Swense Tech

Best Solution For You

Maryland And Missouri Become Latest States To Legalize Weed

The 2022 midterms election yielded two key milestones in the cannabis industry: Maryland and Missouri have voted to legalize adult-use marijuana. As a result of these electoral wins, there are now 21 legal adult-use markets in the country.

In Maryland, voters approved a referendum known as “Question 4,” which will give lawmakers the greenlight to establish rules and regulations governing the production and sale of cannabis to adults.

ADVERTISEMENT

And, in Missouri, voters decided in favor of a “Amendment 3,” a ballot initiative that legalizes the possession, cultivation and licensed retail sale of cannabis for those ages 21 and older. This vote marks the first time a Midwestern state has voted in favor of a citizens’ initiative legalizing adult-use marijuana.

“Maryland voters have overwhelmingly rejected the failed policy of prohibition and voted for the common sense policy of legalization,” said Erik Altieri, executive director of cannabis law reform nonprofit NORML, in a statement. “For far too many decades, Maryland’s prohibition has been an utter failure and which has had devastating consequences on already marginalized communities in the state. By voting for legalization, Marylanders have rejected the failed ideas of the past and have chosen to reform their laws to protect civil liberties and promote racial justice.”

Top cannabis professionals and practitioners are embracing these wins.

Jeffrey M. Zucker, president of Green Lion Partners, a Denver-based cannabis-focused business strategy firm, and vice chair of the Marijuana Policy Project board of directors, expressed cautious enthusiasm. “Though this initiative’s framework is relatively bare-bones, I look forward to seeing how Maryland will structure their legislature for full adult-use cannabis legalization, and hopefully, they do so with social equity in mind.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Justin Kahn, CEO and co-founder of Reepher, a provider of cannabis DUI coverage for consumers, also voiced support. “Congratulations to the citizens of Missouri for taking it upon yourselves to bring the important question of adult-use cannabis to the ballot and showing up in droves to pass such important legislation,” he said. “Missouri continues down the path of normalizing cannabis consumption and we celebrate the Herculean effort that went into today’s victory.”

By approving Question 4, Maryland voters also triggered the enactment of separate, complementary legislation ( (HB 837) defining marijuana possession limits while facilitating the automatic review and expungement of low-level cannabis convictions. Under the legislation, which was passed by lawmakers this spring, adults will be legally permitted to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and/or 12 grams of cannabis concentrates beginning in July 2023. Adults will also be permitted to grow up to two cannabis plants in their homes for their own personal use.

The Missouri measure allows adults to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and to home-cultivate up to six flowering plants, six immature plants, and six plants under 14 inches for their own personal use. It also establishes a program to automatically review and expunge criminal records for eligible non-violent marijuana-related marijuana offenses.

ADVERTISEMENT