Tag: Arizona

Cannabis Legislation 2017: We’re Tracking All Legalization Bills

Most state legislatures reconvene in early January, and by February they’re in full swing, moving some bills forward and killing others in committee. This year 27 state legislatures are considering bills pertaining to cannabis in some form. (Well, okay: 26. Mississippi had two medical marijuana bills, but they’re already dead.) Some states are pushing full adult-use legalization. Others are pulling back on medical legalization measures adopted by voters last November. We’ll keep tracking them as they live and die. Most state legislatures adjourn by early June. Stay tuned.

Arizona

House Bill 2003 – Would legalize the use, possession, and sales of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults over the age of 21.

  • Likelihood of passing: Arizona came within a hair’s breadth of passing Proposition 205 last year and this bill is sure to see some traction. But do lawmakers prefer to leave it up to the voters?

Arkansas

House Bill 1400 – Would ban the smoking of medical cannabis and remove a portion of the law that allows landlords to permit patients to smoke on a leased property.

House Bill 1391 – Would allow cities and towns to ban medical dispensaries and cultivation sites.

House Bill 1392 – Would ban the production and sale of edibles for medical use.

  • Likelihood of passing: All three bills are fairly likely to pass, as the Arkansas Legislature is Republican-controlled, with a majority holding an anti-cannabis stance, including the governor and the surgeon general.

RELATED STORY

Arkansas Agency Releases Draft of Medical Marijuana Rules

California

Senate Bill 175 – Would prohibit cannabis businesses from using the name of a county unless the cannabis was produced in that county.

  • Likelihood of passing: Almost certain to pass. California has a reputation for embracing all things cannabis and this bill in particular would help protect the livelihood of certain cannabis businesses.

Colorado

Senate Bill 17-017 – Would allow medical marijuana for patients suffering from stress disorders, including PTSD and acute stress disorder.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is the fifth petition to add PTSD to Colorado’s medical marijuana program, and while this has advanced further than the previous attempts, it’s still a toss-up.

Georgia

House Bill 65 – Would remove requirements that patients be in the end stages of a disease to qualify for medical cannabis and would also add several new qualifying medical conditions, including PTSD and autism.

  • Likelihood of passing: Fairly slim, unfortunately. Lawmakers have been trying to pass a similar bill for the last two years and the Legislature fears that medical legalization is a slippery slope to adult use. HB65 will likely die on the House floor.

Senate Bill 16 – To lower the percent of THC allowed in MMJ from 5% to 3%.

  • Likelihood of passing: This has already passed through the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and will likely pass through the House and Senate, despite the fact that there is no scientific reasoning to lower the amount of THC permitted.

RELATED STORY

Atlanta Buyers Club: Inside the CBD Underground in the American South

Hawaii

Senate Bill 548 – Would legalize the personal use, possession, and sale of cannabis for adult use, and license and regulate retail marijuana establishments.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill has a better than chance than many legalization measures this year, but since they are still dealing with the dispensary licensing process, they may want to wait until dispensaries are open and firmly established before moving on to legalization.

Senate Bill 16 – Would decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis unless on school property or in a school zone.

  • Likelihood of passing: This has a pretty high likelihood of passing and would, in essence, create a barebones legalization. Possession would be unpunishable, but sales would still be prohibited. The bill makes a legal exemption for MMJ patients, but curiously, makes no mention of age limits, effectively allowing anyone to possess cannabis, including children. This will likely be amended before passing, but the Legislature will surely want to address that.

Indiana

Senate Bill 255 – Would legalize the use and possession of up to eight ounces of cannabis for medicinal use with a physician’s recommendation.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is the seventh time this medical marijuana bill has been introduced in Indiana, and it is fairly unlikely to succeed.

Senate Bill 15 – Would legalize hemp oil for the treatment of children with epilepsy.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is more likely to pass than Senate Bill 255; however, if it does pass, it is unlikely to provide safe access to state-produced legal hemp oil, even for patients who qualify.

Maryland

Senate Bill 928 – To repeal civil and criminal prohibitions of the use and possession of cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill is not particularly likely to pass, as the state is still struggling to get their medical marijuana program up and running.

Senate Bill 798 – Would reduce the penalties for the use and possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis for the first and second offense to a civil fine of no more than $100.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is far more likely to pass and would be an improvement overall for the state. With a significant minority population, reducing the number of cannabis-related arrests would definitely assist with race relations and the law enforcement community.

RELATED STORY

Maryland Lawmakers Propose Adult Use Legalization

Minnesota

H.F. 927 – Would legalize the use, possession, cultivation, distribution, and sales of cannabis for adults over the age of 21.

  • Likelihood of passing: Very unlikely. Minnesota has one of the strictest medical cannabis programs in the country and the likelihood of the Legislature passing a full legalization measure is almost nil.

Mississippi

Senate Bill 2378 – Would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis as a treatment option for patients who qualify, and patients could possess up to three mature plants, four immature plants, and up to 30 grams of cannabis from each plant.

  • Likelihood of passing: Pretty slim. Mississippi is notoriously conservative and do not have anything even remotely resembling an MMJ program.
  • Update: Died in committee on January 31, 2017.

Senate Bill 2379 – Would remove marijuana and hashish from the state list of Schedule 1 controlled substances, as well as all criminal penalties.

  • Likelihood of passing: Fairly unlikely. This has a better chance of passing through the Legislature, but a decriminalization measure to reduce penalties to a civil fine (rather than removing penalties completely) would stand a much stronger chance.
  • Update: Died in committee on January 31, 2017.

Nebraska

Legislative Bill 622 – Would allow qualifying medical patients to access cannabis for medicinal purposes with the recommendation of a physician.

  • Likelihood of passing: This one’s a toss-up. On the one hand, Nebraskans are known for their “nice” nature, including compassion, hence the “compassion centers” outlined in the law. The bill has a better chance of being approved than a voter initiative, but with the Midwest, it’s anyone’s guess.

New Hampshire

House Bill 640 – Would reduce the penalty for the possession of to to one ounce of cannabis for adults to a $100 fine for the first offense, $200 for the second offense, and $350 for any subsequent offenses.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill has already advanced through the committee, which means it has a fighting chance. Another bill to legalize cannabis for adult use did not advance.

New Mexico

Senate Bill 8 – Would presume eligibility for those applying to be in the medical marijuana program. This has widely been reported as allowing veterans to automatically qualify for the MMJ program, but it appears more aimed at cutting down the application process time, which has plagued New Mexico in recent months.

  • Likelihood of passing:  If the New Mexico Department of Health can skip even one step towards processing MMJ applications, it could cut wait times down significantly, as well as allowing better access, which means it would be in the best interest of the state government for this bill to pass. That being said, there will likely be some pushback from those concerned about ineligible residents taking advantage of the system.

House Bill 102 – The Marijuana Tax Act would legalize the use, possession, and sales of cannabis for those over the age of 21.

  • Likelihood of passing: This may have a better chance of passing than SB8, as New Mexico has a strong MMJ program and has considered adult use legalization for several years now.

RELATED STORY

New Mexico Legislature Considers Legalizing Cannabis

New York

Bill No. S03040 – Would enact the “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act” to legalize the growing, possession, and use of cannabis for adults 18 years of age and older.

  • Likelihood of passing: Slim to none. This bill has been introduced four years running and has been shot down every time. Aside from that, it seems more pertinent to improve the barely-functioning medical marijuana program before dipping into the waters of adult use legalization.

North Dakota

Senate Bill 2344 – Would significantly alter the recently passed Compassionate Care Act to reduce the amount of cannabis patients may possess, eliminate any option of home cultivation, and to cap the number of dispensaries and cultivators.

  • Likelihood of passing: There’s been enough pushback from advocates and even within the Legislature that it is unlikely that this bill will pass in its current form. The Legislature may, however, pass a similarly-worded bill in the future.

Oklahoma

House Bill 1877 – Would protect any qualifying medical marijuana patient from arrest or prosecution, so long as they qualify with the recommendation of a physician. A Medical Marijuana Commission would be charged with creating and overseeing dispensary and cultivation facilities.

  • Likelihood of passing: Pretty slim chances here. Oklahoma’s a strong Bible Belt state, and conservative legislators are unlikely to consider an MMJ push too seriously, even with 71 percent of Oklahomans in support.

Oregon

Senate Bill 301 – Would prohibit employers from requiring employees to refrain from using state-legal substances on their days off work.

  • Likelihood of passing: This is a fascinating bill, but it’s a long shot. State legalization laws generally allow employers to call the shots on employment practices, particularly related to cannabis usage. If this passes, it could set a new precedent and inspire similar laws in other adult-use states.

Rhode Island

H. 5274 – Would legalize the use, possession, and regulated sales of cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older.

  • Likelihood of passing: This has a very good chance to pass. Because Rhode Island does not allow voter initiatives, and their best chance for legalization is through the Legislature. Rhode Island has come close to legalization in the past few years – could 2017 be their year?

RELATED STORY

Rhode Island Cannabis Proponents Kick Off Legalization Campaign

South Carolina

S. 212 – The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act would legalize cannabis for use by qualified patients with the recommendation of a physician.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill has a better chance than it would have even just a few years ago. There is a great deal of support for medical marijuana in South Carolina, but it may need to be enacted through the voters, rather than the Legislature.

South Dakota

Senate Bill 129 – Would remove a longstanding state law that places a cannabis user at risk of legal prosecution if they have ingested cannabis, whether or not they have cannabis on their person.

  • Likelihood of passing: This outdated law should have been removed from the books years ago. SB 129, which would do that, will hopefully pass with flying colors. This is a terrible law that should be removed.

Texas

Senate Bill 269 – Would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to receive medical cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation.

  • Likelihood of passing: It is fairly unlikely that this medical marijuana bill will have a fighting chance in the Legislature. The state legalized low-THC cannabis oil in 2015, but they have yet to create the infrastructure for the program. It may be some time before MMJ makes its way to Texas.

House Bill 81 – Would reduce criminal penalties for individuals who possess an ounce or less of cannabis to a civil fine.

Senate Bill 170 – Would reduce the penalties for the possession of a small amount of cannabis to a civil fine.

  • Likelihood of passing: These decriminalization measures have a higher likelihood of passing. Texas is a cannabis curious state, but the state’s officials are cautious when it comes to making any sudden moves on cannabis in the Legislature.

Utah

House Bill 130 – Would allow universities to study the medicinal benefits of cannabis and cannabinoid products.

  • Likelihood of passing: This actually has a decent chance of passing, mostly because it will do very little to change the actual availability of medical cannabis in Utah. However, with the advancement of positive research, it will give pro-cannabis lawmakers ammunition for future MMJ endeavors.

