Election Results And Marijuana: What Happened With Weed In Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota & South Dakota?

On Tuesday, citizens in five (mostly red) states voted on whether or not to legalize cannabis for adult use.

Five States Asked Voters About Cannabis Legalization

  • Arkansas Issue 4 Marijuana Legalization Initiative Ballot Question
  • Maryland Question 4 Marijuana Legalization Amendment Ballot Question
  • Missouri Amendment 3 Marijuana Legalization Initiative Ballot Question
  • North Dakota Statutory Measure 2 Marijuana Legalization Initiative Ballot Question
  • South Dakota Initiated Measure 27 Marijuana Legalization Initiative Ballot Question

In addition to these five states, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin voted on local cannabis ballot questions and Colorado voted on whether or not to legalize psychedelics. 

Below is a look at how each of the five states voting on weed decided.

Arkansas' Recreational Marijuana Legalization Initiative Fails

Voters in Arkansas defeated a ballot measure that would have made the state the first in the Deep South to legalize recreational marijuana.

The measure failed to receive sufficient votes, to the surprise of a big part of the state, as a recent poll showed a comfortable majority of likely voters had favored the ballot measure.

Tuesday's vote, however, broke down with 57% voting against the legalization measure and 43% voting in favor.

Maryland Voters Approve Cannabis Legalization By A Wide Margin

Maryland voted to legalize adult-use cannabis with more than 65% of people deciding for weed.

Beginning in July 2023, adults 21 and over will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 oz of cannabis and 10 grams of cannabis concentrate. Question 4, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment, was on the ballot in as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment.

A companion piece of legislation, House Bill 837, decriminalized those possession amounts until July 2023.

The measure will trigger the implementation of a complementary bill that will set basic regulations for the adult-use cannabis program that was sponsored by Del. Luke Clippinger (D). It establishes ground rules for the recreational program regarding issues such as penalties and expungement, allowing the purchase and possession of up to 1.5 ounces of adult cannabis. The measure also eliminates criminal penalties for possession of up to 2.5 ounces. Adults over the age of 21 will be allowed to grow up to two plants for personal use and give away marijuana without remuneration.

Missouri Legalizes Recreational Cannabis, Becoming First State To Initiate Automatic Expungement

Missouri voters legalized adult-use cannabis by approving an initiative known as Amendment 3. The bill, which won by a comfortable margin of nearly 10%, expands the current medical marijuana program by allowing existing licensees to serve both medical and non-medical purchasers.

With the passage of this legislation, Missouri becomes the first state where voters initiated the automatic expungement of prior marijuana convictions.

The amendment expands the current medical marijuana business program by allowing existing licensees to serve both medical and non-medical purchasers. The new legislation allows adults to possess up to three ounces, purchase from licensed retailers and home-grow up to six flowering plants, six immature plants, and six clones. It also establishes a program to automatically review and expunge those with criminal records for non-violent marijuana-related marijuana offenses.

Businesses can begin to sell cannabis legally as early as December 8.

North Dakota Voters Reject Ballot Measure To Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

The legalization of cannabis for adults in North Dakota will have to wait.  Measure 2, which would have legalized the possession and retail sale of marijuana lost by nearly ten percentage points in Tuesday's ballot.

South Dakota's Senate Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Voted Down

South Dakota failed to pass a Senate 3 bill that would have legalized adult-use cannabis.   

If the bill was approved adults over 21 would have been allowed to buy and possess up to one ounce of cannabis from licensed retailers.

Home growing was not allowed under this measure, and the state's adult-use program would have been regulated by the Department of Revenue.

The legalization bill faced an uphill battle both on the ground and in the courts. 

Stock Moves

Major cannabis ETFs are having mixed performances on Wednesday morning. At the time of the publication of this article:

  • ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF NYSE:MJ is up 3%
  • AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF NYSE:MSOS is up 4.6%
  • ETFMG US Alternative Harvest ETF NYSE:MJUS is up 6.5%
  • Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF NYSE:CNBS is up 0.15%
  • Cannabis ETF NYSE:THCX is down 2.6%
  • AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF NYSE:YOLO is flat
  • AdvisorShares Poseidon Dynamic Cannabis ETF NYSE:PSDN is up 8.7%

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