Cannabis Wins Big In 2018 Midterms

Michigan Becomes Tenth State to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

Key cannabis legalization wins could bring in upwards of $2 billion in new sales

Weekly Deal Watch: Cannabis funding frenzy highlights how much capital is ‘still on the sidelines’

Utah medical cannabis election victory could help ensure program’s viability

Cannabis Wire keep it simple and we love them for it

Last night, the Cannabis Wire team was busy keeping on top of election results across the country that have implications for the future of the cannabis industry. (In case you missed our Twitter thread, you can catch up here.)

Voters decided on four big measures yesterday (read on below for context):

• Michigan (adult use): Passed ✔️

• Missouri (medical): Passed ✔️

• Utah (medical): Passed ✔️

• North Dakota (adult use): Failed ❌

The most significant result when it comes to national cannabis legislation is the defeat of Texas Republican Pete Sessions, who earned the ire of cannabis law reformers by blocking cannabis-related amendments in Congress as chairman of the Rules Committee. Sessions’ opponent, Democrat Colin Allred, has said he is in favor of medical cannabis. “Now the real work begins,” Allred tweeted.

  • California: Gavin Newsom will be California’s next governor. Newsom has been a longtime supporter of cannabis legalization and the cannabis industry, and helped usher the state toward legalization (which voters passed by ballot box in 2016) when he formed the state’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy in 2013.
  • Colorado: Jared Polis, one of the US House’s most outspoken members on cannabis, will become the next governor of Colorado. Governor John Hickenlooper has since come around to the state’s legal cannabis industry, but was opposed to legalization in 2012 when the state became the first in the US to legalize for adult use.
    • Also in Colorado: Amendment X, which allows Colorado to decide on its own definition of hemp, passed by a significant margin. As Cannabis Wire reported, the hemp industry worried about a “dire effect” if it failed to pass.
  • Illinois: J.B. Pritzker, who has promised to legalize adult-use cannabis and reinvest in minority communities, beat incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner in Illinois. Pro-cannabis advocates are hopeful the governor-elect will push for legislation in 2019. While cannabis wasn’t a big issue in his campaign to unseat Rauner, Pritzker was unabashed about his views. He put on his campaign website, “JB will work to legalize marijuana, reduce mass incarceration, and reinvest in Illinois communities.”
  • New York: Governor Andrew Cuomo was re-elected. While he has not come out directly in favor of legalization, he has set the wheels in motion for the introduction of a legalization bill in the coming months, as Cannabis Wire has reported.
  • Maine: Democrat Janet Mills will be the next governor of Maine, where voters passed legalization in 2016. Former Governor Paul LePage, though, asserted that he would’ve liked to veto legalization entirely, and repeatedly vetoed regulations proposed by lawmakers for the state’s industry. Mills supports legal cannabis, and it’s likely that efforts to establish a system for legal sales will unfold more smoothly in coming months.
  • Minnesota: Democrat Tim Walz will be Minnesota’s next governor, and has voiced support for legalization.
  • Nevada: Democrat Steve Sisolak will be Nevada’s next governor. While Nevada already has a robust industry in place, Sisolak is a friend to the industry: in fact, large cannabis companies dumped more than $100,000 toward his campaign in recent weeks, which Cannabis Wire reported earlier this week.
  • New Mexico: Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham will be New Mexico’s next governor, and has voiced support for legalizatio