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Investor Ideas Potcasts #638, Cannabis News and Stocks on the Move – New Legalization Following Midterms
Today’s podcast overview/transcript:
In today’s podcast we look at the recent Midterm results and how this impacted cannabis legalisation and decriminalisation in the U.S.
Maryland and Missouri joined 19 other states and the District of Columbia in , while legalisation proposals did not pass in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Following the passage of Maryland’s , adults in the state will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces, or two marijuana plants, beginning July 1, 2023. The amendment also allows for the expungement of records for people arrested for cannabis possession, and for people serving time for simple possession to have their sentences reconsidered. It would also establish a cannabis business assistance fund for small businesses, as well as minority- and women-owned businesses, entering the cannabis industry. Laws surrounding liscensing and taxation still need to be determined.
In approved the state’s , which removes existing prohibitions on marijuana and allows adults to purchase and possess up to three ounces and grow up to six flowering plants at home. A 6% sales tax will go toward facilitating automatic expungements for certain nonviolent cannabis offences, veterans’ health care, substance misuse treatment and the state’s public defender system. It also adds at least 144 new small business licensees to the existing businesses licensed for medical marijuana, according to Legal Missouri 2022, the advocacy group that sponsored the measure. New licence holders will be selected by lottery.
While these two states moving forward was another great win for cannabis advocacy, are states saw more of the same as voters in Arkansas rejected , which would have allowed for the purchase of up to an ounce of marijuana from licensed retailers, and in North Dakota, voters rejected , which would have allowed for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and finally in South Dakota rejected , which would have legalised possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.
Moving away from the State level, voters in five Texas cities of municipal ballot initiatives eliminating the local enforcement of low-level cannabis offences.
Voters in the cities of , , , and decided ‘yes’ on the measures. Specifically, the ordinances limit local law enforcement from making arrests or issuing citations for most marijuana-related violations. It also prohibits police in most circumstances from considering the odour of cannabis as probable cause of a crime.
are anticipated to place ballot questions before voters in additional cities in the coming year.
Meanwhile in Colorado, , Access to Natural Psychedelic Substances, with about 51% of the vote according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
Possession, use, cultivation and sharing of psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline (not derived from peyote), DMT and psilocyn will be legalised for adults 21 and older, without an explicit possession limit. There will be no recreational sales component.
The Department of Regulatory Agencies for developing rules for a therapeutic psychedelics program where adults 21 and older can visit a licensed healing centre to receive treatment under the guidance of a trained facilitator.
There will be a two-tiered regulatory model, where only psilocybin and psilocyn will be permitted for therapeutic use at licensed healing centres until June 2026. After that point, regulators can decide whether to also permit regulated therapeutic use of DMT, ibogaine and mescaline.
This makes Colorado the second state, following Oregan, to legalise psychedelic substances.
With another Midterm election over the US continues its slow march forward with regards to drug reform policy but like most of the world, including Canada, when it comes to dealing with the many who are in prison for cannabis offences, there is still much lacking.
When it comes to , only about 6,500 people convicted of cannabis possession at the federal level were affected. None remain in prison. Without a felony on their record, they won’t be tripped up when applying for a job or trying to rent an apartment.
While this is a clear positive, Biden’s pardon does not affect some 3,000 people convicted of higher level marijuana crimes who remain in federal prisons, and as many as 30,000 who are still in prison in several states, according to the advocacy group the Last Prisoner Project. Those numbers do not reflect people with convictions for marijuana possession at the state level, although approximately 2 million marijuana convictions have been expunged or pardoned by states where the drug is now legal.
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