If 2016 signaled a high-water mark for state ballot initiatives to legalize cannabis, then this year portends a slow, but steady, flow.
On the recreational side, an adult-use cannabis measure has been certified by a state board for Michigan’s November ballot.
The four measures, if they pass, will infuse tens of millions of dollars in business opportunities into what is already a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States.
Another measure, a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize adult-use marijuana in Ohio, has been certified by the state’s top attorney but isn’t expected to be on the ballot until November 2019.
The chances of the initiatives being approved by voters look good, based on recent polling.
The election-year activity is further indication that Americans are demanding access to medical marijuana and are generally in favor of adult use as well, Marijuana Policy Project Communications Director Morgan Fox told Marijuana Business Daily.
“This is going hand-in-hand with the steadily increasing interest in state legislatures and at the federal level in passing sensible marijuana laws,” Fox wrote in an email.
In fact, legislative action is part of the complicated legalization landscape this year.
In both Oklahoma and Missouri, lawmakers proposed bills that would sidestep voters, but the Oklahoma bill died and the Missouri Legislature is wrapping up its session.
In Michigan, some Republicans recently talked about a rec MJ legislative agreement that would be paired with a general tax cut.
That wouldn’t be so bad of an outcome, according to Fox.
“If the Legislature decides to enact the initiative instead of sending it to the voters,” he wrote, “it would probably save some time on implementation and would likely lead