalization initiative, and separately, 61% of the Montana electorate voted in favor of the legislature establishing the legal age of adult-use cannabis consumption, a formality. The two ballot initiatives are commonly treated as a package deal to legalize, regulate and tax adult-use cannabis in the state. Read more
  • Opponents of cannabis legalization in the state now plan to file a lawsuit over Montana’s adult-use initiative, alleging that the financial allocations proposed in the measure contradict the state’s constitution. I-190 outlines some initial provisions for an adult-use cannabis program in the state, including a proposal that earmarks some of the revenue generated from a 20% tax on cannabis for conservation, substance abuse treatment and veterans’ issues, which Wrong for Montana spokesperson Steve Zabawa told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle is “not transparent.” Read more
  • South Dakota: Voters in South Dakota made history on Nov. 3, helping the state become the first in the union to pass both medical and adult-use cannabis legalization on the same ballot. With the passage of the measures, Amendment A and Measure 26, South Dakotans now have a constitutional right to cannabis consumption and to hemp farming. Read more
  • Canada: A large fire engulfed Canopy Growth’s former greenhouse facility in Delta, B.C., the morning of Nov. 1. The facility was closed in March, and no injuries were reported. Read more
  • Canadian LP Canopy Growth announced this week that it will transfer its U.S. stock exchange listing from the New York Stock Exchange to the Nasdaq Global Select Market effective Nov. 13 after market close. Common shares of Canopy Growth are expected to begin trading as a Nasdaq-listed security on Nov. 16, 2020, with the shares continuing to trade under the symbol “CGC.” Read more
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