2022 is likely to see nine more states added to the number of states that have either legalized the use of medical, recreational cannabis, or both. The fate lies in the decision that the voters will make at the time of casting ballots across the nine states.
To date, 37 states have legalized medical marijuana, including Washington DC. Eighteen states have legalized marijuana for adult use. The latest states to allow the use of medical marijuana through cannabis laws are New York and Mississippi.
Currently, Ballotpedia is closely following up twenty cannabis vote-related initiatives started by citizens in the nine states. The voters could be called upon to participate in the cannabis vote before 2022 comes to a close.
Some states, such as Ohio, have submitted signatures for verification. In the initial petition, the sponsors submitted 119,825. If the legislature enacts it, Ohio will join many other states that have signed cannabis laws that allow marijuana for medical or recreational use. The states that have allowed wholesale cannabis packaging use have done so either through a cannabis vote by the citizens or through a cannabis law legislative action.
So far, more states favor cannabis for medical use against recreational use. The ratio for the states that have legalized medical cannabis against those that have legalized adult-use cannabis is about 2:1. Looking into where it all started, the current achievement is significant.
The first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use was Vermont in 2018 through cannabis law legislation. Five more states have taken the same path since then, among them New Mexico, Illinois, Virginia, Connecticut, and New York. Another four states have taken the cannabis vote process. These are New Jersey, Michigan, Montana, and Arizona.
Citizens in other states that are yet to legalize cannabis are pushing harder to ensure the state’s governments legalize its use. Already, nine states are in advanced phases for signature collection, and campaigns to woo voters to vote in big numbers for the legalization of marijuana and its products are ongoing. The cannabis vote is expected to take place in November 2022. The states that are expected to participate in the vote are as follows.
Citizens of North Dakota have been collecting signatures for the past year. However, the sponsors didn’t make it to achieve a minimum of 31,164 signatures by January 2022. According to Dustin Peyer, the committee only managed to gather about 19,500 votes which were short by nearly 12,000 votes. Dustin is a member of the North Dakota adult-use cannabis sponsoring committee.
Irrespective of the January 2022 deadline, North Dakota citizens have a July 2022 window to submit signatures for the November 2022 cannabis vote. The committee is seeking for cannabis users to be allowed to possess, cultivate, process, and transport a maximum of twelve cannabis plants for recreational use.
Like North Dakota, South Dakota is pushing for the legalization of cannabis for adult use. The citizens participated in a cannabis vote in 2020 and were approved by a majority. Unfortunately, governor Kristi Noem filed a court petition to annul the win, but the court didn’t honor his petition.
The citizens further held a cannabis vote to approve cannabis for medical use the same year and recorded another landslide victory. The governor is seeking a better cannabis law through legislation, but the citizens must first pay a legal fee of $142 thousand.
The citizen sponsors have refused to pay and insisted they will engage the citizens in another cannabis vote in November 2022.
Arkansas citizens are pushing for decriminalization of cannabis laws to allow them to use cannabis for recreation. The push might help bear fruit through approval of the Arkansas Recreational Marijuana Amendment of 2022.
The amendment will decriminalize marijuana, open a larger cannabis market and pave the way for the release of all currently incarcerated cannabis users. Citizens are in the process of collecting signatures.
The cannabis law that allowed marijuana for medical use in Missouri was approved over a year ago, and patients are already using the medical cannabis. However, the citizens want more and are seeking for the cannabis laws governing its medical use to be improved. They are also pushing for legalization for the recreational use of cannabis. They will likely win the battle in the November 2022 cannabis vote.
Idaho state is pushing for the legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational use. Unlike other US states, Idaho has very strict cannabis laws. A breach of the laws could lead to a fine of $1 thousand or one-year imprisonment.
By legalizing cannabis, Idaho could start earning revenue from taxes collected from the industry. The process of collecting signatures is ongoing. The sponsors are hoping to collect over 64 thousand signatures.
Medical use cannabis law was signed in Ohio in 2016, and sales began in 2019. However, cannabis law for recreational use was never passed. An initiative to have the citizens vote for the use of recreational marijuana was shot down by the citizens in 2015.
Another initiative was formed to help allow citizens to cultivate, process, sell, buy, possess, and grow recreational cannabis. The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative managed to collect and submit over 206 thousand signatures.
However, over 87 thousand signatures were rejected, and the office of the secretary of state demanded another over 13 thousand signatures. The initiative has already submitted additional 29 thousand signatures and is now waiting for the November 2022 cannabis vote.
Oklahoma is one of the states that has legalized the medical use of cannabis. However, the sponsors want the medical use cannabis law reformed, and adult-use cannabis allowed. The state has on its table a proposed amendment that could see cannabis laws changed to fully legalize its use both for medical and recreation use. If the sponsors manage to gather close to 178 thousand signatures by June 2022, the citizens will participate in the November 2022 cannabis vote.
The initiative group Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana managed to collect enough signatures in 2020 to help legalize medical cannabis. Unfortunately, the supreme court nullified it. The initiative has started afresh and hopes to collect about 85,700 signatures. The Nebraskans will vote in the November 2022 cannabis vote.
Florida has an active medical use cannabis program that is serving over 669 thousand patients. The users are seeking for medical use cannabis law reforms that will help add several clauses. They want patients to be allowed fewer doctor visits and an extension of registration date expiry.