MJBizMag October 2022 - 40

RACE FOR REFORM
In terms of medical marijuana,
proponents of a referendum in
Nebraska failed to collect enough valid
signatures to put the issue before
voters this fall. In response, Nebraska
state Sen. Jen Day said she plans
to introduce legislation to legalize
medical marijuana in the upcoming
legislative session, which begins
Jan. 4.
Across the country, recreational
marijuana has been legalized in 19
states and Washington DC, while
medical cannabis is legal in 39 states
and the district.
Based on increasing public support
for legalization, the referendums that
do qualify for the fall ballot have a
strong chance of passing.
" At this point, I do expect all
(measures that qualify for a ballot)
to prevail, but some of them will be
competitive, " said Matt Schweich,
deputy director of the Washington DCbased
Marijuana Policy Project.
" None of these campaigns should
ever take anything for granted, but
I believe public opinion is on the
side of all of these cannabis-reform
measures. "
More than two in three Americans
support legalizing marijuana, according
to a November 2021 Gallup poll.
HURDLES REMAIN
But potential roadblocks could trip up
voter-approved legalization efforts.
In the past couple of years, state
supreme courts in Mississippi and
South Dakota voided or rejected
legalization referendums after voters
approved them.
" We've been through these painful
situations before, but we've also
learned from them, " Schweich said.
For example, he noted, an adultuse
marijuana measure headed for
the fall ballot in South Dakota is
intentionally narrow in scope. It would
legalize personal possession and home
cultivation, but it wouldn't create a
regulated commercial market.
40 October 2022 | MJBizMagazine
A proposed constitutional amendment in Arkansas would see regulated sales begin in 2023.
" You're seeing cannabis reform
campaigns adjust, " Schweich said.
At the same time, he said, the
territory is treacherous because of the
trend for public officials to oppose
marijuana legalization after voters have
had their say and for courts to overturn
the will of the voters.
" This is bigger than cannabis, "
Schweich noted. " It's about a sustained
effort to undermine the ballot process
across the country. "
In a couple of key states, marijuana
legalization initiatives are being teed
up for future elections.
In Ohio, backers of a recreational
marijuana measure struck a deal with
Republican lawmakers that paves the
way for the issue to be on the 2023
ballot-if, that is, legislators don't pass a
legalization bill first.
In Florida, adult-use legalization
advocates now are eyeing a 2024 ballot
initiative after the state Supreme Court
shot down proposed ballot language.
Here's a look at this fall's likely and
potential marijuana legalization ballot
measures:
ARKANSAS
Proponent: Responsible Growth
Arkansas
Initiative: Arkansas Recreational
Marijuana Amendment of 2022
Type of initiative: Constitutional
amendment
Maryland residents could vote to
decriminalize marijuana in November.
MARYLAND
Proponent: Placed on ballot by state
Legislature
Initiative: House Bill 1
Type of initiative: Constitutional
amendment
Expected sales start: To be determined
by Legislature. The referendum itself
would take effect July 1, 2023.
Expected sales start: March 8, 2023.
Key business details: The market
would launch with existing medical
marijuana providers. Each could open
an additional adult-use-only store.
Forty additional store licenses
would be awarded through a lottery
before July 5, 2023, and 12 additional
cultivation licenses would be awarded
by Nov. 8, 2023.
The measure calls for a 10% retail tax
on recreational marijuana products, in
addition to local and state sales taxes.
https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2022RS/bills/hb/hb0001E.pdf https://www.responsiblegrowtharkansas.com/about https://www.responsiblegrowtharkansas.com/about

MJBizMag October 2022

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