As the excitement and stress of the midterm elections fade — residents in two states celebrate as recreational cannabis becomes a reality.
Maryland and Missouri are the new kids on the block and have joined the ranks with 19 other states by allowing recreational cannabis sales. Minnesota’s newly elected Democratic legislature appears to be on track to legalize recreational cannabis by the start of the new year (2023).
Read along as we discuss the new recreational cannabis laws in Maryland and Missouri. Furthermore, you’ll discover the details regarding Minnesota’s incoming marijuana reform slated for 2023.
How the Midterm Elections Unfolded
As millions of Americans cast their ballots that would shape the future of the United States — five states gave voters a chance to legalize recreational cannabis.
Of the five, Maryland and Missouri voted in favor of recreational weed. Sadly, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Arkansas voters overwhelmingly voted against the initiatives.
Below, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Missouri and Maryland’s new cannabis laws. Additionally, we’ll break down why recreational cannabis lost in the Dakotas and Arkansas.
Missouri’s New Recreational Cannabis Laws
Missourians voted highly in favor of Measure 3 — legalizing recreational cannabis.
53.1% of voters approved Measure 3, compared to 46% against the initiative. After the votes were tallied and recreational cannabis won — the Department of Health and Senior Services would soon distribute a minimum of 144 new cannabis production licenses.
Once recreational marijuana goes live, each sale in Missouri will have a 6% tax rate. Furthermore, the new measure will allow certain individuals to petition early release and expungement for nonviolent marijuana-related offenses.
Although the new law kicks in by December, Missourians 21 and over won’t be able to buy recreational cannabis until February 2023. From growing cannabis at home to buying legal marijuana, Missourians are heading for greener pastures in the new year.
Maryland’s New Recreational Cannabis Laws
Measure 4 passed with a whopping 66% of voter approval in a landslide victory.
Measure 4, Maryland’s recreational cannabis initiative, allows for the use, taxation, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana. However, residents in Maryland will not have access to recreational cannabis until July 2023.
The measure allows residents 21 and over to purchase cannabis from licensed dispensaries across the state once sales begin.
How Arkansas’ Cannabis Initiative was Defeated
Issue 4, Arkansas’ recreational cannabis initiative, failed to gain votes and lost by 56%.
Although it doesn’t come as a major surprise to residents in Arkansas, cannabis advocates believed the Natural State was ready to accept cannabis. From increased jobs to millions of dollars in tax revenue, cannabis advocates believe that Arkansas is missing a crucial opportunity.
However, Arkansas is a deeply conservative state. Aside from Little Rock, most counties and cities heavily lean Republican. As such, Republican strongholds are less likely to see legalized cannabis compared to states with a majority of Democrats.
How the Dakotas’ Cannabis Initiatives Were Defeated
North and South Dakota had cannabis initiatives on the ballot — and both were defeated.
ND’s Statutory Measure 2 and SD’s Initiated Measure 27 lost by 54% and 52%. Similar to Arkansas, North and South Dakota lean heavily Republican. However, both initiatives have massive consequences in the form of missed revenue.
Before the vote, researchers estimated North Dakota could generate $100 million in its first year of legal cannabis sales. Similarly, South Dakota could have generated upwards of $14 million in its first year of recreational cannabis sales.
Minnesota’s Plan to Legalize Recreational Pot
One of the most exciting outcomes of the midterm elections happened in Minnesota.
Minnesota’s Legislature now heavily leans toward Democrats after the end of the midterm elections. Previously, the Legislature was held by a majority of Republicans, all of whom blocked prior bills to legalize recreational cannabis formally.
Now that the Republican blockade is over — Governor Walz is determined to make recreational cannabis legal at the beginning of 2023. With the governing trifecta (both houses and the governor’s office), Democrats are poised to make recreational cannabis in Minnesota a reality.
Overall, Governor Walz believes that prohibition is the problem and that legalizing cannabis is a step in the right direction. Now with a landmark bill at his fingertips, Walz is set to make history at the turn of the new year.
New Polls Suggest Majority of Americans Favor Legalizing Recreational Marijuana
Although polls aren’t the most reliable source of information, they do provide a glimpse at potential trends throughout society.
In the case of recreational and medical cannabis, only 1 in 10 Americans believes that cannabis should be illegal. In other words, 9 of 10 respondents believe cannabis should be recreationally or medically legal.
Unlike in previous years, public sentiment toward cannabis has drastically shifted in favor of legalization. With ample data suggesting Americans are ready to embrace cannabis instead of prohibition, we may be on the cusp of a de-scheduling effort by the Biden Administration to make marijuana federally legal.
How to Buy Legal Hemp-Derived Products in Minnesota
Even if cannabis becomes legal in Minnesota at the beginning of 2023 — it will likely take months to license producers and retailers.
In other words, Minnesotans will not be able to buy legal cannabis until producers and retailers are fully ready to begin operating. In the meantime, the best way to experience cannabinoids found in cannabis is via hemp-derived products.
Hemp is a subspecies of cannabis; however, it does not contain an extremely high amount of Delta-9 THC. Hemp-derived products are legal in Minnesota, including Delta-8, HHC, Delta-10, and Delta-O.
If you’re ready to experience high-quality hemp-derived flowers, edibles, concentrates, vape carts, and topicals — look no further than Simply Crafted. Whether you live in Minnesota or elsewhere, Simply Crafted ships top-shelf hemp-derived products directly to your door.