Tags Posts tagged with "Nevada"

Nevada

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Recreational pot shops might open in Nevada as early as July 1st under a deadline scheduled by the state’s top tax official recently. Regulators at the state Department of Taxation have been creating deadlines and regulations to govern recreational cannabis since voters in Nevada made it legal for adults 21 and older in November. Executive Director Deonne Contine told a panel of state legislators that she hopes to publicize a draft of those rules in March and begin accepting applications for temporary licenses to sell recreational marijuana in May, which would be far in advance of the state’s January 1, 2018 timeline.

Temporary licenses will only be open to medical pot shops in good standing with the state. Contine said she’s aiming to green-light those businesses to sell to the public by July 1st. Based on Contine’s unsure timeline, any entrepreneur could apply for a license to sell recreational cannabis in Nevada as soon as October 2018. Contine said Nevada’s laws will borrow heavily from the state’s medical cannabis rules and Colorado’s recreational pot laws. They will include a formula to set the wholesale price of pot, which will determine how much the state collects under a voter-approved 15% excise tax. The regulations also define how and who can transport cannabis.

While tax regulators work on those guidelines, Joe Pollock, an official who oversees the state’s medical cannabis industry, has increasing worry of how commercial pot will affect the drug landscape in Nevada. Pollock said of medical marijuana shops, “Basically the rurals don’t have dispensaries. If anything, I would be worried that the black market would move toward those rural counties because the recreational marijuana will not be available conveniently in those counties.” Of the almost 25,000 medical cannabis patients in Nevada, 482 of them are under the age of 21, according to Pollock, deputy administrator of the state’s Division of Public and Behavioral Health. Unless Nevada ensures medical cards and cheaper prices than recreational pot, Pollock said, those minors are some of the only patients with an incentive to continue using marijuana for medical purposes.

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mCig, Inc. (MCIG) continued to show strong growth on a quarter-over-quarter basis after the company reported preliminary results for the third quarter which ended on January 31st.

mCig has shown incremental growth following the company’s transition from a pure-play vaporizer company to a diversified holding company focused on the legal cannabis, hemp, and CBD markets as well as the picks & shovels approach with Greenhouse & other cultivation construction projects via their Scalable Solutions division.

Highlights from the company’s third quarter include:

● Generated $1.3 million in revenue (200% higher than the prior quarter) through its construction, CBD, and e-Cig divisions
● Reported $845,000 in net income (adjusted net income of $118,00), a company record
● Generated $341,000 in cash from operations and increased its cash, and cash equivalents to $420,000
● Reported to have more than $1.2 million in current assets with only $287,000 in current liabilities. This provides mCig with an acid test ratio of 4.3:1, its highest rating in company history.

The company’s success in the third quarter has brought total revenue for this fiscal year to $2.2 million. The revenue generated represents a 546% increase from the same period last year, and a 204% increase from last quarter.

MCIG’s net income during the quarter increased its total net income for the fiscal year to $716,000 (32% net profit margin).

From the Management Team

Michael Hawkins, Chief Financial Officer, stated, “For the third straight quarter MCIG has recorded record numbers. With its current contracts and booked revenue the Company will continue to see quarter over quarter growth in revenue.” He went on to say, “During this quarter we will revamp our segment reporting; changing from construction, wholesale, and retail; to construction, CBD, and e-Cig operations. We feel reporting on the segments under these new categories will provide a greater in depth review of our operations to our shareholders and investors.”

mCig CEO Paul Rosenberg said, “The cannabis industry is growing rapidly and MCIG has been there since the beginning. Management continues to focus on its business grow opportunities in Nevada, while continuing to service other states as well.”

A Trend to Watch

Over the last year, mCig has expanded its offering as well as the states it operates out of. The company recently entered its first business agreement in Maine which marked the sixth state the company is operating out of.
Investors should keep an eye on MCIG as this is a company to watch as they continue to expand their cultivation construction arm in the Nevada market, which we anticipate will become the most lucrative market outside of California. The continued execution coupled with a more attractive product and service line has made mCig an attractive partner for many businesses and we expect to see further expansion from here.

