Voters in several states are anticipated to decide on marijuana-related ballot measures in the November 8 midterm election. Currently two states, Maryland and South Dakota, have secured the necessary number of signatures to place their measures on the November ballot. We are closely tracking the progress of these and other states’ efforts. Watch this space for the latest updates to keep you informed.
Marijuana Ballot Initiatives – Adult Use
Maryland: MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM
Lawmakers gave approval to the proposed Constitutional Amendment, House Bill 1, which asks voters: “Do you favor the legalization of adult–use cannabis in the State of Maryland?” State lawmakers also approved complementary legislation, HB 837, which defines marijuana possession limits and facilitates the automatic review and expungement of past criminal records.
If approved by voters, the referendum takes effect on July 1, 2023. At that time, adults will be legally permitted to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates. Possessing amounts between 1.5 ounces and 2.5 ounces would be subject to civil fines, while the possession of greater quantities would be subject to existing criminal penalties.
Lawmakers would still need to enact additional legislation next session to establish rules and regulations governing a legally regulated cannabis marketplace.
South Dakota: An initiated measure legalizing the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana
For the second consecutive election, voters in South Dakota will decide on a ballot measure to legalize marijuana use by those age 21 or older.
Representatives from the group South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws said that the Secretary of State had confirmed that advocates had secured the necessary number of signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.
Initiated Measure 27 permits adults to possess (up to one ounce), home-cultivate (up to three mature plants), and/or transfer without remuneration limited quantities of cannabis. The measure does not seek to establish a regulatory framework governing the licensed production and retail sale of marijuana.