Cannabis News Update October 12, 2020
Today in the world of cannabis: Today in the world of cannabis: With the November election in the U.S. getting closer, it’s time for a cannabis legalization roundup! We’re checking in with voters in Arizona, Maine, and Vermont, the latest state to legalize recreational cannabis.
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First up: According to a Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network live-interview poll of 500 Arizonans taken at the end of last month, voters are in favor of recreational cannabis legalization in the state.
A report from AZ Central shows that 45.6% of likely voters support Proposition 207, while 34.2% are opposed and 19% are undecided.
Prop 207, or the Smart and Safe Arizona Act, would permit the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for adult use. The bill would also expunge the records of those previously convicted of cannabis-related crimes and offer 26 retail licenses to business owners who have been historically disadvantaged by cannabis laws.
The campaign to pass the bill has received almost all of its funding from medical cannabis dispensaries in Arizona, as well as some multi-state operators.
And next: In a report by Vox, Vermont has officially become the 11th state to legalize recreational cannabis for adult use. Republican Governor Phil Scott announced that he would allow the cannabis legalization bill to take effect.
The bill also allows for the construction of a commercialized, tax-and-regulate system, akin to those of other states. It’s worth noting that although the legislation takes effect this month, regulators have until October 2022 to begin issuing retail licenses.
In a separate bill signed by Gov. Scott, a process will be developed to efficiently expunge cannabis convictions from criminal records. Those who will receive expungements will be notified by mail.
Last up: On November 8, 2016, Maine residents voted in favor of Question 1, which legalized, taxed, and regulated cannabis similarly to alcohol.
Now, WGME 13 reports that recreational cannabis sales have finally begun in the state. Last month, state regulators began issuing the first licenses for cannabis cultivation, processing, testing, and retail sale.
Adults 21 years of age or older can now purchase up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower, cannabis concentrates or a mixture of products. For cannabis concentrates specifically, up to 5 grams can be purchased at one time.
With the November U.S. election rapidly approaching, voters in several states, including New Jersey and Arizona, will decide to approve or reject their own cannabis bills.