We may buy or sell additional shares of (MCIG) in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information. PLEASE READ OUR FULL PRIVACY POLICY & TERMS OF USE & DISCLAIMER (http://marijuanastocks.com/content/terms-and-conditions-use/)

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Cannabis recently became legal for adults in the state of Nevada. However, farming it is illegal unless they live more than 25 miles away from a retail marijuana shop. This is an example of what’s called a “halo rule.” Marijuana Policy Project introduced this idea in the 2010 Proposition 203 that brought medical marijuana to Arizona. It mandated that any patient living within 25 miles of a dispensary could not grow their own marijuana. They would have to register with and purchase their cannabis from their local authorized dispensary. At first, this meant that all patients could grow their own cannabis, as the law went into effect before any licenses had been awarded to dispensaries. However, as the dispensaries opened, every patient within that 1,964 square mile area had to remove their marijuana crops.

The halo concept made its way to Nevada while their legislature dealt with the issue of dispensaries. The state’s law hadn’t authorized any retail outlets, but did allow for all patients to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for medical use. In 2013, the state passed a law that created the dispensaries, with a 25-mile halo rule included. Patients who were already growing were given until this past summer to remove their marijuana crops within the halos. Question 2 was passed in November, also with a halo rule, and with an 18-month lockout on recreational licensing for all but the existing medical marijuana retail shops, growers, and processors.

Washington D.C. and 16 states have passed medical cannabis laws. As legalization continues to increase across the country, our adversaries are going to understand that they can’t win the battle. Their main priority will be to assure that we can’t grow our own marijuana. National legalization polls lingered around 45% and no states with legalization in 2010. But since California’s Prop 19 failed, we have gone 9 for 12 in statewide legalization votes. Seven of the nine wins allowed for personal home grows with no halos.

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Seven states legalized marijuana in some form on Election Day. California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada showed up to support recreational marijuana, while Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota passed ballot initiatives legalizing medical marijuana. As the governor of Colorado said at the time the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, users shouldn’t “break out the Cheetos” just yet. Sales are still a ways away.

Here’s a summary of when residents can use marijuana legally within their states:

Arkansas
For the people who live in Arkansas with one of 17 qualifying medical conditions — including cancer, glaucoma, and fibromyalgia — may now buy marijuana legally with a doctor’s recommendation.

The downside is that there’s no one currently ready sell patients their medicine yet. A newly made state commission will start accepting licensing applications for dispensaries and cultivation facilities on June 1, 2017. It could be a year before the first retailer opens.

California
Residents of the one of the nation’s most pot-friendly states may now use, possess, and transport up to an ounce of marijuana — roughly a sandwich bag full — for recreation, starting immediately.

Yet, there’s no place to legally buy it until January 1, 2018, when the state can begin issuing licenses to marijuana dispensaries that allow them to sell nonmedical bud.

Those eager to light up before 2018 can still do so by becoming a medical marijuana patient. And if you happen to find yourself in possession of a friend’s bud, that works, too.

Florida
Florida broadened access to its existing medical marijuana program by adding 10 new qualifying conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Sunshine State will begin issuing identification cards for patients and registering dispensaries and cultivation facilities by October.

Maine
The most nail-biting ballot initiative of the election gave Mainers the right to possess a whopping 2.5 ounces of marijuana, more than double the limit in most other states. It goes into effect 30 days after the governor certifies the election results.

The state has nine months to develop regulations for licensing recreational marijuana dispensaries and “marijuana social clubs,” delaying retailers possibly for years.

Massachusetts
Massachusetts, which made medical marijuana legal in 2012, will allow residents to consume and carry small amounts of weed without a prescription beginning December 15.

The ballot initiative clears a path for marijuana retail stores to open in the state as early as January 1, 2018, which could bring in some $300 million in new tax revenue.

Nevada
Voters gave a resounding yes to recreational marijuana in Nevada, where it will become legal to possess up to an ounce of marijuana, effective January 1.

The ability to sell will take much longer. The measure directs Nevada’s taxation office to implement regulations by the end of 2017 in preparation for a 2018 retail launch.

North Dakota
Patients with one of a dozen qualifying medical conditions may have an unprecedented 3 ounces of marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. If the resident lives 40 miles from a dispensary, they may grow up to eight plants for personal use. The law takes effect in February.

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Tuesday night brought in the biggest electoral victory for marijuana reform since 2012. People in California, Nevada, and Massachusetts accepted recreational marijuana initiatives. In Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota voters have approved medical marijuana initiatives. In Arizona, a similar legalization measure did not gain enough support to pass, having a 52 percent rejection rate.

Reformers were triumphant. “This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.”
California has been a leader by both supporters and opponents of marijuana reform. California makes up approximately 12 percent of the U.S. population. The economic impact of the state could encourage federal authorities to rethink their 10-year probation on the use of marijuana.

“The prospect of Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christie as attorney general does not bode well,” the Drug Policy Alliance’s Nadelmann said in an interview. “There are various ways in which a hostile White House could trip things up.”

Nadelmann pointed to the success of marijuana measures during an evident Republican wave as a sign that support for legalization now cuts deeply across party lines. And quoting Trump’s often contradictory statements on marijuana and drug use in the past, Nadelmann added that “Donald Trump personally could probably go any which way on this.”

Legal marijuana is also making its way into the Northeast. “Marijuana legalization has arrived on the East Coast,” said Tom Angell of the marijuana reform group Marijuana Majority in an email. “What Colorado and other states have already done is generating revenue, creating jobs and reducing crime, so it’s not surprising that voters in more places are eager to end prohibition.”
Opponents of lega

legalization said they were disappointed by the outcomes. “We were outspent greatly in both California and Massachusetts, so this loss is disappointing, but not wholly unexpected,” said Kevin Sabet of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana in a statement. “Despite having gained considerable ground in the last few weeks, the out-of-state interests determined to make money off of legalization put in too much money to overcome.”

In Florida and North Dakota, the votes on medical marijuana were decisive. Florida’s Amendment 2 passed with 71 percent support. In North Dakota, the AP shows 64 percent of voters approving of the medical marijuana measure.

“This is a major tipping point,” said Tom Angell of Florida’s vote. “With Florida’s decision, a majority of states in the U.S. now have laws allowing patients to find relief with medical marijuana, and these protections and programs are no longer concentrated in certain regions of the country like the West and Northeast.”
The victory in North Dakota was surprising as no polling was done on the measure before the vote. As well, the medical marijuana measure will allow doctors in North Dakota to recommend pot for several severe medical conditions.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 25 other states and the District and with the passage of Amendment 2, Florida will become the first Southern state to pass a robust medical marijuana regime. “Better late than never,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the drug reform group Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “Most states outside the South already have legal medical marijuana, but the overwhelming victory today in Florida is likely to accelerate the momentum for reform throughout the region.”

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The votes are in and the 3 biggest states out of the 9 with initiatives for Medical marijuana and recreational marijuana have passed. California passed recreational marijuana, Nevada passed recreational marijuana and Florida passed medical marijuana. As I write this it seems that Donald Trump will be our next President and global markets are hitting the panic button, it seems that Gary Johnson is responsible for this, but we already wrote that story in June. Silver lining here is that Marijuana Stocks are event driven equities and the passage of laws for these three states is a major catalyst for an industry that has historically been recession proof.
Here are a few of the companies that stand to benefit from legalization by state

Florida: AGSTF (TSX:AGS)

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Arcturus GrowthStar Technologies just entered into an LOI to purchase a farm that is in a designation zone for cultivating cannabis. The company was pretty wise in this potential acquisition because the farm already produces $2.6m in annual revenue and if Florida’s amendment 2 didn’t pass their ability to quadruple yields with their controlled environment Agritech (CEA) would have still been a huge win for the company. Now that Florida has passed medical marijuana the potential for revenues is still rather large. It’s also important to note that there are currently 6 licensed producers by region in the state that will need to be expanded to meet what will likely be massive demand. Factor in that AGS hired the former VP of operations of Tilray which is Canada’s biggest private licensed producer and it stands to reason that their is an unknown strategy at play here. Canadian companies can touch the plant state side and still be public, unlike many of the US based public companies, but do not forget tAGS also has an urban farm in Rhode Island currently being built out.
On the chart AGSTF previously had resistance around $0.145 that was broken to the upside on heavy volume on October 5th. The stock went on to hit $0.384 on October 6th just days after we published a Connect the Dots piece on the company. Over the past month, we have been introducing our readers to this company as we believe they could play a major role in the overall marijuana industry’s expansion. The $0.145 area that was once resistance, is now acting as major support. AGSTF tested this level three times over the past month and held beautifully.

