Almost six months into the year, the U.S. is still squarely within the coronavirus’ stranglehold, and the past few weeks have seen rising levels of civil unrest in most states. The economy is in free-fall and health experts warn that the coronavirus pandemic is nowhere near over. With everything that’s going on, it’s easy to forget that Election Day is drawing closer, and a dozen states have at least one ballot initiative devoted to legalizing cannabis.
At least three states are guaranteed to have residents voting on cannabis legalization initiatives in November. However, while there are a few states where legalization in November is a near certainty, some states won’t be going green any time soon. Due to a variety of factors, these states will not be voting to legalize marijuana this coming November
Florida legalized medical cannabis in 2016 and although it was expected that adult-use marijuana would follow suit in 2020, residents will not be voting on a recreational cannabis measure. The Make it Legal Florida campaign garnered the support of certain medical cannabis dispensaries, including MedMen Enterprises, and was able to collect more than 700,000 signatures. However, there simply wasn’t enough time to verify the signatures and refine the language of the proposed constitutional amendment before the 2020 ballot. Additionally, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody as well as members of the legislature had already expressed clear objections to the proposed amendment.
New York had planned to include marijuana legalization in the state fiscal budget but at the end of March, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that this would not be likely. He stated that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic had complicated budget discussions and that the cannabis legalization issue was too complex to be discussed in the limited time lawmakers had.
Ohio currently has two recreational marijuana measures on the table for addition to the 2020 ballot but it is unlikely either of the measures will wind up on the November ballot. With social distancing measures and stay at home orders in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, it has been impossible to collect the required 453,000 signatures. Additionally, the language in one of the measures to regulate cannabis like alcohol needs more fine-tuning and with the deadline in less than 3 weeks, it is unlikely the initiatives will make it to ballot.
Missouri’s quest to legalize cannabis, led by the Missourians for a New Approach campaign, was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus spread and self-isolation and social distancing measures were issued, signature collection became virtually impossible. Advocates attempted to persuade officials to allow the required 170,000 signatures online but Missouri regulators rejected the proposal. Like in New York, Florida, and Ohio, marijuana legalization advocates will have to wait until 2021 or beyond for another shot at marijuana reform.
It would be interesting to hear what cannabis industry actors like SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) have to say about the long-term effects of the derailment of the different legalization campaigns across the country.
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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