RELATED STORY

Utah Lawmakers Turn Timid on Medical Marijuana Plans

Virginia

House Bill 2135 – Would allow physicians to recommend medical cannabis for the treatment of any medical condition.

  • Likelihood of passing: Very unlikely. Although it has a progressive law on the books allowing an affirmative defense in court if caught with CBD oil, Virginia has proven reluctant to pass any fuller medical marijuana legislation.

House Bill 1635 – Would allow Virginians suffering from Crohn’s disease to use non-psychoactive oil derived from CBD and THC-A cannabinoids.

House Bill 1452 – Would legalize physician-prescribed CBD and THC-A oil for patients who suffer from cancer or epilepsy.

  • Likelihood of passing: These bills go hand-in-hand, and are about equally likely to pass. Neither outlines how a patient would procure said CBD and THC-A oil, so a passage would change very little to the state’s law.

Vermont

H. 170 – Would remove all criminal and civil penalties for the possession of two ounces or less of cannabis and the cultivation of two mature and seven immature cannabis plants for adults over the age of 21. It would not create a regulatory structure for retail sales.

  • Likelihood of passing: Vermont officials have been studying Colorado’s legalization for years. They came so close to legalizing in 2016, but were foiled at the last minute by fears about the opioid crisis. One year later, politicians and the public are more aware of studies showing that cannabis actually helps alleviate that crisis. This could be the year in Vermont.

Washington

House Bill 1092 – Would legalize the home cultivation of cannabis for personal use by adults over the age of 21.

  • Likelihood of passing: This bill is a toss-up. There’s no doubt that cannabis consumers in Washington want home cultivation, but the Washington Legislature has been skittish about making too many changes to adult-use measures as they stand.

Wisconsin

Senate Bill 10 – Would allow for the use and possession of cannabidiol oil for medicinal purposes with the recommendation of a physician (only if and when cannabidiol is rescheduled at a federal level).

  • Likelihood of passing: This is not particularly likely to pass, and even if it did, it is unlikely that the state would make any moves to enact it. Part of the bill specifies a requirement that CBD would have to be rescheduled at a federal level for the law to be workable, so it’s really just a good faith measure.

Assembly Bill 49 – Similarly, this bill also requires federal rescheduling to be workable, but would allow for the use of cannabidiol oil for medicinal purposes.

  • Likelihood of passing: Both laws require some kind of federal policy reform in order to be workable, and the Republican-controlled Legislature has proved time and again that they are unwilling to consider cannabis in any form medicine.

RELATED STORY

Wisconsin May Be the Next to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Wyoming

House Joint Resolution 11 – Would amend the Wyoming Constitution to allow the cultivation, use, possession, and regulated sales of cannabis for adults 21 years of age and older.

  • Likelihood of passing: It’s a great first step, but super unlikely to make it very far. The resolution is barebones, with almost no detail. It will likely take a back burner and die before reaching the House floor.

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed in Arizona for 2017

PHOENIX, AZ — In November, Arizona’s Proposition 205 was the only marijuana-related statewide referendum that didn’t pass, being defeated by a slim 51% to 49% vote.

Now, just a little over a month later, State Representative Mark Cardenas (D-Louisville) has pre-filed a bill for the upcoming 2017 legislative session to give state lawmakers another chance at legalizing marijuana.  Cardenas filed a similar bill last year.

Cardenas’s bill, House Bill 2003, would legalize marijuana for adults 21 or older.  Adults would be allowed to purchase, use and possess up to one ounce of marijuana and gift up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults.

Adults would also be allowed to grow up to five cannabis plants at home, if certain criteria were met.  In order to grow their own cannabis, adults would either need to be the homeowner or have permission from their landlord.  Personal grows would be required to be hidden from public view, and adults would be required to make “reasonable precautions” to ensure the grow is secured and unable to be accessed by minors.

Adults would also be allowed to give away up to five plants to other adults, without compensation.

Marijuana accessories, such as bongs, pipes and other paraphernalia, would also be legal for adults to possess.

Retail sales would also be authorized, subject to a $50 per ounce excise tax.  Taxes would be earmarked for educational and health programs, as well as the state’s general fund.

The retail cannabis industry would be overseen by the state’s Department of Health Services, including licencing for pot shops and cultivation facilities.

Under the proposal, public use of marijuana would remain illegal, punishable by a civil penalty with fines up to $500.

Minors under 21 caught possessing up to one ounce of marijuana would have their pot seized by police, and they would be required to attend a 4-hour drug awareness class.  If they don’t attend the class within a year, they would face a civil fine of up to $300.

The bill also contains language to ensure protecting cannabis consumers’ privacy.  While a government issued photo ID would be required as proof of age to purchase marijuana from a retailer, pot shops would not be required to keep a record.

HB 2003 also contains a provision for allowing marijuana research, exempting researchers from the one ounce limit.

The bill makes no changes to the state’s existing medical marijuana program, and does not change penalties for possessing over one ounce of marijuana.

Under current Arizona law, possession of any amount of marijuana is a felony, punishable by steep fines and jail time.

Arizona’s 53rd Legislature convenes January 11, 2017 and runs through early April.

The full text of HB 2003 can be found here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Leafly List: The Best Cannabis Dispensaries in Arizona, December 2016

THE LEAFLY LIST: ARIZONA

December 2016

The Leafly List ranks the top dispensaries and retail stores in each of the major North American cannabis markets every month. This region-specific version is designed to provide helpful, community-based information for cannabis consumers looking for the most relevant dispensaries in Arizona. It highlights the most talked-about locations in the state based on customer feedback metrics* and reviews of each location’s quality, service, and atmosphere. Check out the Leafly List FAQ for more information on how dispensaries are ranked.

The Leafly List is based on 100% objective customer feedback and data collected by Leafly. Businesses CANNOT pay for a spot on the list.

Phoenix, AZ

Swell Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Phoenix Arizona - November Leafly List

Phoenicians are initially drawn to Swell Farmacy for their generous new patient special, but they keep coming back for the rotating daily specials, attentive and knowledgeable budtenders, and wide selection of top-notch products. Open seven days a week, Swell’s Phoenix location more than lives up to its name.

Index: 93.73

Last Month: #1

What People are Saying:

“Swell is definitely my favorite dispensary. Top notch strains and prices.” —puertorock

8160 W. Union Hills Dr. Glendale, AZ

The Greenhouse Arizona Medical Marijuana Dispensary - Leafly List

With a knowledgeable staff of patient consultants and great specials for Leafly visitors, The GreenHouse is a great choice for quality cannabis in Glendale.

Index: 93.42

Last Month: #3

What People are Saying:

“This was a great experience for my wife and me. Very friendly woman greeted us kindly and was patient while we sorted out what we wanted. Quality of product was pretty good. Cool shop, nice people.” —onwardthru

4126 W. Indian School Rd Phoenix, AZ

Herbal Wellness Center medical cannabis dispensary in Phoenix, Arizona

Herbal Wellness Center stands on three core principles: high-quality cannabis, education, and care for its patients. Its efforts show with its organically grown flower and collection of refined and unique concentrates.

Index: 93.03

Last Month: #6

What People are Saying:

“The potency of their concentrates is phenomenal. I especially love the Paris OG Vapen Clear because it puts me into a relaxing restful sleep that I hate waking from. The staff is friendly and helpful.” —Je5terJackson

9420 W Bell Rd.Suite 108 Sun City, AZ

White Mountain Health Center medical marijuana dispensary in Sun City, Arizona

An array of daily specials and discounts makes White Mountain Health Center a top location in the Sun City area. Its friendly staff and quality cannabis have certainly attracted people to its location.

Index: 92.68

Last Month: #2

What People are Saying:

“WM has the best budtenders and excellent quality products!” —cahoots

2439 West McDowell Rd. Phoenix, AZ

Nature's AZ Medicines medical marijuana dispensary in Phoenix, Arizona

Centrally located in Phoenix, Nature’s AZ Medicines provides patients with a transparent cannabis experience, supplying its medicine from bulk quantities and operating as a licensed non-profit dispensary.

Index: 89.88

Last Month: #7

What People are Saying:

“Great place. Knowledgeable staff, good prices and friendly atmosphere. Winning combo in a time when customer service is a dying art. I always look forward to seeing everyone and having a good experience.” —jhmarshall6514

Phoenix, AZ

The Nirvana Center Medical Marijuana Dispensary - November Leafly List

The Nirvana Center might be the new kid in town, but this location is quickly gaining popularity points. It offers patients a free pre-roll with a $20 purchase during its daily happy hour, and visitors are impressed by the great selection, fair pricing, and downright comfy lobby no matter what time of day they visit.

Index: 89.58

Last Month: #4

What People are Saying:

“Amazing dispensary with amazing flower to match!” —ashmead

11200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 5 Youngtown, AZ

Swell Farmacy medical marijuana dispensary in Youngtown, Arizona

With a name like Swell, you wouldn’t expect anything less than the warm and welcoming staff at the only state-licensed dispensary in Youngtown. Focused on a mission to serve as ambassadors to end cannabis prohibition, Swell Farmacy encourages all patients to get involved and be a force within the cannabis movement.

Index: 89.14

Last Month: #5

What People are Saying:

“Far drive but worth the visit.” —brodster

1613 N 40th St Phoenix, AZ

Tru Med medical marijuana dispensary in Phoenix, Arizona

Tru|med is a clean, elegant dispensary with a convenient location and friendly staff. Aside from its beautiful aesthetic, Tru|med is known for its highly-rated house strains like its OG Kush and the Tru|med Blue Dream, as well as a wide selection of cannabis edibles.

Index: 88.27

Last Month: #9

What People are Saying:

“Tru Med has such a massive selection on flower, edibles, concentrate. Everything is affordably priced and the quality is unmatched.” —iTzFox

Phoenix, AZ

Desert Rose Medical Cannabis Dispensary in Phoenix Arizona
Desert Rose, in the Happy Valley area of northern Phoenix, has been quick to win patients over with a carefully curated menu featuring local favorite strains and products plus a wide array of edibles, all of which are paired with customer service that consistently goes above and beyond.

Index: 88.13

Last Month: #10

What People are Saying:

“I always love the atmosphere and environment over at DR! Super friendly staff & one of the best looking shops in AZ too, with nearly every product under the sun.” —smokeleafly

7320 E Butherus Dr. STE 100 Scottsdale, AZ

Arizona Natural Selections of Scottsdale medical cannabis dispensary in Scottsdale, Arizona

All of Arizona Natural Selections’ locations create a comfortable atmosphere and maintain their focus on the wellness of their patients. By using expert horticulturists to grow its own cannabis, the Scottsdale location maintains high internal standards for its flowers, and a commitment towards sustainability influences its business practices from cultivation to distribution.