A descending triangle or wedge formed throughout October that was broken to the upside on massive volume on November 7th and experienced strong follow through on the 8th. If momentum is sustained it won’t be long until we see AGTSF test the previous high of $0.384. And a favorable marijuana ballot vote in the state of Florida could catapult AGSTF to brand new highs.

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HEMP is yet to really participate in the marijuana industry rally. But there are some key technical indicators to watch for a trade to trigger. Also their facility to process industrial hemp is about to be turned on. It has been a long road for Hemp inc, but they currently have millions of pounds of industrial hemp ready to process and turn into LCM’s. LCM’s are basically filler for oil wells that are being drilled and they are low impact on the environment, effective and cheap; they also go for about $2 a pound. It stands to reason that the shift in cannabis will make growing hemp US wide a no brainer. Hemp also has one of the only processing units in the country. As for the chart…

The $0.036 area has been solid resistance for several months until broken to the upside on heavy volume on October 21st. That $0.036 area is now acting as support being tested twice already. We also see a descending triangle/wedge pattern now forming. If the support area continues to hold, a break out of this descending triangle pattern on high volume could ignite a move back to retest the $0.055-$0.06 area.

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Nevada: MCIG

MCIG is one of the most well known companies in the Pot Stock space and they are also one of the few companies that has taken on any type of toxic financing to fund the operation. They have bolstered their revenues in the ecig/vape market, graduated to selling top notch CBD products in the US and international markets and created a division geared towards construction for cultivation operations called Scalable Solutions. Nevada just passed recreational in an already red hot medical marijuana market. We are about to see an explosion of new money come into the state in order to support the license holders or current license holders will ramp up production that will likely be at a deficit. Supply and demand issues will be an absolute windfall for MCIG and this decision. Its actually quite exciting when you consider there is absolutely nothing in MCIG’s way in terms of debt and legacy shareholders. Factor in that they have roughly 70,000,000 shares of VTCQ stock which is trading at .01 and it stands to reason they will be able to self fund any expansion they may need to meet what will surely be growing demand. On the Chart…

MCIG continues to trade in a strong uptrend on very high volume. After breaking through resistance around $0.135 on November 2nd, we saw that same $0.135 area hold as support on November 4th. Volume has remained high throughout the breakout as MCIG briefly made new highs on November 8th but failed to hold a green close finishing the day -0.75%. $0.18 is now a new minor support level heading into a critical marijuana ballot in the state of Nevada. A favorable vote in Nevada would do wonders for MCIG and their operations. And with no debt conversions or dilution on their books, there shouldn’t be much to hold MCIG back from making a push to the $0.30 area or higher should we see a favorable marijuana vote in Nevada.

California: MSRT

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The easiest way to explain this is that the vote for recreational marijuana just passed in the biggest state and now this market completely opens up to the company as growing demand for advertising will be needed for the flood of new companies, products and native consumers. On the Chart…
MSRT has a resistance area in place along with a double top at $1.08. MSRT has two support areas in place from gap ups that need to hold in order for us to break through the double top. These levels are $0.97 and $0.75. A break above $1.08 on high volume could take us to the $1.50 area possibly testing previous highs from April of this year.

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The impact of today’s marijuana legalization ballot initiatives will set the course for the next four years’ drug policy in the United States and hopefully pave the way for a more inclusive, less archaic system. If the polling data stands tomorrow as it has for the last week we can also be seeing a boost in capital markets associated with Marijuana Stocks from the Nasdaq to the OTC. California, a long bell weather for social change is pivitol to US consensus with regards to marijuana. Should they, as well as other states, legalize the use of recreational marijuana, many onlookers, pundits and politicians including President Obama could get behind a paradigm shift guided by the logic that current prohibition is doomed to fail.

The initiatives in the state California and Massachusetts seem to be strongly supported to pass, with recent polls showing support over 60% in both states. The Nevada and Maine seem to be coin flips if you account for the margin of error in averaging out polls, yet margins are still in favor of passage. Arizona is another state that is a coin flip, you can thank INSY Therapeutics for their $5,000,000 contribution in opposition of the bill. Clearly Big Pharma realizes that it’s a zero-sum game and marijuana passage destroys their bottom line as pain medication is the industries bread and butter.

