This week, voters in five states will decide whether to legalize cannabis for adult use. If they do, they will join the 19 states (and D.C.) that have already done so, bringing legalization to nearly half the country.
In one of those states, Maryland, lawmakers moved to put the question of legalization before voters. But in the other four states, the campaigns are run by advocates and industry stakeholders: Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
So far, these campaigns have raised more than $20 million, according to Cannabis Wire’s latest analysis of campaign finance disclosures. But nearly all of it has been raised in just two of those states: Arkansas and Missouri. And, in those two states, most of it has come from the very cannabis companies that the ballot measures would prioritize in the adult use industry.
(As Cannabis Wire reported in its roundup of the measures on the ballot this week, both the Arkansas and Missouri measures essentially hand over the adult use industry to existing medical cannabis license holders.)
Another noteworthy finding: a top contributor in both Arkansas and Missouri is an entity called Good Day Farm, an emerging southern cannabis giant, which, as Cannabis Wire recently reported, has also begun to lobby Congress on cannabis issues.
Here is a breakdown:
Responsible Growth Arkansas is leading the adult use push. As of November 1, the campaign has raised $13.4 million.
And, more than half of the $13.4 million has come from just three operators.
Good Day Farm Arkansas: $3M
Bold Team LLC: $2M
Osage Creek Cultivation: $2M
The opposition is led by two groups: the Family Council Action Committee, which has raised $341,873 as of November 1, and Safe and Secure Communities, which has raised $2.3 million as of November 1.
In Missouri, Legal Missouri 2022 is leading the adult use push. As of the end of October, the campaign has raised $6,977,729.
Like Arkansas, a majority of this comes from existing operators, but the contributions are more evenly distributed. About twenty entities gave more than $100,000. Seven of those gave more than $200,000.
BD Health Ventures LLC – $765,000
New Growth Horizon LLC – $547,500
Good Day Farm Missouri LLC – $450,000
Organic Remedies MO Inc – $305,000
Focus Partners Manchester LLC – $260,000
Green Four Ventures LLC – $250,000
QPS Missouri Holdings LLC – $200,000
The opposition is led by Save Our State, which has raised nothing so far.
New Approach North Dakota is leading the adult use push. As of November 3, the campaign has raised $590,000. Of that, a majority has come from the New Approach Advocacy Fund.
Existing operators gave, too: Pure Dakota, LLC, for example, gave at least $70,000. But none broke six figures.
The opposition is led by Healthy and Productive North Dakota, which is connected to Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). So far, they have raised $2,500.
South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws is leading the adult use push. As of November 6, the campaign has raised roughly $544,000, as well as another $100,000 in-kind.
Almost all of this came from three existing operators; however, unlike in Arkansas and Missouri, the measure doesn’t lay out any framework for regulated sales.
Here are the entities that gave the most:
$200,000 GLP SD LLC
$110,000 Genesis Farms LLC
$110,000 Besame Wellness SD LLC
The opposition is led by Protecting South Dakota Kids. As of November 7, they have raised roughly $500,000, of which $7,000 was in-kind.