Index: 86.57

Last Month: #15

What People are Saying:

“Honestly, I loved this location! It is not often that I am in Scottsdale, but when I am, I plan on going here. Staff was super friendly and budtenders are very knowledgable!” —yob118

Previous Arizona Leafly Lists

The Leafly List in Other Regions

Don’t see your favorite dispensary on the list? Make sure you follow, rate, and review your favorite cannabis locations to let the world know where to find the best cannabis products, service, and atmosphere.

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*The December 2016 Leafly List uses customer service metrics from November 2016


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Arizona Prosecutor Wants Trump to “End the Charade” of Marijuana Legalization

PHOENIX, AZ — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, a prominent Republican who helped lead the opposition to a failed ballot measure that would have legalizde marijuana in Arizona, said this week that he expects the Trump Administration to crack down on medical marijuana laws nationwide and to “end the charade” of marijuana legalization in the states that have done so.

At a press conference Wednesday, Montgomery, a staunch opponent to all things marijuana, said that he hopes the incoming Trump Administration will work with the  Department of Justice and Congress to bring state programs into alignment with federal law, and make medical marijuana subject to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval process.

“It’s the job of the executive branch that laws are being executed,” he said “Today we have a number of states, through their own process of declaring something medical, that created a patchwork system of regulations and programs around the country that are in direct conflict with federal law.”

Montgomery said there should be a crackdown on people “abusing the medicinal-marijuana system” and on states that have approved the recreational use of marijuana.

“If this administration does not underscore that we are a nation of laws and not men, then we forgo the legitimacy of our system of federalism,” Montgomery said. “Either this administration means what it says about law and order, or it’s a farce. And in which case, Arizona should be able to pass its own immigration laws, should be able to pass its own laws and regulation on abortion, and the federal government should stay out of our business.”

“We ought to end the charade, and the next administration has the opportunity to do so,” he said.

As Maricopa County Attorney, Montgomery is responsible for overseeing criminal prosecutions — including marijuana cases — in the largest county in Arizona, which includes the cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tempe.  With a population of over 3.8 million, Maricopa County is the fourth largest county in the United States, according to Wikipedia, and has a larger population than 23 states.

Voters in Arizona narrowly defeated Proposition 205 in November 52% to 48%, which would have legalized marijuana for recreational use by adults.  Of the nine states voting on marijuana related initiatives in the general election, Arizona was the only state to see a defeat.  The opposition to Prop. 205 relied largely upon misinformation about the results of legalization in Colorado.

Montgomery was a leader in the efforts to defeat the legalization proposal, having joined forces with Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk to file a lawsuit in an attempt to prevent the measure from appearing on the ballot.  A Maricopa County judge rejected the lawsuit in August.

Montgomery also came under fire from marijuana legalization supporters earlier this year after comments he made that suggested marijuana was too dangerous to regulate for adult use. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, backers of the failed legalization campaign, called upon Montgomery in April to either prove his claims that marijuana was more dangerous than alcohol, or to return over $8,000 in campaign contributions he received from the alcohol industry.

Montgomery 2016 received at least $8,050 in contributions from members of the alcohol industry in 2015, according to campaign finance reports.

Perhaps Montgomery has other motives for demonizing marijuana and maintaining the status-quo of prohibition. Possession of any amount of marijuana in Arizona, even for first time offenders, is considered a felony that could land an offender in prison for up to two years and fines of up to $150,000.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

State of the Leaf: Election Wins Push Texas Toward Reform

U.S. News Updates

Arizona

After a long fight to bring adult-use cannabis to Arizona, the campaign behind Proposition 205 acknowledged defeat. When all was said and done, state voters rejected Proposition 205 by a 52–48 margin. Many are pointing to the heavily-funded opposition campaign as a reason for the loss, noting hefty contributions from noted prohibitionist Sheldon Adelson and fentanyl manufacturer Insys, which is also conducting trials on cannabis pharmaceuticals. Despite the setback, Prop. 205 campaigners say they’re confident Arizona will be among the next round of states to legalize.

RELATED STORY

Which States are Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis Next?

California

California voted to legalize cannabis for adult use, but an oversight in the law’s language could cost the state millions in revenue. The upside? A more-than-yearlong tax holiday for some medical patients. The situation arose as the result of a timing mismatch. Prop. 64 creates a 15 percent excise tax on cannabis purchases, which will begin after licenses are issued in 2018. To ease concerns that the tax would raise prices for medical patients, the law exempts patients from a separate, statewide sales tax on cannabis. But under Prop. 64, due to the omission of a target date, the sales-tax exemption takes place immediately—rather than in 2018, as the bill’s author says was intended. As a result, tax-free medical marijuana sales will extend through the end of 2017. The exemption only applies to patients who have obtained a state-issued medical cannabis ID card; patients with only a doctor’s recommendation don’t qualify.

RELATED STORY

California Just Legalized Cannabis! Now Comes the Hard Part

Colorado

It’s now official: Denver will be the first city in the nation to allow the onsite consumption of cannabis in restaurants, art galleries, yoga studios, and other public spaces—as long as they have permission from neighboring businesses. Although the ordinance is technically effective immediately, restaurants must first show they have neighborhood support before obtaining an onsite consumption license. Patrons must bring their own cannabis, and smoking of cannabis will remain prohibited (with the possible exception of outdoor cannabis smoking spaces). Businesses interested in allowing consumption would have to train staff on cannabis and how to identify overly intoxicated customers. They would also need to submit a plan outlining how they intend to prevent underage use. The measure will sunset in 2020 unless extended or renewed. Lawmakers have already amended the measure to prohibit cannabis in alcohol establishments.

Florida

Florida’s Amendment 2 legalized medical marijuana in the Sunshine State, but based on the snail’s pace that the state’s previous cannabis law took to implement, patients will likely face long delays. Florida lawmakers have argued that medical marijuana is a slippery slope to adult-use legalization, and they’ve said the measure will almost certainly come up for debate during next year’s legislative session. The state’s existing CBD law stipulates that patients must wait 90 days after obtaining approval from two separate licensed physicians. Amendment 2 specifies neither that 90-day waiting period nor the need for a recommendation from two physicians, but advocates fear that lawmakers could tack on those provisions to the new law.

RELATED STORY

The Wait for Medical Cannabis in Florida Could Be a Long One

Maine

Maine Gov. Paul LePage spoke out strongly against legalization during the election season. And after the the measure squeaked by, the future of cannabis in Maine is on everyone’s mind. Opponents have requested a ballot recount after Question 1’s narrow margin of victory. It won with 50.15 percent of the vote, making it the closest statewide cannabis race this election season. LePage has not yet proclaimed the result of the race, however, saying that he will wait to see what President-elect Donald Trump says about cannabis legalization from a federal standpoint.

RELATED STORY

State Officials Could Slow Legalization in Maine and Massachusetts

Massachusetts

Legalization in Massachusetts passed with flying colors, but advocates aren’t out of the woods just yet. Cities and towns are already exploring how to ban cannabis businesses from their communities, and elected officials have signaled they could review the new law. “The people spoke, and we’re going to honor that, but we need to make sure that we implement this in a way that is consistent with a lot of the rhetoric and the dialogue that took place during the course of the campaign, which is that it will be done in a way that does protect public safety,” said Gov. Charlie Baker, who vocally opposed the measure during the campaign along with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and state Attorney General Maura Healey. Despite their vehement opposition, the law passed decisively, with 54 percent of voters in favor.

Nevada

Nevada legalization was already having an effect on the state’s criminal justice system just days after the election. County prosecutors in the Las Vegas said shortly after the election that they would stop pursuing charges against people accused of possessing small amounts of cannabis and won’t file any new possession charges. As long as the defendants manage to stay out of trouble until the law becomes effective in 2017, all charges will be dropped. Police, however, say they’ll continue to enforce existing law. After Las Vegas prosecutors made the decision, Reno’s city prosecutor followed suit. Law enforcement officials in Washoe and neighboring Sparks said they’ll take the opposite approach and continue to enforce possession laws until legalization kicks in.

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After Legalization, Nevada Authorities Take Uneven Approach to Cannabis Enforcement

Tennessee

Nashville and Memphis may have passed ordinances to give law enforcement the discretion to hand out lesser citations for the possession of small amounts of cannabis, but state Attorney General Herbert Slatery argues the measures violates state law, making them unenforceable. “A municipal ordinance that attempts to regulate a field that is regulated by state statute cannot stand if it is contradictory to state law,” Slatery said in an opinion issued by his office. The ordinances give police the option of reducing penalties for possession of a half-ounce of cannabis or less to a $50 fine or 10 hours of community service. Under state law, simple possession is a misdemeanor. Nashville officials will continue to enforce the ordinance until further instruction, but Memphis will suspend the measure in light of Slatery’s opinion.

Texas

On the first day of the legislative session, Texas lawmakers, apparently taking note of the legalization’s widespread success elsewhere on Election Day, submitted several proposals to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis:

  • Senate Joint Resolution 17, from Sen. Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso), would allow voters to decide whether cannabis should be legalized in Texas.
  • Senate Joint Resolution 18, also from Sen. Rodriguez, would allow voters to decide whether to legalize medical marijuana if recommended by a physician.
  • Senate Bill 170 would change the possession of one ounce or less of cannabis from a criminal offense to a civil one.
  • House Bill 81, from Rep. Joseph Moody (D-El Paso), would reduce the penalties for the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis to a civil fine of $250, bypassing jail time and arrests.
  • House Bill 82, from Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), would reclassify a conviction for the possession of cannabis from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor (up to the third conviction).
  • House Bill 58, from Rep. James White (R-Woodville), would create a specialty court for first-time marijuana possession offenders in order to conserve law enforcement resources.

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Texas (Yes, Texas) Has Multiple Marijuana Legalization Bills in Consideration

Washington, DC

The District of Columbia Council voted on the Medical Marijuana Reciprocity Amendment Act of 2015, introduced last year by Council Member Yvette Alexander to allow patients with a medical marijuana recommendation from their home state to visit dispensaries in the district. It would also allow patients to visit more than one dispensary and would removes the cap on the number of plants cultivators can grow. Current law allows registered patients to visit only one dispensary and no others. This is the first major revision of the medical marijuana law since the district’s program began in 2013. In September, the district raised the medical possession limit from two ounces to four ounces every 30 days.

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Why Europe Can’t Legalize Cannabis Like the US

International News Updates

Italy

A national campaign is drumming up support for a proposal to allow cannabis social clubs as well as decriminalize cannabis possession and cultivation. The mayors of Torino, Parma, and Naples signed on to support the proposal, and supporters have gathered 17,500 signatures in more than 20 cities. The topic of legalization remains controversial, but with the support of public officials such as Mafia expert Roberto Saviano, as well as popular Italian rock musician Vasco Rossi, the movement continues to gain momentum.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Which States Are Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis Next?

Looking for 2016 election news?

Editor’s note: A lot has changed since we made these legalization predictions this past December. Be sure to check out Leafly’s final cannabis legalization results from the 2016 election, with live coverage from the Leafly News staff.

RELATED STORY

Final Election Predictions: Which States Will Legalize Cannabis Today?

Our Predictions for Legalization of Cannabis in the U.S.

Following a near-sweep of legalization votes in November 2016, cannabis advocates are looking to 2017 with great anticipation. It’s an off year, election-wise, but that doesn’t mean legalization supporters are resting. Vermont, which nearly passed adult-use legalization through its legislature last spring, is expected to take up the issue again when the next session opens in January. Michigan, Missouri, Delaware, and Rhode Island are also expected to see a lot of action in the coming 12 to 24 months. Which states are most likely to legalize next? Here’s what we think could happen in 2017.

Green traffic light in city

Legalization Likely in 2017

VERMONT

In spring 2016, Vermont nearly became the first state to adopt adult-use legalization by a vote of the state legislature. We say nearly because, despite strong backing from the Vermont Senate, Gov. Peter Shumlin, and the current and former state attorneys general, S. 241 ultimately died in the House in late April. What killed it? Lack of grassroots pressure and a rising fear of cannabis contributing to the state’s opioid crisis. 

RELATED STORY

Crash and Burn in Burlington: How Legalization Failed in Vermont

Six months later, Vermont legislators find themselves living in a changed landscape. Maine just voted to legalize adult-use cannabis. Vermont’s next-door neighbor to the south, Massachusetts, did the same. Although it is against the law to transport cannabis from a legal state to an illegal one, it’s not hard to imagine thousands of Vermonters doing just that, dropping $85 at retail cannabis stores in Massachusetts border towns like Northfield or Satan’s Kingdom (not a joke), and returning home to enjoy a pleasant weekend of syrup tapping. 

Word to Vermont: You’re about to be watch millions of dollars of cannabis excise tax revenue, and retail sales tax money, drive out of your state. 

Will Gov. Shumlin give it another try in 2017? Hard to say. But after coming so close in 2016, the sponsors of S. 241 may be ready to re-introduce the measure, or a revised version, when the next legislative session opens on Jan. 4. Vermonters may be more vocal about their support for legalization, and legislators may learn that researchers are finding cannabis legalization to be an effective tool in the fight against the opioid crisis.

RELATED STORY

How Cannabis Could Turn the Opioid Epidemic Around

RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island is an example of a successful medical marijuana program with reciprocity for out-of-state certified patients, but does it have the support to legalize? A recent poll from Brown University found that 67 percent of Rhode Island voters support the state’s current medical marijuana program, and 55 percent of those polled supported passing a law to tax and regulate the use of cannabis by adults. The support was especially strong among voters under the age of 44, with 72 percent of those respondents strongly supporting such a change.

Rhode Island also took the prize for highest cannabis consumption rate for two years running—no small feat for the unassuming, 1,200-square-mile state. Regulate Rhode Island, the state’s legalization leader since 2013, pushed unsuccessfully for legislation in 2015 but will likely continue to build support with state lawmakers, forge coalitions with the Marijuana Policy Project, and grow grassroots campaigns.

After the success of Massachusetts’ legalization initiative, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said that she would take a closer look at legalization in her state but added that remains concerned about public safety and how the law is drafted. Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he’s ready to take up legislation, namely because so many Rhode Islanders will likely cross the border to visit Massachusetts in the wake of their legalization anyway. Legalization seems imminent for Rhode Island—a question more of when than whether.

RELATED STORY

Cannabis Consumption Increases in the U.S., with One Surprising State Taking the #1 Spot

DELAWARE

Delaware is certainly a curious case for cannabis. Although the state’s slightly larger than Rhode Island, when drafting its medical marijuana program the state health department severely restricted the number of dispensaries. Now, five years after medical marijuana became legal, there’s still only a single dispensary to serve the entire state.

The state has seen sharp growth in the number of registered patients, jumping from just 700 patients in November 2015 to a total of 2,023 patients a year later. In order to account for the rising number of patients, the First State Compassion Center, which runs the state’s only operational dispensary, received approval from the state to open a new facility in Sussex County, to open as early as January. State officials also awarded a licensed to New York-based Columbia Care for a dispensary in Kent County, which should open by mid-2017.

The state’s recent gubernatorial race could also affect Delaware’s speed to legalize. During the 2016 election, the Republican candidate for governor, Sen. Colin Bonini, surprised Congress by announcing that he would support a legalization bill, saying the state has all but legalized cannabis already. His Democratic opponent and the ultimate victor of the election, John Carney, is more reluctant to support full legalization, stating Delaware should watch to see how other newly legal states fare before making concrete steps towards adult use.

A poll out of the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication found that 61 percent of Delaware respondents support legalizing cannabis for adults, but backing by the governor’s office would certainly smooth the road to legalization. 

Yellow traffic light in city

Legalization Likely in 2018

MICHIGAN

Michigan advocates have made multiple attempts to legalize cannabis over the years, including one in 2016 that fell short on signatures. The state could very well make a successful push in the future—but don’t expect voters to consider a ballot measure until 2018.

Michigan has had legal medical cannabis since 2008, but the law as it was written left much to be desired. Since then, there have been revisions to the law to clarify gray areas pertaining to dispensaries and other cannabis products.

A measure to legalize cannabis was proposed earlier this year, but it failed to gather enough signatures for the Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative to be placed on the November ballot. Advocates are expected to craft a new measure aimed at the state’s 2018 ballot. “The next election’s already started for us,” MI-Legalize Executive Director Jeff Hank told a Michigan radio station just days after last week’s election, adding that the group expects to begin a petition drive in April. They’ll need to collect 250,000 signatures within a state-mandated 180-day window to put adult-use legalization on the ballot.

RELATED STORY

Michigan Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Tax, Regulations

MISSOURI

Missouri’s local advocacy group, Show-Me Cannabis, has repeatedly pushed for both medical and adult-use measures, including the Missouri Recreational Marijuana Legalization Initiative earlier this year. Unfortunately, the group this year failed to meet a deadline to submit the necessary 157,788 signatures to put that measure on the November ballot.

Another group, New Approach Missouri, also submitted signatures for a medical marijuana initiative in 2016. But Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander invalidated more than 10,000 of those signatures in the final days, leaving the group 2,242 signatures shy of the target. Kander later came out in support of medical cannabis, urging the Legislature to step up and legalize medical cannabis through the General Assembly. 

As with their compatriots in Michigan, cannabis advocates in Missouri are looking to regroup in 2017 and work to put a medical or adult-use measure on the ballot in 2018. “We ended up missing [the ballot] by just a few signatures, and we are going strong and going to try for 2018,” NORML KC Executive Director Jamie Kacz told StJoeChannel.com. NORML KC, the Kansas City chapter of NORML, helped support New Approach’s medical initiative during the past year.

RELATED STORY

Missouri Medical Marijuana Effort Falls Short on Signatures for Ballot

MARYLAND

Ah, Maryland, home of “The Wire,” delicious blue crabs, and—coming soon to a county near you—medical marijuana dispensaries. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley played the good guy in 2015 by decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis.

The state’s embattled medical marijuana program, signed into law in 2014, has faced countless delays. Earlier this year, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved the first 15 cultivation and processing companies but allegedly failed to consider racial diversity among the candidates—a mandatory provision of the law. The approvals sparked lawsuits, which resulted in further delays, which means that medical patients will likely have to wait until mid-2017 before seeing wider availability of legal medical cannabis.

The question now is whether or not Maryland is ready to take up recreational cannabis. State lawmakers introduced the Marijuana Control and Revenue Act of 2015, a pair of companion bills in the House and Senate, but with no action on them, they died in committee. That’s not for lack of support: An October 2016 Washington Post poll found that 61 percent of Maryland voters favor legalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use.

RELATED STORY

Maryland Patients Still Waiting on Medical Marijuana

Red stop light in city

Medical Legalization Likely in 2017 or 2018

MISSOURI

Missouri’s local advocacy group, Show-Me Cannabis, has repeatedly pushed for both medical and adult-use cannabis measures, including the Missouri Recreational Marijuana Legalization Initiative earlier this year. Unfortunately, the group failed to meet a deadline to submit the necessary 157,788 signatures to put that measure on the November ballot.

Another group, New Approach Missouri, also submitted signatures for a medical marijuana initiative in 2016. But Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander invalidated more than 10,000 of those signatures in the final days, leaving the group 2,242 signatures shy of the target. Kander later came out in support of medical cannabis and urged the legislature to step up and pass medical cannabis through the Missouri General Assembly. 

As with their compatriots in Michigan, cannabis advocates in Missouri are looking to regroup in 2017 and work to put a medical or adult-use measure on the ballot in 2018. “We ended up missing [the ballot] by just a few signatures, and we are going strong and going to try for 2018,” NORML KC Executive Director Jamie Kacz told StJoeChannel.com. NORML KC, the Kansas City chapter of NORML, helped support New Approach’s medical initiative during the past year.

RELATED STORY

Missouri Medical Marijuana Effort Falls Short on Signatures for Ballot

TEXAS

Texas may seem like an unusual state to make this list, but believe it or not, Texans love their cannabis. The state legalized a limited CBD program, and medical legalization seems to be drawing close on the horizon. Advocacy groups have begun popping up in support, such as Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy and Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP), the latter of which works within the GOP to educate and connect with lawmakers about cannabis.

Texas also has pockets of liberal voices in cities like Austin, which have a thriving culture and music scene and have long been bastions of cannabis tolerance. The biggest challenge to legalizing cannabis in any form in Texas, however, will be the conservative Legislature. Statements like that of Sen. Donna Campbell—who famously told a veteran with PTSD who was seeking cannabis treatment that “We already legalized medical cannabis”—show the state still has a ways to go before cannabis makes it into the mainstream.

NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina may be a bit of a long shot for outright legalization, but they’re looking ripe for a medical movement. Gov. Pat McCrory signed a limited CBD law into effect in 2014, and North Carolina legislators proposed House Bill 983 earlier this year to expand medical marijuana access and add qualifying conditions. The bill was proposed by Republican Rep. Greg Murphy, and although it didn’t make it out of committee, we’re confident it won’t be the last, either.

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Want to check out Leafly’s predictions for legalization in 2016? Here’s the list – see how we did:

Cannabis Legalization is Almost a Sure Thing

NEVADA

Nevada’s was the first state campaign to officially gather the required number of signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot, submitting 170,000 signatures last December. In November of 2016, 54.4 percent of voters approved Question 2 to legalize cannabis for adult use in Nevada.

CALIFORNIA

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which was endorsed by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and several major cannabis advocacy groups, made history on November 8, 2016, with 55.8 percent of voters in favor of Proposition 64.

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ARIZONA

When Arizona voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2010, the initiative won by a measly 4,000 votes, which does not bode well for the state’s recreational legalization initiative, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona. Unfortunately, Arizona’s legalization initiative was the only marijuana-related initiative on the general election ballot that did not win. It was narrowly defeated with 52.2 percent of Arizonans voting against it.

MAINE

The state’s legalization initiative, the Marijuana Legalization Act, to allow anyone over the age of 21 to legally possess up to 2 ½ ounces and grow up to 12 plants for personal use was one of the last measures to finally roll in, as ballots were painstakingly counted by hand. In the end, 50.17 percent of Mainers voted in favor, giving the measure just enough edge to pass.

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Fingers Crossed for Cannabis Legalization

CONNECTICUT

There were two legalization initiatives considered during the 2015 legislative session that stalled eventually, and Connecticut cops are already preparing for legalization as an inevitability, so the real question is will 2016 be the year it happens? Spoiler alert: Nope.

MICHIGAN

The Michigan Cannabis Coalition created a legalization initiative but it did not gain traction, and while the group MI Legalize was on track to collect 252,000 signatures before the June deadline in order to qualify for the 2016 ballot, they fell short of meeting the deadline.

RHODE ISLAND

Regulate Rhode Island, the state’s legalization leader, pushed unsuccessfully for 2015 legislation and could very well be ready to carry the fight for legalization over into the upcoming years.

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Probably Not Legalizing Cannabis in 2016

DELAWARE

in 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell decriminalized the possession of cannabis for personal use. As a result, although there has been a lot of talk about possible legalization in the state, but the cannabis decriminalization was enough to appease the masses for now.

MARYLAND

The question now of whether or not Maryland is ready to contend with recreational cannabis yet has more to do with the long-delayed implementation of their medical marijuana program. In 2015, state lawmakers introduced the Marijuana Control and Revenue Act of 2015, a pair of companion bills in the House and Senate, but they died in committee. It would probably be wise to work out the kinks of a functioning medical program before opening up a new can of worms with recreational legalization.

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts faced heavy opposition in the efforts to legalize in the Bay State. Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Attorney General Maura Healey all came out against the measure. Despite the well-funded opposition campaign, Massachusetts proved to be as tough and scrappy as their voters when Question 4 to legalize cannabis for adult use passed with 53.6 percent of the vote.

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NEW YORK

The Empire State’s medical program has only barely come into the light, but Senator Liz Krueger (D-NY), cosponsor and author of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, introduced in 2015, seems determined to continue to push for an end to cannabis prohibition in New York. The medical program needs some tweaks and changes before legalization should seriously be considered.

MISSOURI

Missouri was able to pass a cannabis extract law and the Missouri Department of Agriculture even issued licenses for two non-profit organizations. With that in mind, it’s fairly implausible that Missouri will be able to successfully transition from a severely limited CBD program to full recreational legalization. Maybe someday, but for now, the Show-Me State can show us stronger support than just 36 percent in favor of legalization. Do I sense, perhaps, an expanded medical marijuana program in Missouri’s future?

VERMONT

Vermont’s legalization seemed all but a sure thing. Governor Peter Schumlin had been watching Colorado very closely, even going so far as to organize meetings on the logistics of legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes from a regulatory perspective. S.241 passed through the Senate, but died during a vote from the House. Legalization will have to wait for the Green Mountain State.

<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/9243802/”>Which state do you think will be the next to legalize cannabis in 2016?</a>


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Which States are Most Likely to Legalize Cannabis Next?

Editor’s note: A lot has changed since we made our initial legalization predictions in December 2016 (which are listed at the bottom of this article). Be sure to check out Leafly’s final cannabis legalization results from the 2016 election, with live coverage from the Leafly News staff.

RELATED STORY

Final Election Predictions: Which States Will Legalize Cannabis Today?

Our Predictions for Legalization of Cannabis in the U.S.

Following a near-sweep of legalization votes in November 2016, cannabis advocates are looking to 2017 with great anticipation. It’s an off year, election-wise, but that doesn’t mean legalization supporters are resting. Vermont, which nearly passed adult-use legalization through its legislature last spring, is expected to take up the issue again when the next session opens in January. Michigan, Missouri, Delaware, and Rhode Island are also expected to see a lot of action in the coming 12 to 24 months.

Which states are most likely to legalize next? Here’s what we think could happen in 2017.

Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Likely in 2017

Green traffic light in city

VERMONT

In spring 2016, Vermont nearly became the first state to adopt adult-use legalization by a vote of the state legislature. We say nearly because, despite strong backing from the Vermont Senate, Gov. Peter Shumlin, and the current and former state attorneys general, S. 241 ultimately died in the House in late April. What killed it? Lack of grassroots pressure and a rising fear of cannabis contributing to the state’s opioid crisis.

RELATED STORY

Crash and Burn in Burlington: How Legalization Failed in Vermont

Six months later, Vermont legislators find themselves living in a changed landscape. Maine just voted to legalize adult-use cannabis. Vermont’s next-door neighbor to the south, Massachusetts, did the same. Although it is against the law to transport cannabis from a legal state to an illegal one, it’s not hard to imagine thousands of Vermonters doing just that, dropping $85 at retail cannabis stores in Massachusetts border towns like Northfield or Satan’s Kingdom (not a joke), and returning home to enjoy a pleasant weekend of syrup tapping.

Word to Vermont: You’re about to be watch millions of dollars of cannabis excise tax revenue and retail sales tax money drive out of your state.

Will Gov. Shumlin give it another try in 2017? Hard to say. But after coming so close in 2016, the sponsors of S. 241 may be ready to re-introduce the measure (or a revised version) when the next legislative session opens on Jan. 4. Vermonters may be more vocal about their support for legalization, and legislators may learn that researchers are finding cannabis legalization to be an effective tool in the fight against the opioid crisis.

RELATED STORY

How Cannabis Could Turn the Opioid Epidemic Around

RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island is an example of a successful medical marijuana program with reciprocity for out-of-state certified patients, but does it have the support to legalize? A recent poll from Brown University found that 67 percent of Rhode Island voters support the state’s current medical marijuana program, and 55 percent of those polled supported passing a law to tax and regulate the use of cannabis by adults. The support was especially strong among voters under the age of 44, with 72 percent of those respondents strongly supporting such a change.

The state also took the prize for highest cannabis consumption rate for two years running—no small feat for the unassuming, 1,200-square-mile area. Regulate Rhode Island, the state’s legalization leader since 2013, pushed unsuccessfully for legislation in 2015 but will likely continue to build support with state lawmakers, forge coalitions with the Marijuana Policy Project, and grow grassroots campaigns.

After the success of Massachusetts’ legalization initiative, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said that she would take a closer look at legalization in her state but added that she remains concerned about public safety and how the law is drafted. Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said he’s ready to take up legislation, namely because so many Rhode Islanders will likely cross the border to visit Massachusetts in the wake of their legalization, anyway. Legalization seems imminent for Rhode Island, so it’s a question more of when than whether.

RELATED STORY

Cannabis Consumption Increases in the U.S., with One Surprising State Taking the #1 Spot

DELAWARE

Delaware is certainly a curious case for cannabis. Although the state’s slightly larger than Rhode Island, when drafting its medical marijuana program the state health department severely restricted the number of dispensaries. Now, five years after medical marijuana became legal, there’s still only a single dispensary to serve the entire state.

The state has seen sharp growth in the number of registered patients, jumping from just 700 patients in November 2015 to a total of 2,023 patients a year later. In order to account for the rising number of patients, the First State Compassion Center, which runs the state’s only operational dispensary, received approval from the state to open a new facility in Sussex County that will open as early as January. State officials also awarded a licensed to New York-based Columbia Care for a dispensary in Kent County, which should open by mid-2017.

Delaware’s recent gubernatorial race could also affect its speed to legalize. During the 2016 election, the Republican candidate for governor, Sen. Colin Bonini, surprised Congress by announcing that he would support a legalization bill, saying the state has all but legalized cannabis already. His Democratic opponent and the ultimate victor of the election, John Carney, is more reluctant to support full legalization, stating Delaware should watch to see how other newly legal states fare before making concrete steps towards adult use.

A poll out of the University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication found that 61 percent of Delaware respondents support legalizing cannabis for adults, but backing by the governor’s office would certainly smooth the road to legalization.

Which state do you think will be the next to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2017?

Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Likely in 2018

Yellow traffic light in city

MICHIGAN

Michigan advocates have made multiple attempts to legalize cannabis over the years, including one in 2016 that fell short on signatures. The state could very well make a successful push in the future—but don’t expect voters to consider a ballot measure until 2018.

The Mitten State has had legal medical cannabis since 2008, but the law as it was written left much to be desired. Since then, there have been revisions to the law to clarify gray areas pertaining to dispensaries and other cannabis products.

A measure to legalize cannabis was proposed earlier this year, but it failed to gather enough signatures for the Michigan Marijuana Legalization Initiative to be placed on the November ballot. Advocates are expected to craft a new measure aimed at the state’s 2018 ballot. “The next election’s already started for us,” MI-Legalize Executive Director Jeff Hank told a Michigan radio station just days after last week’s election, adding that the group expects to begin a petition drive in April. They’ll need to collect 250,000 signatures within a state-mandated 180-day window to put adult-use legalization on the ballot.

RELATED STORY

Michigan Senate Approves Medical Marijuana Tax, Regulations

MISSOURI

Missouri’s local advocacy group, Show-Me Cannabis, has repeatedly pushed for both medical and adult-use measures, including the Missouri Recreational Marijuana Legalization Initiative earlier this year. Unfortunately, the group this year failed to meet a deadline to submit the necessary 157,788 signatures to put that measure on the November ballot.

Another group, New Approach Missouri, also submitted signatures for a medical marijuana initiative in 2016. But Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander invalidated more than 10,000 of those signatures in the final days, leaving the group 2,242 signatures shy of the target. Kander later came out in support of medical cannabis, urging the Legislature to step up and legalize medical cannabis through the General Assembly. 

As with their compatriots in Michigan, cannabis advocates in Missouri are looking to regroup in 2017 and work to put a medical or adult-use measure on the ballot in 2018. “We ended up missing [the ballot] by just a few signatures, and we are going strong and going to try for 2018,” NORML KC Executive Director Jamie Kacz told StJoeChannel.com. NORML KC, the Kansas City chapter of NORML, helped support New Approach’s medical initiative during the past year.

RELATED STORY

Missouri Medical Marijuana Effort Falls Short on Signatures for Ballot

MARYLAND

Ah, Maryland, home of “The Wire,” delicious blue crabs, and—coming soon to a county near you—medical marijuana dispensaries. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley played the good guy in 2015 by decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis.

Maryland’s embattled medical marijuana program, signed into law in 2014, has faced countless delays. Earlier this year, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission approved the first 15 cultivation and processing companies but allegedly failed to consider racial diversity among the candidates—a mandatory provision of the law. The approvals sparked lawsuits, resulting in further delays, which means that medical patients will likely have to wait until mid-2017 before seeing wider availability of legal medical cannabis.

The question now is whether or not Maryland is ready to take up recreational cannabis. State lawmakers introduced the Marijuana Control and Revenue Act of 2015, a pair of companion bills in the House and Senate, but with no action on them, they died in committee. That’s not for lack of support: An October 2016 Washington Post poll found that 61 percent of Maryland voters favor legalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use.

RELATED STORY

Maryland Patients Still Waiting on Medical Marijuana

Which state do you think will be the next to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2018?

Medical Marijuana Legalization Likely in 2017 or 2018

Red stop light in city

MISSOURI

Missouri’s local advocacy group, Show-Me Cannabis, has repeatedly pushed for both medical and adult-use cannabis measures, including the Missouri Recreational Marijuana Legalization Initiative earlier this year. Unfortunately, the group failed to meet a deadline to submit the necessary 157,788 signatures to put that measure on the November ballot.

Another group, New Approach Missouri, also submitted signatures for a medical marijuana initiative in 2016. But Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander invalidated more than 10,000 of those signatures in the final days, leaving the group 2,242 signatures shy of the target. Kander later came out in support of medical cannabis and urged the legislature to step up and pass medical cannabis through the Missouri General Assembly.

As with their compatriots in Michigan, cannabis advocates in Missouri are looking to regroup in 2017 and work to put a medical or adult-use measure on the ballot in 2018. “We ended up missing [the ballot] by just a few signatures, and we are going strong and going to try for 2018,” NORML KC Executive Director Jamie Kacz told StJoeChannel.com. NORML KC, the Kansas City chapter of NORML, helped support New Approach’s medical initiative during the past year.

RELATED STORY

Missouri Medical Marijuana Effort Falls Short on Signatures for Ballot

TEXAS

Texas may seem like an unusual state to make this list, but believe it or not, Texans love their cannabis. The state legalized a limited CBD program, and medical legalization seems to be drawing close on the horizon. Advocacy groups have begun popping up in support, such as Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy and Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP), the latter of which works within the GOP to educate and connect with lawmakers about cannabis.

The Lone Star State also has pockets of liberal voices in cities like Austin, which has a thriving culture and music scene and has long been bastions of cannabis tolerance. However, the biggest challenge to legalizing cannabis in any form in Texas will be the conservative Legislature. Statements like that of Sen. Donna Campbell—who famously told a veteran with PTSD who was seeking cannabis treatment that “We already legalized medical cannabis”—show the state still has a ways to go before cannabis makes it into the mainstream.

NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina may be a bit of a long shot for outright legalization, but they’re looking ripe for a medical movement. Gov. Pat McCrory signed a limited CBD law into effect in 2014, and North Carolina legislators proposed House Bill 983 earlier this year to expand medical marijuana access and add qualifying conditions. The bill was proposed by Republican Rep. Greg Murphy, and although it didn’t make it out of committee, we’re confident it won’t be the last, either.

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Which state do you think will be the next to legalize medical marijuana?


How Did Leafly’s 2016 Legalization Predictions Fare?

Want to check out Leafly’s predictions for legalization in 2016? Here’s the list – see how we did:

States We Thought Were a Sure Thing for Adult-Use Legalization in 2016

NEVADA

Nevada’s was the first state campaign to officially gather the required number of signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot, submitting 170,000 signatures last December. In November of 2016, 54.4 percent of voters approved Question 2 to legalize cannabis for adult use in Nevada.

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CALIFORNIA

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which was endorsed by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and several major cannabis advocacy groups, made history on November 8, 2016, with 55.8 percent of voters in favor of Proposition 64.

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ARIZONA

When Arizona voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2010, the initiative won by a measly 4,000 votes, which did not bode well for the state’s recreational legalization initiative, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona. Unfortunately, Arizona’s legalization initiative was the only marijuana-related initiative on the general election ballot that did not win. It was narrowly defeated with 52.2 percent of Arizonans voting against it.

MAINE

The state’s legalization initiative, the Marijuana Legalization Act, to allow anyone over the age of 21 to legally possess up to 2 ½ ounces and grow up to 12 plants for personal use was one of the last measures to finally roll in, as ballots were painstakingly counted by hand. In the end, 50.17 percent of Mainers voted in favor, giving the measure just enough edge to pass.

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States We Thought Could Possibly Try to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis in 2016

CONNECTICUT

There were two legalization initiatives considered during the 2015 legislative session that eventually stalled, and Connecticut cops are already preparing for legalization as an inevitability, but ultimately 2016 was not the year for Connecticut.

MICHIGAN

The Michigan Cannabis Coalition created a legalization initiative but it did not gain traction, and while the group MI Legalize was on track to collect 252,000 signatures before the June deadline in order to qualify for the 2016 ballot, they fell short of meeting the deadline.

RHODE ISLAND

Regulate Rhode Island, the state’s legalization leader, pushed unsuccessfully for 2015 legislation and could very well be ready to carry the fight for legalization over into the upcoming years.

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States We Didn’t Think Would Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis in 2016

DELAWARE

in 2015, Delaware Governor Jack Markell decriminalized the possession of cannabis for personal use. As a result, although there has been a lot of talk about possible legalization in the state, but the cannabis decriminalization was enough to appease the masses for now.

MARYLAND

The question now of whether or not Maryland is ready to contend with recreational cannabis yet has more to do with the long-delayed implementation of their medical marijuana program. In 2015, state lawmakers introduced the Marijuana Control and Revenue Act of 2015, a pair of companion bills in the House and Senate, but they died in committee. It would probably be wise to work out the kinks of a functioning medical program before opening up a new can of worms with recreational legalization.

MASSACHUSETTS

We couldn’t be happier about being wrong! Massachusetts faced heavy opposition in the efforts to legalize in the Bay State. Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Attorney General Maura Healey all came out against the measure. Despite the well-funded opposition campaign, Massachusetts proved to be as tough and scrappy as their voters when Question 4 to legalize cannabis for adult use passed with 53.6 percent of the vote.

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NEW YORK

The Empire State’s medical program has only barely come into the light, but Senator Liz Krueger (D-NY), cosponsor and author of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, introduced in 2015, seems determined to continue to push for an end to cannabis prohibition in New York. The medical program needs some tweaks and changes before legalization should seriously be considered.

MISSOURI

Missouri was able to pass a cannabis extract law and the Missouri Department of Agriculture even issued licenses for two non-profit organizations. With that in mind, it’s fairly implausible that Missouri will be able to successfully transition from a severely limited CBD program to full recreational legalization. Maybe someday, but for now, the Show-Me State can show us stronger support than just 36 percent in favor of legalization. Do I sense, perhaps, an expanded medical marijuana program in Missouri’s future?

VERMONT

Vermont’s legalization seemed all but a sure thing. Governor Peter Schumlin had been watching Colorado very closely, even going so far as to organize meetings on the logistics of legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes from a regulatory perspective. S.241 passed through the Senate, but died during a vote from the House. Legalization will have to wait for the Green Mountain State.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

State of the Leaf: The Election That Changed America

 U.S. News Updates

Arizona

After a long and grueling campaign, Arizona’s bid to legalize adult-use cannabis lost narrowly on Tuesday, with 52.2 percent of voters casting ballots against Proposition 205. Of the nine marijuana measures on the ballot this year, Arizona was the lone one to fail Tuesday night. Arizona’s result isn’t a complete surprise, however, considering that opposition groups Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy and No on Prop. 205 sunk nearly $5 million into campaigning against the measure, airing numerous anti-legalization ads in the weeks leading up to the election. Arizona may have missed its chance to legalize this year, but the fight to end prohibition is far from over.

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Arkansas

With more than 53 percent in favor, Arkansas made history as the first state in the Bible Belt to legalize medical cannabis. As the results came in, many advocates were nervously watching the reaction of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a former DEA chief and outspoken prohibitionist. After Issue 6 passed, however, Hutchinson announced at a press conference that not only will he make no efforts to block the program, but he’s also asked Arkansas lawmakers to set aside $3 million for the program’s implementation. “The people voted this in,” he said, “and I intend to implement it according to the will of the people of Arkansas.”

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California

In a move that surprised no one, California voters approved Proposition 64 to legalize cannabis for adult use. The measure went into effect the day after the general election, although retail cannabis licenses are not expected to be issued until January 2018. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a victory party that temporary licenses could be issued before the law is fully implemented. For now, while the possession, consumption, and home cultivation of cannabis is legal, no non-medical sales are yet allowed.

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Colorado

Initiative 300, a local Denver measure that would allow the consumption of cannabis onsite at specially licensed businesses, enjoys a narrow lead but is still too close to call—and could be until next week, the Denver Post reports. The ordinance would allow the consumption of cannabis in certain establishments with the support of their neighborhood in addition to a permit from the city. Drafted as a pilot program, the measure would in 2020 unless extended by the City Council or a new voter initiative. Meanwhile, voters in Pueblo County rejected a measure that would’ve banned the cannabis industry from the county. As the measure’s failure was announced, cannabis advocates announced plans to establish a national cannabis museum in Pueblo, billed as the nation’s first.

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Florida

After the stunning defeat of medical cannabis in 2014, it was inspiring to see how quickly and overwhelmingly Floridians voted in favor of Amendment 2 to legalize medical cannabis. Florida was one of the first states with a cannabis measure on the ballot to call the race, and with 71 percent of the vote in favor, it’s clear that Florida wanted to make up for lost time. The new law will not go into effect until Jan. 3, 2017 and there are quite a few rules and regulations to be worked out before patients will have legal, accessible medicinal cannabis.

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Maine

Mainers watched the legalization measure with bated breath all night, but by 3 a.m. EST, the results were still inconclusive and ballots were still being tallied. Trying to sleep with legalization worries on the brain meant a stressful post-election day, and the votes continued to roll in, slowly but surely. Question 1 to legalize cannabis in Maine was projected to pass on Thursday, with 50.17 percent in favor and 49.83 percent opposed. If and when state officials finalize the results, the measure would take effect 30 days after the governor makes the announcement, but opponents have already begun the call for a recount. A leader of the opposition campaign, Scott Gagnon, has already called on President-elect Donald Trump to use the Department of Justice to shutter state-legal cannabis programs.

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Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents voted to legalize cannabis despite vocal opposition a number of state leaders. The law technically won’t go into effect until Dec. 15, but after that adults 21 and older can possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis at home and up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower in public. The law passed with 54 percent support even amid vehement opposition from Gov. Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and Attorney General Maura Healey. The measure’s success was one of the election’s major cannabis victories and, along with Maine, will bring adult-use cannabis to the East Coast.