California:

The most current poll, by USC Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times, reveal 58 percent of voters are in full support of the measure while only 37 percent stand against it. Keep in mind that most of the revenue generated in the United States comes out of California just on the medical marijuana side. Recreational passage seems likely and a flood of investors both public and private will rush to dip their toe, if not their whole bodies in the California market. Ancillary companies aiding in this expansion both public and private stand to make large investments into this market. The average of all polls on the question that took place since Sept. 1 displays 56 percent of support for the measure, while 32 percent opposed to it, and 8 percent are not sure how to vote.

Nevada:

Currently polls in Nevada have revealed conflicting outcomes, there has also been a lot of money coming in from casino mogul Sheldon Adleson to try and keep gabling the vice industry of the state. Last year, Adelson contributed $10m to defeat the measure in Florida, still polling data is leaning towards passage in two Bendixen & Amandia International polls. The Rasmussen poll show stronger support for a market that is already well capitalized. Should the measure pass, Nevada and the Las Vegas market will be in our opinion the best game in town. Low cost of energy and cheap water (surprisingly) will have infrastructure measures being scaled up.

Arizona:

Polls show that the state of Arizona is the one true toss-up among the five marijuana legalization measures under consideration. Throughout six surveys that were carried out since September 1, the measure has crossed the 50 percent threshold only 2 times. Averaged out, the numbers show 47 percent of support for the measure, 46 percent who are not in favor and stand in opposition of the measure, and 7 percent undecided. The direction those undecided voters take will determine the fate of the measure.

Maine:

Maine is hard to tell with two polls on the marijuana measure have been fielded since Sept. 1. Both show favorable support for the measure, averaging out at 52 percent & 40% who oppose it, but it’s Maine. No one is there and we don’t anticipate a robust market to start.

Massachusetts:

God doesn’t want Massachusetts to have medical marijuana? Didn’t jesus heal the sick? The Boston Archdiocese of the Catholic Church donated $850,000 dollars to fight the measure, the biggest donation ever from a religious party on any side of a marijuana initiative. Maybe they should work on fighting alcohol since it actually kills people. It didn’t look good for Massachusetts, but maybe the drunkards will be hungover and vote yes for the measure. The silver lining here is that since September polling averages show 54 percent support over the latest six polls, with only 35 percent opposing it, so maybe the devil has a sense of Humor.

Florida:

Amendment 2 will pass because we have been spending big bucks supporting it along with United for care, John Morgan and a bunch of others. Latest poll said 73% in favor and Floridians would be morons to not vote #YesOn2 since this is a state that’s main industry besides tourism is real estate and with banking restrictions the only way people will be able to launder their profits legally they’ll have to use real estate. Keep in mind that this measure will be expanded most likely because the current license holders will never be able to meet demand. Also factor in Florida neighbors watching closely, especially in the bible belt as opioid addictions drop and tax revenue swells. Companies positioned here will have 1st mover advantage and there are already a few on our radar, but rather than say which ones, we would rather get people to get out and vote. Tomorrow we will tell you where the opportunities are at. Cheers-

@Wolfofweedst

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Whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump win on Nov. 8, pot smokers may be victorious as well. Considering five states have ballot initiatives that could make marijuana legal for adult use; regulating and taxing it like alcohol— Election Day can be a huge turning point for the cannabis reform movement. Three states are also campaigning to legalize medical cannabis bringing the total to 28. There are also a bunch of local, citywide initiatives. The most critical vote is in California, where polls suggest the “Adult Use of Marijuana” referendum has a substantial lead.

“When you see voters from San Diego to San Francisco coming together in support of this type of policy shift, it suggests that it is also likely to appeal to a broad swath of voters in other parts of the country,” Mason Tvert, a spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Yahoo News. “At the federal level, it will inspire more members of Congress to take a closer look at the issue. At the state level, it will help legislators recognize the writing on the wall and start thinking about their own prohibition exit strategies.”

A recent Gallup poll reported 60 percent of Americans support making marijuana legal.

Recreational cannabis

State: Arizona

Ballot initiative: Proposition 205 — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

What’s at stake: Proposition 205 would allow adults over the age of 21 to possess a total of one ounce of weed, consume weed in private and cultivate a maximum of six weed plants at home. It could also establish cannabis retail stores and manufacturing facilities licensed by the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control.

Will it pass? Proposition 205 is supported by registered Arizona voters 50 percent to 40 percent, according to an Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite News poll.

