Four states vote on legal cannabis in midterm elections with mixed results

Three states approve the measures, while a fourth rejects recreational weed

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 07 November 2018 08:56 GMT
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The midterm elections produced a mixed bag of results when it came down to the states considering legalising or marijuana for medical or recreational purposes.

Two states considered whether to legalise cannabis for recreational purposes, with voters in Michigan approving legalising the drug while those in North Dakota voting against doing so.

Meanwhile, voters in Utah and Missouri approved measures to legalise weed for medical purposes, in spite of protest from the Mormon church in Utah where a considerable portion of the population adheres to the religion.

The approval of recreational marijuana in Michigan would make it the 10th US state to legalise the drug for that use, after prominent states like Colorado, Washington, and California have paved the way. Recreational marijuana is also legal in the District of Columbia.

Medical marijuana will be legal in 33 states with the passage of ballot initiatives in Utah and Missouri.

The push for the legalisation of marijuana in the United States has led to an explosion in the market over the past several years.

Legal marijuana sales reached $9.7 billion in 2017, according to a report form Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. That figure is a 33 per cent increase over the sales in 2016, and showed that legal marijuana sales could grow even in the face of an federal government that is anything but friendly to lax marijuana laws.

That market is only expected to grow, according to the report, and it is expected that legal marijuana will reach $24.8 billion in sales by 2021. That would represent a 28 per cent annual compound growth rate as more and more states legalise the drug for use.

The majority of Americans support legalisation of marijuana, with 64 per cent of Americans saying they favour legalisation in 2017. That poll showed that Republicans, too, backed legalisation for the first time.

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