9 November 2016
The cannabis industry scored a landslide victory Tuesday as four states legalized recreational marijuana and another three approved medical use, cementing the 2016 election’s place in the history books.
The developments could lead to $7 billion-$8 billion in additional annual retail cannabis sales, according to Marijuana Business Daily’s preliminary estimates.
California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada voted to legalize recreational marijuana, while Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota approved medical cannabis initiatives.
Montana, which legalized medical marijuana in 2004, also passed a measure to set up commercial cultivation operations and dispensaries.
“It’s a coast-to-coast landslide,” said James Anthony, a cannabis business attorney in California. “We’re well beyond the tipping point. It’s full-steam ahead.”
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The Guardian (UK)
Approved: California voters have approved recreational marijuana, a huge victory in the fight for cannabis legalization, paving the way for the largest commercial pot market in the US.
Approved: Massachusetts also voted for recreational pot, extending legal weed from coast to coast.
Approved: Nevada became the third state to approve a recreational cannabis law, making the west an even stronger region for marijuana sales.
Approved: Earlier in the night, Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana, the first victory in a string of high-profile cannabis measures on Tuesday’s state ballots.
Approved: North Dakota was the second state to approve medical weed, with the approval of Measure 5, which approves the use of marijuana to treat a number of diseases, including cancer, Aids, epilepsy and hepatitis C.
Election results: the key points at a glance
Approved: Arkansas also passed a medical cannabis measure that would allow patients with specific conditions to buy medicine from dispensaries licensed by the government.
Rejected: Arizona was the first state to vote against its marijuana measure, with the news early on Wednesday morning that voters have rejected Proposition 205. The measure would have legalized recreational pot.
Advocates and opponents agree that California’s Proposition 64 is the most important cannabis measure America has seen and could be an international game-changer for marijuana policy in the US.
California, which recently overtook the UK to have the fifth largest economy in the world, is expected to have a recreational marijuana market greater than Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska combined, said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.
“When I talk to everybody from allies to government officials in Mexico and I ask them what’s it going to take to transform the debate,” he said, “the response to me is when California legalizes marijuana.”
As of early Wednesday, races were still too close to call in Maine, which had a recreational measure on the ballot, and Montana, which is considering a medical marijuana proposal.
Marijuana wins big on election night
Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational marijuana initiatives Tuesday night, and several other states passed medical marijuana provisions, in what is turning out to be the biggest electoral victory for marijuana reform since 2012, when Colorado and Washington first approved the drug’s recreational use.
In addition to the states above, local outlets in Maine are declaring victory for that state’s legalization measure, but with 91 percent of precincts reporting just a few thousand votes separate the “Yes” and “No” columns.
Reformers were jubilant. “This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.”
Los Angeles Times
Californians vote to legalize recreational use of marijuana in the state
Voters on Tuesday approved Proposition 64, making California the most populous state in the nation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
The approval of the ballot measure creates the largest market for marijuana products in the U.S. It comes six years after California voters narrowly rejected a similar measure. Activists said passage would be an important moment in a fight for marijuana legalization across the U.S.
“We are very excited that citizens of California voted to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition,” said Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Assn. “Proposition 64 will allow California to take its rightful place as the center of cannabis innovation, research and development.”
Discouraged law enforcement officials said they will closely monitor implementation of the ballot measure.
“We are, of course, disappointed that the self-serving moneyed interests behind this marijuana business plan prevailed at the cost of public health, safety, and the wellbeing of our communities,” said Chief Ken Corney, president of the California Police Chiefs Assn.
“We will take a thorough look at the flaws in Proposition 64 that will negatively impact public health and safety, such as the initiative’s substandard advertising restrictions and lack of prosecutorial tools for driving under the influence of marijuana, and begin to develop legislative solutions,” Corney added.
Proposition 64 would allow Californians who are 21 and older to possess, transport, buy and use up to an ounce of cannabis for recreational purposes and allow individuals to grow as many as six plants. The measure would also allow retail sales of marijuana and impose a 15% tax.
Although the measure’s passage would immediately allow adults to possess and grow marijuana, there may not be places to legally purchase it for some time.
The measure only allows non-medical marijuana to be sold by state licensed businesses, and it gives the state until