Barrett Marson, communications director for “Yes on 205,” told Yahoo News, “People are using it. People are buying it on the street. People are doing it illegally. It is time to end the failed policy of prohibition. In doing so, we can heavily tax and regulate the sale of marijuana. Eighty percent of the revenue would go to education funding here in Arizona … and the other 20 percent would go to drug and alcohol programs at the Department of Health Services.”

State: California

Ballot initiative: Proposition 64 — The Adult Use of Marijuana Act

What’s at stake: This would allow adults over the age of 21 to possess and consume one ounce of weed and eight grams of weed concentrates and cultivate a maximum of six cannabis plants at home. It would also enact a 15 percent excise tax on all marijuana sales.

Will it pass? Proposition 64 is supported by registered California voters 52 to 41 percent, according to a SurveyUSA poll.

State: Maine

Ballot initiative: Question 1 — Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

What’s at stake: It would allow adults 21 and older to possess a limited amount of marijuana and grow a limited number of marijuana plants at home. It would establish a regulatory system of licensed marijuana retail stores and associated facilities and enact a 10 percent marijuana sales tax, which would be used to enforce regulations.

Will it pass? Adults in Maine support Question 1 by a substantial margin — 50 percent to 41 percent — according to a University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll.

David Boyer, campaign manager for “Yes on 1,” told Yahoo News, “We think it would be good for Maine because our current system has failed. Marijuana is readily available, and we know from other states’ track records that regulating and taxing marijuana is a far better approach. We’re going to generate millions and millions in new revenue that can support things like education, and we’re going to save law enforcement time and resources so that they can focus on serious and violent crime rather than adults possessing small amounts of marijuana.”

State: Massachusetts

Ballot initiative: Question 4 — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

What’s at stake: This would allow adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana and establish an entity that’s similar to the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission to oversee licensed retail stores and cultivation facilities.

Will it pass? Likely voters in Massachusetts support Question 4, 53 percent to 50 percent, according to a WBZ-TV, WBZ NewsRadio, UMass Amherst Poll poll.

Jim Borghesani, the communications director for “Yes on 4” told Yahoo News, “We think that it’s imperative to end marijuana prohibition because it’s been a vast failure. All it’s done is create a commerce dominated by criminals, and it’s forced buyers into dangerous markets where they’re exposed to deadly drugs like heroin and fentanyl. What we’d like to do is take the commerce away from criminals and put it with regulated and taxed businesses under the complete control of state authorities.”

State: Nevada

Ballot initiative: Question 2 — The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

What’s at stake: It would allow adults 21 and older to possess and use up to one ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of concentrated marijuana. People who live more than 25 miles from a retail marijuana store would be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home. It would also establish a 15 percent excise tax on marijuana sales.

Will it pass? Nevada voters support Question 2, 50 percent to 41 percent, according to a KTNV-TV/Rasmussen Reports poll.

Joe Brezny, a spokesman for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, told Yahoo News, “The big-picture benefit of regulating marijuana is the elimination of the dangerous and criminal marijuana market. Instead, we will have marijuana produced and sold by regulated business that test and properly package products while generating tax revenue for the state. It is also way beyond time we stop punishing adults for using a substance less harmful than alcohol. This is especially true in the minority communities, where marijuana laws have been enforced more harshly. Passage of Question 2 will enhance public safety and advance social justice.”

Medical marijuana

State: Florida

Ballot initiative: Amendment 2 — Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions

What’s at stake: The amendment would legalize medical marijuana “for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician” and allow caregivers to assist patients in their use of medicinal cannabis. In 2014, a similar ballot initiative that would have legalized medical marijuana in the Sunshine State was supported by 58 percent of Florida voters, falling just short of the 60 percent approval it needed to pass.

This time around, medical marijuana activists are confident the influx of younger voters in a general election year will put them over the top. And Americans in general overwhelmingly support medical marijuana use.

“This election year — with a hotly contested presidential race on the ballot — turnout is expected to be much higher,” Paula Dockery, a former Republican state representative from Lakeland, said in the Orlando Sentinel. “Remember, the first ballot proposal failed by only two percentage points.”

Will it pass? Most likely. According to a recent University of North Florida survey, 73 percent of voters approve of the amendment, well above the 60 percent needed to pass.

State: Arkansas

Ballot initiative: Issue 6 — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment

What’s at stake: The amendment would legalize medical marijuana in the Razorback State for 17 qualifying conditions, create a Medical Marijuana Commission and allocate tax revenue from sales of medical marijuana to technical and vocational schools.

