11.07.2016
policy

8 States Voted 'Yes' for Marijuana; Now What?

Here's where weed is now legal in America, and when you can get it.

On Tuesday, nine states voted for (or in some cases, against) medical and recreational weed laws. The urge to end a cannabis prohibition inspired young, old, or otherwise disinterested voters to hit the polls––partly a result of the waning decline in the social stigma surrounding pot.

Seven states now have brand-new legal weed laws on the books—with one more (Maine) too close to call. Put down that celebratory pipe, keep reading, and we'll explain what that means for you. When can you get your recreational weed in these newly liberated territories? Or some pot for Granny's glaucoma? We've got the answers:

RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA

Massachusetts

Where can I buy legal weed? 

From state-licensed retail locations. Recreational marijuana sales will be subject to a 3.75 percent excise tax, in addition to a 6.25 percent Massachusetts sales tax. Local municipalities reserve the authority to ban any weed business altogether.

How much cannabis product can I possess, cultivate or transport, at once?

In Massachusetts, adults 21 and over can now possess up to 10 ounces of pot within any one residence, and grow up to six plants, as long as 12 plants aren’t being grown under the same roof. Which means, if you have a family of four, not everyone can have their own weed garden. Possession of concentrate products is restricted to no more than five grams.

What else should I expect?

Legal cannabis markets have a significant impact on local economies. A recreational marijuana industry in Massachusetts could possibly lead to a reduction in drug-related arrests, and increase in tax revenue. Looking to Colorado, where voters enacted a medical marijuana program in 2012, and legalized recreational adult use in 2013, “Combined marijuana excise and sales tax revenues were $63.4 million in 2014, and $121.2 million in 2015,” according to a study by the Marijuana Policy Group.

California

It’s been a long time coming, California, but you finally did it. You legalized the green machine in the Golden State, and voted yes on Proposition 64. Congratulations. Way to go. Now the national spotlight is on you.

Where can I buy legal weed? 

State regulators have until January 1, 2018, to establish guidelines for retail recreational sales of California weed. Until then, take your state identification card to a medical marijuana dispensary. According to L.A. Weekly, "medical marijuana patients with state pot IDs would get a 5.5 percent sales tax break,” starting today.

How much legal cannabis can I possess, cultivate or transport?

You can legally hold onto up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants at home, but if you want to transport marijuana, you’ll need to apply for, pay for, and obtain a distributor’s license, which does not yet exist, and is actually a topic of contention, though regulators have until 2018 to get that sorted.

What else should I expect? 

A reduction in marijuana-related arrests means less life-ruining, misdemeanor charges for a demographic that is traditionally composed of minorities. Even though, since 2010, the charge for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana in the Golden State carried only a $100 fine, the ballot initiative includes provisions that will give people currently serving prison sentences for, or who have been charged with, weed-related offenses, the opportunity to seek a reduction in penalties, or to have cases re-visited. Previously, drug-charges on an individual’s record were automatic grounds for dismissal from participation in the legal pot industry. The initiative passed on Tuesday's ballot begins to address this issue.

Arizona

Unfortunately, recreational adult use is not yet legal in the Grand Canyon State. The ballot initiative was not approved by 52 percent (976,637) of voters. Marijuana remains medical in Arizona, for now.

Where can I buy legal weed?

From state-licensed retail locations. The Arizona cannabis market will be regulated like alcohol. A 15 percent excise tax on retail sales––which will take place at licensed locations––mostly the money will be used to create new law-enforcement training programs, new schools, and substance-abuse education.

What else should I expect?

Even though state voters said, “yes,” to legal weed via Proposition 205, localities can still say, “nahhhh,” and enact individual bans.

Nevada

Like Arizona, California, and Washington, Nevada’s Question 2 has legal, recreational cannabis as being regulated like alcohol. State officials hope the program will pay for itself––with the excise tax generated from legal-weed sales going to state education budgets.

How much can I possess or transport, at once?

Question 2 legalizes possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, though if you live more than 25 miles from a yet-to-be-established retail store––cultivating your own weed is totally cool––just keep the grow below 12 plants, and locked up.

What else should I expect?

Sure, cannabis creates jobs. But, as evidenced by Alaska’s more than two-year delay between enacting Measure 2 and establishing any real guidelines for cannabis cafés and retail stores––the first of which opened in October of this year––expect to wait. State-regulated-weed programs don’t always move as fast as consumer demand would hope for.

Maine

Updated Thursday Nov. 10th at 1:05pm PST: 100% of precincts reporting with the "Yes" vote prevailing 50% (378,288) to 50% (375,668) via AP.

Where can I buy legal weed?

Cannabis enthusiasts in Maine will be able to purchase “retail marijuana” from regulated, tax-paying stores and social clubs, once the law is in motion. Measure 1 does, however, prohibit the sale of weed and liquor from the same establishment. But, is that such a bad thing?

What is unique about this legislation?

Measure 1 is a fairly inclusive piece of marijuana legislation: The amendment to the state constitution covers retail and processing (with some stipulations, of course) of: “. . . all parts of the plant of the genus Cannabis whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant, its seeds or its resin including cannabis concentrate.”

What else should I expect? 

The legal consumption and retail sale of marijuana edibles (Colorado, Oregon) was a tasty aspect of Legalization 1.0, and child-resistant-packaging––which in Maine means that weed-food will come in opaque wrappers––is seen as a crucial part of Normalization 2.0.


MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Arkansas

Arkansas’s Issue 6 establishes a regulated, licensed, and taxed medical marijuana industry. The amendment to the state constitution includes some wiggle-room for future changes to be made by state regulators. Qualifying conditions to become a cardholder range from post-traumatic stress disorder, to glaucoma.

Florida

Where 2014’s Amendment 2 brought medical marijuana, of low potency, to a limited quantity of patients, Tuesday's voters approved an update that will expand the number of qualifying conditions for legal physician-recommended cannabis.

Montana

Voters approved Montana’s Medical Marijuana Initiative 182 Tuesday. The “yes” vote expands the number of patients for whom doctors can recommend cannabis treatment––repealing the 2011-issued, though reportedly not followed, limit of three patients per doctor. One provider supplied “more than 770 patients,” according to The Cannabist.

North Dakota

North Dakota’s Initiated Statutory Measure 5, which voters passed Tuesday, brings medical marijuana to the state for the first time for patients meeting a host of qualifying conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder. North Dakota mmj patients can legally possess up to three ounces of legally obtained cannabis. Though state regulators have yet to determine a destination for sales and excise taxes collected from legal weed revenues.

Tagged: