After an exciting Election Tuesday, we are delighted to announce the passage of several landmark measures to legalize cannabis and psychedelic use in Arizona, DC, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, and South Dakota. Poll numbers leading up to voting day indicated bipartisan support for many of the measures, which indicates a widespread shift in public opinion. In fact, Arizona passed a measure that was quite similar to one that was proposed four years earlier, but failed by only 2,000 votes.
Let’s take a closer look at each jurisdiction, measure, and what we can expect in the implementation of each new law:
Arizona: Proposition 207 has passed, which allows adults 21 and older to possess, consume, or transfer up to 1 ounce of cannabis and create a regulatory system for the drug’s cultivation, sale, and testing.
District of Columbia: Initiative 81 has passed, which decriminalizes a wide range of psychedelics in the nation’s capital. Because DC is not a state and falls under congressional oversight, Initiative 81 will go into effect after a 30-day review period by federal lawmakers.
Mississippi: Initiative 65 has passed, which allows physicians to recommend medical cannabis for patients with any of 22 qualifying conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The initiative would also permit the smoking of medical cannabis for the terminally ill and provide the legislature with the authority to create a regulatory framework.
Montana: Initiative 190 has passed, which allows adults over the age of 21 in the state to possess and buy cannabis for recreational use, establishes a cannabis tax, and allows people serving sentences for cannabis-related crimes to apply for resentencing or expungement.
New Jersey: Public Question 1 has passed, which amends the state constitution to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older. The state commission overseeing the medical cannabis market will also regulate the recreational market.
Oregon: Measure 109 has passed, which legalized psilocybin, or psychedelic mushrooms. The legislature now has a 2 year period to determine how the drug will be related, as well as establish a regulatory body to oversee the qualifications for therapists to administer the drug.
South Dakota: Measure 26 and Amendment A have both passed, which establish a medical cannabis program and legalizes cannabis for all adults. Amendment A also requires the state legislature to adopt medical cannabis and hemp laws. By approving both of these measures at once, South Dakota was able to legalize medical and recreational cannabis in a single election.
While many of these measures only represent the first step to legalization, we are eager to help support our clients to prepare their businesses for expansion into these new and exciting markets. We are especially excited for opportunities that are emerging in Arizona and New Jersey. Read more about Arizona’s road to legalization below: