In what may be the most eventful day for cannabis in the United States in two years, the country has gained three new legal marijuana markets and lost one of its most powerful adversaries in less than 24 hours.
Yesterday, voters in Michigan voted to legalize adult use of cannabis statewide, while in Utah and Missouri they legalized medical marijuana initiatives. Meanwhile, in the midst of a political whirlwind, President Trump has fired Jeff Sessions, the nemesis of all things cannabis, from the position of Attorney General.
Michigan Mainstreams Mary Jane
Michigan has had a long, if troubled, history of legalized medical marijuana, and on Tuesday voters opted to go full hog and legalize the recreational stuff. Proposition 1 won’t go into effect immediately, but it looks like it will go ahead much quicker than it has in some states which previously legalized.
Legalization will take effect as soon as the Secretary of State can certify the election results, roundabout November 16, according to Leafly. Once that happens, individuals 21 and over will be able to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis on their person and as much as 10 ounces in their home as long as it is locked up.
The state will have one of those interesting catch 22’s where it will be legal to possess (in fairly large quantities) but illegal to buy or sell outside of the regulated medical marijuana market. The state is expected to begin issuing licenses for recreational cannabis businesses in about a year.
Missouri Mingles With Medical Marijuana
Meanwhile in Missouri voters got jiggy for Amendment 2, one of three medical marijuana measures on their ballot. Unlike the other two, this amendment had no constricting list of conditions. Doctors can issue medical marijuana recommendation card for any ailment they see fit. The measure passed with 66 percent of the vote, as reported by Forbes.
The bill will allow patients to grow as many as six plants of their own or buy as much as four ounces of cannabis in a month. They will also pay a pretty small sales tax compared to those in some other states, only 4 percent, which will be prioritized for spending on military veterans.
Utah Bill Unfortunately Useless
Hooray! Utah voters approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana. Boo! It’s kind of useless.
State lawmakers agreed last month to implement their own limited medical marijuana program which will override that outlined in Proposition 2, the voter-approved measure, according to Leafly.
While Prop 2 would have permitted one dispensary for every 150,000 residents, and actually required one for every county, the politicians’ hatched out scheme will only allow for six across for the entire state, with the possibility of growing to ten at a later date. Prop 2 also would have allowed for cannabis flower, edibles, and concentrates more or less equally. Bizarrely, the lawmakers’ program favors extracts, with flowers being sold only in one gram portions in blister packs, and edibles being ruled out completely.
Photo via Flickr user Dank Depot