Voters in several states decided on marijuana-related ballot measures in the November 8 midterm election. Marijuana legalization momentum continues at the state and local levels following election night victories. Scroll down to see the green checkmark indicating the winning initiatives.
Statewide Marijuana Ballot Initiatives – Adult Use
Arkansas: CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
Arkansas voters rejected a ballot initiative (Issue 4) that would have allowed adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to an ounce of cannabis.
Responsible Growth Arkansas, championed by former Arkansas Democratic House minority leader Eddie Armstrong, was advocating for the passage of the amendment to the Arkansas Constitution which would have authorized the possession, personal use, and consumption of cannabis by adults 21 and over, as well as the cultivation and sale of cannabis by licensed commercial facilities.
Maryland: MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION LEGISLATIVE REFERENDUM
Maryland voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum (Question 4) directing state lawmakers to establish rules and regulations governing the production and sale of cannabis to adults.
By approving Question 4, voters also triggered the enactment of separate, complementary legislation (HB 837) defining marijuana possession limits and facilitating the automatic review and expungement of low-level cannabis convictions. Under the legislation, which was passed by lawmakers this spring, adults will be legally permitted to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates beginning in July 2023. Adults will also be permitted to grow up to two cannabis plants in their homes for their own personal use.
The measure, designated Question 4, asked: “Do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023, in the State of Maryland?”
Lawmakers will need to enact additional legislation next session to establish rules and regulations governing a legally regulated cannabis marketplace.
Missouri: CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE
Missouri voters have decided in favor of a ballot initiative (Amendment 3) legalizing the possession, cultivation, and licensed retail sale of cannabis for those ages 21 and older. The vote marks the first time that voters in a mid-western state have ever decided in favor of a citizens’ initiative legalizing marijuana for adult use.
The measure allows adults to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and to home-cultivate up to six flowering plants, six immature plants, and six plants under 14 inches for their own personal use. It also establishes a program to automatically review and expunge criminal records for eligible non-violent marijuana-related marijuana offenses. The measure seeks to broaden participation in the licensed cannabis marketplace by including small business owners and those representing disadvantaged populations, including those with limited capital, residents of high-poverty communities, service-disabled veterans, and those who have been previously convicted of nonviolent marijuana offenses. Additionally, the initiative makes some improvements to the state’s existing medical marijuana access program.
North Dakota: Marijuana Legalization Measure
North Dakota voters rejected Measure 2 that would have legalized the adult use and sale of cannabis.
South Dakota: An initiated measure legalizing the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana
South Dakota voters rejected a ballot measure to legalize marijuana use by those age 21 or older.
Initiated Measure 27 would have permitted 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.
Local Elections Info
Colorado Springs, CO: ADULT USE MARIJUANA SALES AND TAXES
The first would have determined whether or not to allow the city’s existing medical cannabis dispensaries to transition into adult-use retailers. The second asked voters to approve a five percent local tax on sales involving adult-use marijuana products.
Cripple Creek, CO: Marijuana Retail Sales
Voters in Cripple Creek (population: 1,200) voted in favor of a citizens’ proposed ordinance to allow licensed marijuana retailers to operate in the city.
Lamar, CO: Marijuana Business Restrictions (Successfully opposed)
Voters in Lamar (population 7,600) decided against Ballot Question 300. This ballot measure seeks to reaffirm and strengthen an existing local ban on retailers and also limit local possession limits to an amount below what the state law permits.
Connecticut: Local Ballot Measures To Permit Retail Sales
In Connecticut, voters in two towns — Ledyard and Waterbury — decided in favor of ballot measures to permit retail cannabis sales. Voters in a third city, Litchfield, rejected a similar ballot measure.
Michigan: Local Ballot Measures To Permit Retail Sales
Results were split on local Michigan marijuana ballot proposals. Voters in the following cities repealed prohibition and/or authorized the establishment of marijuana retailers: Auburn Hills City, Belleville City, Chesterfield Township, Clio City, Egelston township, Green Lake Township, Imlay City City, Keego Harbor City, Leonard Village, Royal Oak Township, South Haven Township, and Taylor City. Voters in Gibson Township and Memphis City voted ‘no’ to ban marijuana retailers. Voters in the following cities did not pass their proposals: Brandon Township, Brighton City, Buel Township, Flat Rock City, Frankfort City, Hagar Township, Kawkawlin Township, Laingsburg City, Lathrup Village City, Niles Charter Township, Petoskey City, Tobacco Township, Village of Clarkston City, Wheatland Township, and Zilwaukee Township.
Granite County, MT: Recreational Sales, Local Sales Taxes
Voters in Granite County (population: 3,500) have narrowly rejected a measure to allow marijuana dispensaries, but have approved new local taxes on the sales of medical cannabis and adult-use marijuana products.
Great Falls, MT: Local Ban (Successfully opposed)
Voters in Great Falls (population 58,717) voted against the ban on marijuana businesses from operating within the city limits, and also passed countywide taxation of marijuana sales.
Ohio: Municipal Depenalization Measures
Voters in the following towns voted to depenalize activities involving the personal possession of marijuana: Corning, Helena, Kent, Laurelville, Rushville, and Shawnee. The ballot question did not pass in Hemlock. The measure in Helena is subject to ongoing litigation.
Over the better part of the past decade, voters in over two-dozen Ohio municipalities have decided in favor of local ballot measures depenalizing activities involving the personal possession of marijuana. This year, efforts by the Sensible Movement Coalition and NORML Appalachia successfully petitioned to place questions before voters to eliminate penalties for the possession of misdemeanor amounts of cannabis.
Rhode Island: Local Recreational Dispensaries
Voters in 25 of the 31 Rhode Island cities voted ‘yes’ on the ballot question allowing marijuana retailers. The referendum was approved by: Bristol, Burrillville, Charlestown, Coventry, Cumberland, East Providence, Glocester, Hopkinton, Johnston, Lincoln, Middletown, Narragansett, Newport, New Shoreham, North Kingstown, North Providence, North Smithfield, Richmond, South Kingstown, Tiverton, Warren, Westerly, West Greenwich, West Warwick and Woonsocket. Voters in Barrington, East Greenwich, Jamestown, Little Compton, Scituate, and Smithfield voted ‘no’ on the ballot question.
State lawmakers legalized the adult-use marijuana market in May. The law provided localities with the ability to weigh in on whether to permit or prohibit licensed marijuana markets in their communities.
Voters decided on ballot measures on Election Day specific to allowing marijuana-related business to operate in their towns. Voters decided ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the following ballot question: “Will new cannabis-related licenses be issued in (that municipality) to businesses involved in the cultivation, manufacturing, laboratory testing and retailing of adult recreational use cannabis?” Communities that vote ‘no’ will also not be eligible to receive any revenue generated from state-licensed marijuana sales.
Texas: Local Depenalization for Personal Amounts
Voters in the following Texas cities decided on municipal measures to eliminate the enforcement of low-level marijuana offenses.