The latest marijuana news reveals that Montana has joined the list of states whose voters will decide whether recreational cannabis should be legalized in the upcoming November polls. This comes only a few days after Arizona adult-use legalization initiative qualified for the same.
Submitted enough signatures to qualify
According to a report from the office of the Montana Secretary of State, the New Approach Montana campaign gathered and successfully submitted more than 130,000 signatures in June. This allowed for the certification of two initiatives I-190 and CI-118, which would legalize cannabis for adult use and amend the state constitution respectively.
The second initiative, CI-118, aims to revise the state constitution to “allow the legislature or the people by an initiative to establish the legal age for purchasing, consuming, or processing marijuana.” The age, as currently set by the initiative I-190, stands at 21. If approved by voters in the November ballot, these initiatives will allow adults aged 21 and older to purchase and possess a maximum of an ounce of cannabis.
The initiatives also allow adults 21 years and above to grow up to four mature cannabis plants and four seedlings at home. The initiative I-190 further allows individuals who are “currently serving a sentence” for the activities permitted by the proposal to “apply for resentencing or expungement of the conviction.”
Department of Revenue to license and regulate cultivation
According to the proposals, the State Department of Revenue would license and regulate the cultivation, transportation, and the sale of marijuana-infused products and inspect premises where marijuana is cultivated and sold.” The agency would issue licenses starting in January 2022. For the first 12 months, it would only accept applications from existing Montana-based medical cannabis businesses.
Several other states have had their medical and/or adult-use cannabis legalization initiatives qualified for the November ballot. They include Arizona (Adult-use), Mississippi (Medical use), New Jersey (Adult-use), and South Dakota (Medical and Adult-use). Nebraska remains the only state still waiting for its signature count for its medical use proposal.
This development comes at a time when cannabis industry professionals in Las Vegas are backing Senator Kamala Harris on her changed views about marijuana. During her tenure as San Francisco district attorney, Kamala, who is now the running mate to the Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, co-authored an opposition argument that fought a ballot measure for recreational marijuana in California. However, when she became a US Senator, she started supporting decriminalization, legalization and even sponsored a bill on the same.