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Minnesota

One Minnesota physician is pushing to amend the state’s medical marijuana law to allow veterinarians to recommend medical cannabis for our four-legged friends. Dr. Ilo Leppik is a University of Minnesota physician and pharmacy interested in finding treatment for those who suffer from uncontrollable seizures. Dogs have higher rates of epilepsy than humans do, and cannabis remains one of the most viable treatment alternatives for controlling seizures. Many veterinarians remain wary of the idea, having seen the notable increase in animals accidentally ingesting cannabis-infused edible products. However, allowing cannabis use in animals could provide much-needed insight into the potential benefits of cannabis as a treatment option for pets.

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Montana

By approving Initiative 182, state voters reversed the decision to shutter medical dispensaries across the state by imposing a three-patient limit on medical cannabis providers. A state license will now be required for providers who cultivate and manufacture cannabis products, and the law also repeals the power of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of cannabis establishments. Instead, the inspections will be conducted annually by state officials rather than law enforcement. Patients will now need to register for medical cannabis ID cards, which are valid for one year before they must be renewed.

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Nevada

The Silver State extended the West Coast legalization trend inland Tuesday by voting to legalize cannabis for adult use. Nevada voters approved Question 2 with more than 54 percent in support of the measure. Its success could have a big impact on tourism, especially amid the twinkling lights of Las Vegas and Reno. The state’s cannabis tourism is already ahead of the game, as Nevada accepts out-of-state medical marijuana recommendations. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, and the Department of Taxation is expected to begin accepting applications for marijuana establishments by Jan. 1, 2018.

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North Dakota

North Dakota surprised observers by overwhelmingly passing Measure 5 to legalize cannabis for medicinal use. Not only did the initiative pass, it earned 63.7 percent of the vote, stunning advocates and opponents alike. The State Department of Health will have 90 days to implement rules and regulations, and the countdown has already begun.

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Ohio

Four communities in Ohio passed local ordinances to decriminalize cannabis. Newark, in Locking County, Bellaire, in Belmont County; Logan, in Hocking County; and Roseville, on the border of Perry and Muskingum counties, all voted to approve measures to reduce penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis. A similar measure in Byesville, in Guernsey County, failed. Nearby Toledo passed a decriminalization ordinance in 2015, which provided the basis for the latest measures. Take note: The ordinances only affect their respective jurisdictions.

Oregon

While Oregon legalized adult-use cannabis statewide last year, the measure allows a significant amount of local control. This election season, the state saw a host of local ballot measures involving bans, taxes, and other changes to local rules around the industry. In all, voters in around 60 municipalities considered bans on cannabis businesses, and about three-quarters of those measures passed. Fifteen proposed bans were rejected, including one in Oregon City and two in Douglas County. More than 100 localities imposed modest sales-tax increases on adult-use cannabis, and Portland passed 3-percent local increase on sales tax.

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International News Updates

Australia

The national Office of Drug Control recently published guidelines ahead of accepting license applications from would-be medical cannabis cultivators and manufacturers. The rules include a 23-page guide to security that outlines a bevy of onerous provisions: closed-circuit TV monitoring, alarm systems, “climb-proof perimeter fencing,” security staff making regular perimeter sweeps, a safe or vault that cannot be adjacent to an exterior wall—the list goes on and on. The nonrefundable fees for licenses are also so expensive that applicants will need access to serious capital in order to join Australia’s fledgling medical cannabis industry and comply with regulations.

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Ireland

Health Minister Simon Harris promised to take action on medicinal cannabis in January. He made the promise to Vera Twomey, the mother of a 6-year-old girl with Dravet syndrome, a form of treatment-resistant epilepsy. Twomey’s daughter had needed round-the-clock care before beginning a cannabis oil regimen that left her nearly seizure-free. Harris said that the government ordered a review of the policy on medicinal cannabis and asked the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) to provide expert scientific advice as part of the review. The Oireachtas health committee is also due to discuss the issue this month, and Harris requested recent developments on the use of cannabis for medical purposes, as well as related products that have been approved for use in other jurisdictions.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Four States End Marijuana Prohibition, Three Adopt Medical Marijuana Laws in Historic Election

Election-2016

WASHINGTON — California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted to end marijuana prohibition and Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota adopted medical marijuana laws Tuesday in the most momentous election to date for marijuana policy reform.

Montana approved an initiative to re-establish patients’ access to medical marijuana providers, which was hindered by state lawmakers, and create a more regulated system of medical marijuana production and distribution.

As of 4:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, an initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Arizona was trailing 48-52, and an initiative to improve Montana’s medical marijuana system was leading 56-44.

Eight states have now adopted laws that legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adult use, and 28 states have adopted comprehensive medical marijuana laws.

Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, issued the following statement in the wake of the unprecedented victories:

“This is the most momentous Election Day in history for the movement to end marijuana prohibition. From Los Angeles to Boston, voters are casting their ballots in favor of sensible marijuana policy reforms. Today’s results are right in line with national polls showing record-high support for making marijuana legal.

“These votes send a clear message to federal officials that it’s time to stop arresting and incarcerating marijuana users. Congress must take action to ease the tension between state and federal marijuana laws. Once this new batch of state laws takes effect over the next couple of months, marijuana will be legal in more than half a dozen states, and we expect several more to follow during the 2017-2018 legislative and election cycles. The end of prohibition is near, and it would be a mistake for the federal government to continue waging war on its own nonviolent citizens. How do you ask a DEA agent to be the last man to enforce a mistake?

“Most voters do not think otherwise law-abiding citizens should be criminalized for using a product that is much safer than alcohol. They want marijuana to be sold inside regulated, taxpaying businesses, not on the streets, where sales enrich cartels and drug dealers. There is a general consensus that law enforcement should be fighting serious crimes rather than enforcing failed and deeply unpopular policies.”

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Marijuana Wins Big: California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada Legalize; Medical Marijuana Sweeps 4 States; Arizona Only Defeat

3:00 AM EST: Maine appears to have approved Question 1, legalizing marijuana for adults.  The measure, which had slowly been losing an early lead all evening, has pulled through with 50.6% of the vote and 87.1% of precincts reporting.  Earlier, voters in nearby Massachusetts approved their legalization measure as well.

The only defeat of the evening came in Arizona, where Proposition 205, which would have legalized marijuana for adults, was defeated.


1:59 AM EST: Marijuana legalization in Maine remains too close to call, maintaining a 12,000 vote lead.  Elsewhere, medical marijuana is poised for a four-state sweep,  and voters in three states — California, Massachusetts and Nevada — have approved legalizing marijuana for adults.  Only Arizona’s marijuana legalization measure seems headed for defeat.


1:36 AM EST: Legalization supporters in Maine are still holding their breath, with Question 1 still clinging to a 50.5% lead — a margin of about 12,000 votes.  Meanwhile, Montana is almost certain to expand their medical marijuana law, and Arizona is likely to be the only defeat of a marijuana legalization measure this evening.

Legalization

California: approved, 55.6% in favor, with 29.8% reporting
Arizona: 52.3% against, with 71% reporting
Maine: 50.5% in favor, with 80.5% reporting
Massachusetts: approved 53.5% in favor, with 90.7% reporting
Nevada: approved 53.8%in favor, with 51.4% reporting

Medical

Arkansas: approved 53.1% in favor, with 94.7% reporting
Florida: approved 71.2% in favor/28.8% against
Montana: 56% in favor, with 38.6% reporting
North Dakota: approved 63.3% in favor, with 96.5% reporting


12:58 AM EST: Voters in Nevada have approved Ballot Question 2, legalizing marijuana for adults.  In Maine, the lead continues to shrink, with Question 1 holding a slim 50.5% lead.

Legalization

California: approved, 55.3% in favor, with 24.3% reporting
Arizona: 52.3% against, with 68.3% reporting
Maine: 50.5% in favor, with 76.7% reporting
Massachusetts: approved 53.5% in favor, with 86.8% reporting
Nevada: approved 53.9%in favor, with 45.7% reporting

Medical

Arkansas: approved 52.8% in favor, with 99.1% reporting
Florida: approved 71.2% in favor/28.8% against
Montana: 56.5% in favor, with 30.9% reporting
North Dakota: approved 63.7% in favor, with 94.4% reporting


11:45 PM EST: Voters in Massachusetts have legalized marijuana, approving Question 4 with 53.4% of the vote.


11:38 PM EST: Voters in California have approved legalizing marijuana. Currently with 54.8% of the vote and 11% reporting, both the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times are declaring a victory for Amendment 64.  Meanwhile, voters in Arkansas have approved medical marijuana, with 52.2% approval and 61.8% reporting.  Legalization measures in Maine and Massachusetts continue to lead, Nevada’s marijuana legalization measure is now ahead, but Arizona’s legalization measure looks like it is headed towards defeat.

Legalization

California: approved, 54.8% in favor, with 11% reporting
Arizona: 53.1% against, with 29.5% reporting
Maine: 50.7% in favor, with 50.3% reporting
Massachusetts: 53.3% in favor, with 64.6% reporting
Nevada: 53.8%in favor, with 1.6% reporting

Medical

Arkansas: approved 52.2% in favor, with 61.8% reporting
Florida: approved 71.2% in favor/28.8% against
Montana: 57.0% in favor, with 6.7% reporting
North Dakota: approved 64% in favor, with 70.6% reporting


11:20 PM EST: Early results are coming in from California, where legalization Proposition 64 has come out strong, with a 52.9% lead (3.8% reporting.)


11:15 PM EST:  Polls have now closed in all states voting on marijuana, and it’s nail biting time in Maine, where a comfortable early lead has shrunk to 51%.  Meanwhile, voters in Arizona seem to have rejected legalization, with a consistent 53% vote against and now 29.5% reporting.   Early returns from Nevada show legalization trailing out of the gate with 57.5% against, but only 1.1% reporting.

Legalization

Arizona: 53.1% against, with 29.5% reporting
Maine: 51.0% in favor, with 42.1% reporting
Massachusetts: 53.4% in favor, with 56.9% reporting
Nevada: 57.5% against, with 1.1% reporting

Medical

Arkansas: 51.1% in favor, with 34.7% reporting
Florida: approved 71.2% in favor/28.8% against
Montana: 57.3% in favor, with 4.8% reporting
North Dakota: approved 64% in favor, with 70.6% reporting


10:45 PM EST: North Dakota has become the second state to legalize medical marijuana this evening, having safely won 62.5% of the vote with 59% reporting.  Two down, seven to go… but things aren’t looking good for Arizona, still losing with over 20% reporting.  Don’t panic yet, but Maine’s lead has been slowly shrinking, too.

