Cannabis in the 2016 Election

untitled-3This year’s presidential election was unique far beyond the nominees for the White House. There were a total of nine marijuana ballot measures across the nation, some medical and others recreational. Of those nine measures, a total of seven states passed new legislation! Read below to find out what these new laws mean in various states across the country.

Legalization:

California – 56% voted yes

  • Legalizes marijuana for adults 21+ years old
  • Allows possession of up to 1 oz or 8 grams of concentrate
  • Allows home cultivation of up to six plants, not “in plain sight”
  • Dispensary licenses must be issued by January 1, 2018
  • Stores will likely begin selling recreational products in 2018
  • Edibles must be sold in 10mg dose increments

Massachusetts — 54% voted yes

  • Legalizes marijuana for adults 21+ years old
  • Allows home cultivation of up to six plants
  • Allows possession of 1 oz in public, up to 10 oz at home
  • Allows for recreational dispensary licenses
  • Combined excise and sales tax of 10%

Maine — 50.2% voted yes

  • Legalizes marijuana for adults 21+ years old
  • Allows home cultivation of up to six plants
  • Allows the state to cultivate, test and sell cannabis and cannabis products
  • Dispensaries are expected to be operational beginning in 2018
  • 10% sales tax

Nevada — 54% voted yes

  • Legalizes marijuana for adults 21+ years old
  • Allows home cultivation of up to six plants in a locked space
  • Allows for possession of up to 1 oz flower or 1/8th oz concentrate
  • Allows for recreational dispensaries
  • During the first 18 months, only medical dispensaries and liquor wholesalers can apply for a license
  • 15% sales tax

Medical:

Arkansas – 53% voted yes

  • Allows for up to eight grow facilities and 40 dispensaries
  • Does not allow for home cultivation
  • Approved for the following 17 conditions: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Tourette’s Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, PTSD, severe arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s disease

Florida – 71% voted yes

  • Amends previous medical marijuana act that allowed for non-smoked low-THC marijuana for qualifying patients
  • Allows for medical cannabis as treatment for the following nine conditions: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Crohn’s Disease, multiple sclerosis

Montana – 57% voted yes

  • Amends Senate Bill 423, which allowed for only three patients per medical marijuana provider, and limited physicians to writing only 25 prescriptions per year

North Dakota – 64% voted yes

  • Approves use of medical marijuana for the following conditions: cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, epilepsy, ALS, glaucoma, Crohn’s Disease, spinal stenosis, PTSD and chronic pain
  • Allows for implementation of caregivers, who can have up to five patients

The introduction of these new recreational programs means great things, and the end of cannabis prohibition seems more than likely. Legalization in Massachusetts means the most for Rhode Island. There were many speculations that our state would wait to see if Massachusetts went recreational on election day, and then depending on that outcome, make a decision whether or not to push for recreational law when the General Assembly is back in session in January.

Massachusetts won’t be able to sell recreational products until January of 2018, so it is presumed that RI will pass legislature with an accelerated timeline to gain an advance on the Northeastern market. In the Providence Journal’s 7-day piece on our medical marijuana program, Gov. Raimondo is quoted saying that with the appropriate regulations put into place, she would be supportive of legalization. The last 6 months have been abundant in medical policy reform in our state, so it is safe to say we are moving in that direction.

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