Majority of Cannabis Ballot Measures Pass

A scattering of small round stickers reading "I voted" lay on a white table

Last night we saw (thank god) a Blue Wave. And as primary-school finger painting taught me, you can’t make green without blue—and there was also a Green Wave last night as well.

As I wrote yesterday, four states had cannabis-related measures on the ballot—two with medical programs (Missouri and Utah), and two with adult-use recreational (Michigan and North Dakota). Of the four, three passed, leaving only North Dakota as a loss.

Here’s how the results broke down:

Michigan became the first Midwesten state to approve an adult-use program, passing 56-44 (56 percent to 44 percent of the votes).

Those 21 and over will now be allowed to grow up to 12 plants each at their residence, and possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis.

A 10 percent tax on retail sales will be distributed between “local governments, K-12 education, and infrastructure projects.” State forecasters project that will raise $730 million in the first five years.

In Missouri, there were three competing medical cannabis measures on the ballot, and two failed.

But Amendment 2 passed with a whopping 66-34, having the most support of the three from advocacy groups, due in part to the measure’s allowance for doctors to recommend cannabis for any condition they believe will benefit the patient.

Per Marijuana Moment: “Patients and registered caregivers would be allowed to grow up to six plants and purchase up to four ounces of marijuana from a dispensary per month.

Sales would be taxed at four percent.” (An argument can be made that NO medicine should ever be taxed, but one step at a time.)

Passing at 53-47, Utah has a unique rollout.

As mentioned, after the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints campaigned heavily against a medical program, a compromise was reached ahead of the election to establish a program with absurdly restrictive guidelines, such as a total of five dispensaries for the entire state.

The state will soon convene a special session to sort out how they want the program to look. Proposition 2, which passed, would have allowed for certain patients to get a recommendation from a doctor, or grow their own if they live a certain distance from a dispensary.

North Dakota ‘s measure lost 59-41, and would have offered an expungement program in addition to raising millions in tax revenue.

Stay strong, Dakotans, and let’s see what 2020 offers.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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