Legalization

Arizona: 53.3% against, with 22.6% reporting
Maine: 51.3% in favor, with 33.8% reporting
Massachusetts: 52.9% in favor, with 48% reporting

Medical

Arkansas: 52.1% in favor, with 47.5% reporting
Florida: approved 71.2% in favor/28.8% against
Montana: 56.2% in favor, with 2.9% reporting
North Dakota: 61.4% in favor, with 43.8% reporting


10:26 PM EST:  The first returns are now coming in from Arizona’s Proposition 205 marijuana legalization measure, which is the first marijuana proposal to stumble out of the gate tonight. The first returns have the measure losing, with only 46.7% in favor (53.5% against).  That’s with 11.6% reporting.

Legalization

Arizona: 53.5% against, with 11.6% reporting
Maine: 52.1% in favor, with 23.6% reporting
Massachusetts: 53.1% in favor, with 40.6% reporting

Medical

Arkansas: 50.9% in favor, with 22.1% reporting
Florida (approved): 71.2% in favor, with 97.9% reporting
Montana: 53.8% in favor, with .1% reporting
North Dakota: 61.4% in favor, with 43.8% reporting


10:20 PM EST:  The first returns are now coming in from Montana, where vote tallies out of the gate favor medical marijuana expansion I-281, Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative.  Currently I-281 has 53.8% of the vote in the earliest returns, just .1%.

Legalization

Maine: 52.1% in favor, with 23.6% reporting
Massachusetts: 52.7% in favor, with 36.1% reporting

Medical

Arkansas: 50.9% in favor, with 22.1% reporting
Florida (approved): 71.2% in favor, with 97.9% reporting
Montana: 53.8% in favor, with .1% reporting
North Dakota: 61.4% in favor, with 43.8% reporting


10:00 PM EST:  Polls won’t close in California for another hour, but polls in all other states voting on marijuana related referendums have now closed.  Results from Arizona, Montana and Nevada should start coming in soon.  North Dakota could very soon become the second state to approve a medical marijuana initiative tonight, as their lead continues to climb. Currently, North Dakota’s Measure 5 holds a commanding 60.6% of the vote, with 28.2% of precincts reporting in.

Arkansas: 50.9% in favor, with 15.7% reporting
Florida (approved): 71.2% in favor, with 97.9% reporting
Maine: 52.2% in favor, with 18% reporting
Massachusetts: 52.6% in favor, with 24.9% reporting
North Dakota: 60.6% in favor, with 28.2% reporting


9:45 PM EST: As more votes are counted in the Northeast, legalization in Massachusetts has gained a little breathing room. With 20% of precincts reporting, Question 4 now has a 52.5% approval.  It had been hovering around 51% most of the evening.  Marijuana related ballot questions in other states maintain similar leads as they have all evening as more precincts report in.

Arkansas: 51.0% in favor, with 10.4% reporting
Florida (approved): 71.2% in favor, with 92.5% reporting
Maine: 52.4% in favor, with 12.6% reporting
Massachusetts: 52.5% in favor, with 20% reporting
North Dakota: 56.0% in favor, with 10.9% reporting


9:15 PM EST: Polls in Arkansas, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts and South Dakota have all closed.  Florida has approved medical marijuana Amendment 2.  Legalization measures in Maine and Massachusetts, as well as medical marijuana initiatives in Arkansas and South Dakota, are all out to early leads:

Arkansas: 51.3% in favor, with .2% reporting
Florida: 71.1% in favor, with 76.5% reporting (approved)
Maine: 53.4% in favor, with 4.6% reporting
Massachusetts: 50.8% in favor, with 8.1% reporting
North Dakota: 52.7% in favor, with 2.1% reporting


9:01 PM EST: Polls have been closed in North Dakota since 8:00, and we’re now seeing some results on Measure 5, The North Dakota Compassionate Care Act, which is out to a 56.2% lead with .2% of precincts reporting.

Massachusetts legalization Question 4 still remains very close, currently clinging to a 51% lead with 4.5% reporting.


8:51 PM EST: Polls closed in Maine at 8:00 PM EST, and the first results on Question 1, which would legalize marijuana for adults, have the measure jumping out ahead with a 52.5% lead.  These are early results, with less than 1% of precincts reporting.


8:45 PM EST: Polls in Arkansas closed at 8:30 PM EST.  Early results have Issue 6, the Medical Cannabis Act, jumping out to an early lead.  Results are just starting to trickle in, and with less than 1% of polls reporting, the proposal is ahead with 53.6% of the vote.

In Massachusetts, Question 4 is maintaining a slim lead. With 1.4% of the vote counted, the legalization proposal has 50.6% of the vote.


8:35 PM EST  

FLORIDA AMENDMENT 2 PASSES 

With 67.1% of the vote counted, Florida looks to have secured more than the necessary 60% of the vote needed to pass, and has been called by the Associated Press as a victory for medical marijuana.  Currently, the measure has garnered over 70% of the vote.

That’s one down, eight to go.


8:30 PM EST: The race to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts could be close, as early results have been bouncing back and forth. As of 8:30 pm, with .2% reporting, Question 4 is narrowly leading with 51.1% of the vote.


8:20 PM EST: Polls in Massachusetts closed at 8:00 PM EST.  As of 8:20 PM, with counting just getting underway, Question 4, which would legalize marijuana in the Bay State, is leading with 61.2% of the vote.


8:15 PM EST: Polls in Florida closed at 7:00 PM, and an hour later the state looks poised to pass Amendment 2, which will authorize a more comprehensive statewide medical marijuana than the restrictive measure previously passed by the state legislature.  As of 8:10 PM EST, the measure has earned 70.4% of the vote, with 39.8% reporting.  The measure needs 60% of the vote to pass.


Nine states are voting on marijuana this election. The following summary of each proposal below appears courtesy of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML):


Adult Use Ballot Initiatives


Arizona

Name: Arizona Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
Ballot Number: Proposition 205
Proponents: The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (Marijuana Policy Project)
Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to five grams of concentrates) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The law imposes a 15 percent tax on commercial marijuana sales, much of which is earmarked for school construction. Under the law, regulators must adopt rules governing the commercial production and retail sales of marijuana by September 1, 20

Read the full text of the measure here.

California

Name: Adult Use of Marijuana Act
Ballot Number: Proposition 64
Proponents: Let’s Get It Right CA
Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to eight grams of concentrates) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. (Medical cannabis patients are not subject to these limits.) The measure prohibits localities from taking actions to infringe upon adults’ ability to possess and cultivate cannabis for non-commercial purposes. The initiative does not “repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt … laws pertaining to the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.” Several other marijuana-related activities not legalized by the measure are reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. The law also provides for re-sentencing consideration for those found guilty of prior marijuana convictions. The revised marijuana penalties take effect on November 9, 2016. Retail sales of marijuana by state-licensed establishments are scheduled to begin under the law on January 1, 2018. On site consumption is permitted under the law in establishments licensed for such activity. Large-scale corporate players are restricted from becoming involved until 2023.

Read the full text of the initiative here.

Maine

Name: Marijuana Legalization Act
Ballot Number: Question 1
Proponents: Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol
Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants, and/or up to 12 immature plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to two and one-half ounces of herbal cannabis) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The law imposes a 10 percent tax on commercial marijuana sales. Under the law, localities have the authority to regulate, limit, or prohibit the operation of marijuana businesses. On site consumption is permitted under the law in establishments licensed for such activity. The new law takes effect within 40 days. Regulations for marijuana-related businesses are scheduled to be in place by August 8, 2017.

Read the full text of Question 1 here.

Massachusetts

Name: The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
Ballot Number: Question 4
Proponents: The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts
Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce and/or up to 5 grams of concentrate; in addition, adults may legally possess up to ten ounces of marijuana flower in their home) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. The law imposes a 3.75 percent excise tax on commercial marijuana sales. Under the law, localities have the authority to regulate, limit, or prohibit the operation of marijuana businesses. The new law takes effect on December 15, 2016. Regulators are scheduled to begin accepting applications from marijuana-related businesses on October 1, 2017.

Read the full text of Question 4 here.

Nevada

Name: Nevada Marijuana Legalization Initiative
Ballot Number: Question 2
Proponents: Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Nevada
Summary: Permits adults who are not participating in the state’s medical cannabis program to legally grow (up to six plants, including all of the harvest from those plants) and to possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to one ounce of flower and/or up to 3.5 grams of concentrates) while also licensing commercial cannabis production and retail sales. (Home cultivation is not permitted if one’s residence is within 25 miles of an operating marijuana retailer.) Commercial marijuana production is subject to a 15 percent excise tax, much of which is earmarked to the State Distributive School Account. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2017. Regulations governing commercial marijuana activities must be in place by January 1, 2018.

Read the full text of the initiative here.

Medical Use Ballot Initiatives


Arkansas

Name: The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment
Ballot Number: Issue 6
Proponents: David Couch
Summary: Amends the state constitution to permit qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation may legally possess and obtain medical cannabis provided by state licensed dispensaries. The home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted under the law. Under the law, regulators will license up to 40 dispensary providers and up to eight marijuana cultivators. The new law takes effect on November 9, 2017. Regulators have 120 days following the law’s enactment to develop rules overseeing the new medical marijuana program.

A summary of the Amendment is available here.

Florida

Name: Use of Marijuana For Debilitating Conditions
Ballot Number: Amendment 2
Proponents: United For Care
Summary: Amends the Florida state constitution so that qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation may legally possess and obtain medical cannabis provided by state licensed dispensaries. Under the law, a “debilitating medical condition” for which marijuana may be recommended includes is defined as “cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” The home cultivation of cannabis is not permitted under the law. Department of Health regulators must begin issuing patient identification cards within nine months of the law’s enactment.

Read the full text of Amendment 2 here.

Montana

Name: Montana Medical Marijuana Initiative
Ballot Number: I-182
Proponents: Montana Citizens for I-182
Summary: Expands the state’s medical marijuana laws. It permits licensed medical marijuana providers to serve more than three patients at one time and allows for providers to hire employees to cultivate, dispense, and transport medical marijuana. I-182 repeals the requirement that physicians who provide certifications for 25 or more patients annually be referred to the board of medical examiners. It removes the authority of law enforcement to conduct unannounced inspections of medical marijuana facilities, and requires annual inspections by the state. The new law takes effect on June 30, 2017.

Read the full text of the initiative here.

North Dakota

Name: The North Dakota Compassionate Care Act 2016
Ballot Number: Measure 5
Proponents: North Dakota Compassionate Care
Summary: Permits qualified patients who possess a physician’s recommendation may legally possess and obtain medical cannabis provided by state licensed dispensaries. Those who reside 40 miles or more away from an operating medical marijuana dispensary are permitted to grow limited quantities of marijuana (up to eight flowering plants) at home. The new law takes effect 90 days following voter approval.

Read the full text of the initiative here.

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