A competing ballot initiative — Issue 7 — would have legalized medical marijuana for 56 qualifying conditions and allowed patients who don’t live near a dispensary to grow their own marijuana. But the Arkansas Supreme Court disqualified that measure, saying the group that created the proposal, Arkansans for Compassionate Care, violated state laws regarding the reporting and registration of paid canvassers. (The group has asked the court to reconsider.) But even if were reinstated, medical marijuana faces an uphill battle in Arkansas.

Last month, the state’s governor and lieutenant governor held a joint news conference with business leaders to argue that legalizing medical marijuana would hurt the state’s efforts to keep and attract businesses, particularly when it comes to issues arising from drug testing of employees.

“It will not help us in the direction we need to go in Arkansas in terms of increased economic success in this state,” said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former head of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

But Ryan Denham — deputy director for Arkansans for Compassionate Care, one of the groups in favor of the amendment — said that hasn’t been a problem in the 25 states that have legalized medical marijuana.

“They don’t have these types of societal or workforce problems,” Denham told reporters. “And largely it’s been a net positive for the state economies.”

Will it pass? Unclear. A poll released Wednesday found 51 percent of Arkansas voters are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, with 49 percent opposed. The measure requires a simple majority to pass. And in 2012, Arkansas voters narrowly rejected legalizing medical marijuana.

State: North Dakota

Ballot initiative: Initiated Statutory Measure 5 — The North Dakota Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative

What’s at stake: The measure would legalize the use of medical marijuana to treat debilitating medical conditions such as cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), glaucoma and epilepsy, and develop regulatory procedures for growing, dispensing and using medicinal pot. In 2015, the North Dakota House declined to pass a similar bipartisan bill that would have allowed patients and caregivers to possess cannabis for medical use.

In a late push ahead of next week’s vote, supporters of the measure have launched a statewide TV ad campaign — the “Faces of Measure 5” — featuring seriously ill people making emotional pleas for legal access to medicinal marijuana. (They all end their stories by saying, “Medical marijuana would help me.”)

“These are real North Dakotans who would experience real benefits from medical marijuana,” Anita Morgan, who represents the North Dakota Compassionate Care 2016 campaign, wrote in an email. “It is a sensible and compassionate proposal that would ensure patients safe and legal access to medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it.”

Will it pass? Hard to say. While a recent poll conducted by the University of North Dakota found 47 percent of voters supported the measure compared to 41 percent who oppose it, state law requires at least 50 percent support for it to pass. The same poll found more than two-thirds (68 percent) of North Dakotans oppose legalizing recreational marijuana, while 24 percent support it.

Opposition

Not everyone is welcoming the increasingly liberal attitudes and policies concerning marijuana.

Carla Lowe, founder and co-chair of Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM), a political action committee in California, argued that Proposition 64 will exacerbate the social ills she attributes to pot use.

“What it’s going to do to neighborhoods, we’re concerned about that. People are already complaining about the horrible smell from pot grows,” Lowe told Yahoo News. “We’re concerned about the increased use of marijuana. Any time kids think it’s no big deal. Just go back and look at Colorado and Washington. Kids’ use will go up. The bottom line is that the people who are behind this issue are in it for huge money.”

When asked if anyone has the right to control what otherwise law-abiding citizens ingest, Lowe said that the United States government does because “we are a nation of laws.” Under federal law, marijuana is still classified as a schedule 1 drug — in the same category as heroin.

Marijuana laws as they stand

Here’s the current makeup of marijuana access in the United States looks leading up to the election:

Legal recreational marijuana is available in four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington — and the District of Columbia. Legal medical marijuana is available in D.C. and 25 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

In 2013, the Justice Department announced that it would not challenge or block state laws that conflict with federal law regarding marijuana policy.

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While many people are excited to be given the chance to vote on the recreational use of marijuana, many advocates fear legalizing the drug for recreational use will cause patients to opt for cheaper weed.
The medical marijuana industry is troubled over what will happen to the market competition if these ballots are passed. The states that are fighting for this cause in this election, already have established and thriving medical marijuana industries.

