North Dakota voters rejected a ballot measure on Tuesday that would’ve legalized cannabis for adult use.
Adult use cannabis legalization was on the ballot, as Cannabis Wire reported, in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, and South Dakota, too.
The campaigns in all of these states, with the exception of Maryland, were run by advocates or industry stakeholders. In Maryland, lawmakers moved to put the question of legalization before voters. Of the $20 million these campaigns raised, almost all of it went to Arkansas and Missouri, and a majority of it from cannabis companies that would explicitly benefit, as Cannabis Wire reported.
As of the morning of Election Day, 19 states and D.C. had legalized cannabis for adult use. (The United States just had a big anniversary. Ten elections ago, voters in Colorado and Washington made their states the first jurisdictions in the world to legalize cannabis for adult use. Read Cannabis Wire’s anniversary series on lessons learned.)
As Cannabis Wire recently reported, the ballot measure, Measure 2, sought to regulate sales, in addition to allowing for home cultivation. It would’ve left it up to the legislature to determine who would be in charge of regulations, but it laid out some of the framework. For example, the only license types it included were for manufacturing (growing, processing) and dispensing (sales), and it set a limit on the number of these licenses that could be awarded (seven for manufacturing alone, and eighteen for selling alone). There was no language related to things like taxes or expungements.
New Approach North Dakota led the adult use push. As of November 3, as Cannabis Wire reported, the campaign raised $590,000. Of that, a majority came from the New Approach Advocacy Fund.
The opposition was led by Healthy and Productive North Dakota, which is connected to Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). They raised $2,500.