The 5 Statewide Marijuana Initiatives Being Voted on This November

This November, voters across the United States will have the opportunity to shape the future of marijuana policy in their respective states.

With five key initiatives set to appear on the November ballot, the upcoming election could significantly impact the landscape of both medical and recreational marijuana. Currently 24 states have legalized recreational marijuana and 38 have legalized medical marijuana, but that number could increase this election.

With that said, below are the five states with marijuana initiatives being voted on this November:

Recreational Marijuana Initiatives

Florida

In November, voters will decide the fate of Amendment 3, which would allow individuals aged 21 and older to possess up to three ounces of dried marijuana flower and up to five grams of marijuana concentrates. These products would be available for purchase through licensed marijuana retail outlets and medical marijuana dispensaries that choose to obtain a dual license.

A University of North Florida poll released in November found that 67% of likely voters support Amendment 3, surpassing the 60% threshold required for the measure to become law as a constitutional amendment.

As of April, the campaign supporting Amendment 3 has raised over $55 million, exceeding the funding of any previous legalization campaign. For context, proponents of California’s successful Proposition 64 raised $25 million in 2016, while those behind Ohio’s Issue 2 (approved last year) raised just $7 million.

South Dakota

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws recently submitted approximately 30,000 signatures for their initiative to legalize recreational marijuana for individuals aged 21 and older. This count significantly exceeds the 17,508 signatures required to qualify the measure for the November 2024 presidential election ballot. Although the initiative will not be officially placed on the ballot until the state confirms that a sufficient number of these signatures are valid (from registered South Dakota voters), the group has submitted enough signatures that more than 40% would need to be invalid for the measure to fail to make the ballot.

If enacted, the initiative would permit individuals aged 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to three marijuana plants at a private residence. Additionally, it would authorize a system of licensed and regulated marijuana stores to distribute marijuana and marijuana products.

North Dakota

North Dakota Secretary of State Michael Howe recently gave approval to an initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana, allowing proponents of the measure to begin collecting signatures in hopes of putting it to a vote during the November 2024 or 2025 election. The proposed initiative would allow those 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, four grams of marijuana concentrates and 1500 milligrams of adult-use cannabinoid products (300 milligrams of this can be in the form of edible products). The initiative would also allow the personal cultivation of up to three marijuana plants, and it would allow marijuana and marijuana products to be purchased through licensed marijuana stores.

The nonprofit political committee New Economic Frontier now has one year to collect 15,582 signatures from registered North Dakota voters in order to put their marijuana legalization measure to a vote. If the signatures are gathered by July 8, the initiative will be voted on this November. If signatures are collected after July 8 the measure would be placed on the 2025 general election ballot.

The 15,582 signature requirement is based on the legal requirement of 2% of the resident population of the state, based on the most recent US Census data.

Medical Marijuana Initiatives

Arkansas

In February Arkansans Attorney General Tim Griffin gave approval to the ballot language of an initiative submitted by  Arkansans for Patient Access that would expand the state’s medical marijuana program and ease access for patients. The group immediately began collecting signatures in hopes of making this November’s ballot. To achieve that goal, they must collect 90,704 signatures by July 5.

The initiative would expand the state’s medical marijuana law, passed in 2016, to allow patients to grow their own marijuana at a private residence, with the limit set at seven mature plants and seven immature plants. It would also remove the retail prohibition on certain smokeable marijuana products such as pre-rolls.

The initiative would also:

  • Allow medical marijuana assessments and renewals to be conducted via telehealth.
  • Allow out-of-state patients to receive protections under the state’s medical marijuana law.
  • Expand new patient cards to last three years rather than one.
  • Allow  physician assistants, nurse practitioners and pharmacists to recommend medical marijuana in addition to  physicians.
  • Allow the above list of healthcare professions to recommend medical marijuana for any condition they deem appropriate, rather than having to follow the current list of qualifying conditions.

The initiative would also legalize recreational marijuana, with the possession limit set at one ounce, if the federal government removes marijuana as a controlled substance.

Nebraska

The nonprofit political committee Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) is currently collecting signatures for a pair of initiatives that would legalize medical marijuana and provide protections for  physicians who recommend it. The group began collecting signatures almost ten months ago, with the goal of 125,000 by July in order to make the November, 2024 ballot.

One of the two initiatives would “enact a statute that makes penalties inapplicable under state and local law for the use, possession, and acquisition of limited quantities of cannabis for medical purposes by a qualified patient with a written recommendation from a health care practitioner, and for a caregiver to assist a qualified patient in these activities.”

The proposal would create the Nebraska Medical Cannabis Commission to provide the necessary “registration and regulation of persons that possess, manufacture, distribute, deliver, and dispense cannabis for medical purposes.”

The second initiative would provide legal protections for  doctors who recommend marijuana to their patients.

Crista Eggers, co-chair of MMM, says she’s “confident” the group will accomplish their goal of putting the initiatives to a vote in 2024.

Polling released earlier this year —commissioned by the Neilan Strategy Group, and conducted by Data Targeting Inc.— found that 70% of voters in the state support legalizing medical marijuana.

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