North Dakotans decisively rejected a proposal to make marijuana legal for recreational purposes.
The marijuana industry saw momentum in Tuesday's midterm elections. A 10 percent tax on retail sales will be distributed between "local governments, K-12 education, and infrastructure projects". Medical marijuana was first approved by the state in 2008, making it the 13th state to legalize medical cannabis.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is widely expected to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020, introduced a bipartisan bill in August that would amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow cannabis companies in states where marijuana is legal to open accounts at federally regulated financial institutions and remain exempt from federal persecution. The majority voted in favor of legalization either medicinal or adult-use of marijuana, which signals state officials that they should proceed with the necessary reforms.
Supporters of the marijuana ballot measure in MI expect legalization to bring in about $130 million more in tax revenue each year.
At present, recreational marijuana use is legal in nine states, as well as Washington, D.C. The drug is still banned at the federal level. It also allows patients with marijuana cards to buy at least 4 ounces of cannabis at dispensaries per month and grow up to six marijuana plants.
Of the 20 states where voters have the power to pass legislation by initiative, 16 have already legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use. The United States Marijuana Index has gained 72.27% over the past year, compared to the 7.08% gain seen by the S&P 500 over the same period.
In Illinois, Democrat JB Pritzker successfully ran on a pro-legalization platform to unseat first-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
North Dakotans passed an initiative allowing the use of medical marijuana in 2016 but the state has been slow to approve dispensaries.
"Encouragingly, support for cannabis achieved bipartisan support past year and Republican support was up 2 percentage points in 2018 to 53 percent", Azer told CNBC last week.