Medical growers fear that if corporations are allowed into the business, the corporations’ profit motives will uproot medical grower’s efforts to treat patients with the drug, reports The Denver Post.The people who are supporting the broadening legalization are arguing that medical vendors are dismayed that they are losing their monopoly of the industry. The supporters believe the ballots will benefit medical patients.

“When it’s legal we’re going to see an increase in quality and a decrease in cost, and that is really good for people who need access to this medicine,” Carey Clark, a board member of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, told The Denver Post. “Things will be labeled and they’ll know what they’re getting.”

California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada are the five states who are putting recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot this November. An additional four states will be voting on medical marijuana. Gallup displayed a recent poll that shows that 60 percent of Americans favor legalization, which is the highest support the issue has registered in nearly 50 years.

However, supporters of recreational legalization and those who want to protect the medical industry are not so happy with one another and the friction from the competition is growing. Doctors who treat patients with medical marijuana fear patients will bypass their doctor and the doctor’s recommendations, and purchase the medical marijuana themselves.

“This is being structured for big corporations to come in and in a very short period of time wipe out the caregivers,” Lori Libbey, a nurse who administers medical marijuana, told The Denver Post. “I wonder who is going to be able to provide for pediatric patients.”

Activists are optimistic for a push towards national legalization and the record national support is the leading cause of this hope.

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As of now, the polls look promising for making legalization of cannabis the law of the land throughout the nation, but there is no telling what voters in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada will do regarding the pending initiative measures come election time. This can pose many obstacles. To begin with, we have faced resistance from new, organized and well-funded groups in recent campaigns. Although legalization currently receives more public support than ever before, critics are using this against us stating we are treading unknown waters. Opponents are creating hysteria about legal cannabis in order to hype and motivate voters using distorted reports about the impact of legalization in states where legislation has already been enacted.

Another thing to keep in mind is that although growers in California favor an end to prohibition, they fear competition from big business under Proposition 64 which will go before voters this fall. Many growers find it more profitable to sell marijuana to non-legal states creating opposition from existing cultivators and another roadblock to reform. If this happens it will emphasize the need for national legalization, but can also create repercussions that will continue to stall legalization in other states. In order to successfully legalize the sale of cannabis, we need to educate the critics and help them realize that the sale of illegal cannabis is a successfully thriving industry under current prohibition. Despite all efforts by law enforcement to control the illegal industry, marijuana has remained widely available. According to national survey data, millions of people sell marijuana every year yet only an average of 90,000 arrest are made. This is roughly only 2 percent.

These facts alone should be enough to convince critics that prohibition is useless. There are two sides to the issues at hand. On the one hand, supporters of prohibition are in denial as to the extent, scope and determination of the illegal marijuana market. On the other hand, advocates of legalization avoid speaking about the yearly arrests for marijuana sales when addressing the need to abolish the illegal market. The public empathizes with the injustice of arresting marijuana users; however, they do not have any remorse towards people who sell marijuana. Legalization advocates know this, and consequently rarely refer to sales arrests when they make arguments against prohibition. But they need to start doing this to close the deal.

Marijuana sales arrests are important because in the aggregate, looking at the total, they quantify the futility of trying to make prohibition work as an effective means of drug control. Ironically, many individuals arrested for marijuana sales are in fact only marijuana users. Current law states that individuals possessing more marijuana than lawmakers feel is deemed as recreational are to be arrested, charged and prosecuted with intent to distribute. Many cultivation cases are charged as manufacturing with the intent to distribute based on a prosecution argument that the amount being grown is more than an individual would consume in a year’s time. They make this case by exaggerating the potential yield of the plants involved and minimizing the amount of marijuana someone might consume.

There are also many cases of people who smoke marijuana and simply buy large amounts in order to get better prices and avoid multiple trips in traffic; hence saving time and money. These individuals could be arrested and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute solely because of the amount involved. These are some examples of how marijuana sales arrests are not a good indicator of how many professional drug dealers have been arrested. Even when people possess marijuana with the intent of selling it, their plans are to sell it to a close circle of friends in order to decrease cost (a fact also supported by national survey data).

In any event, sales arrests tell us something important about public policy—there is no way to control the current illegal marijuana market through arrests and criminal sanctions. That deserves discussion, and greater attention to this issue also will call supporters of prohibition to account for their implicit support for overpriced, non-regulated illegal marijuana sales. This is the discussion the public needs to hear in order to close the deal on legalizing cannabis throughout the United States.

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