Which states could legalize recreational weed on Election Day?
ON NOVEMBER 8, voters in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota are proposing medical marijuana. The five recreational states are all polling well at this point. Here is the quick and dirty on each.
Arizona would allow adults over 21 to possess one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants at home in an enclosed, locked space (which is pretty weird). Retail pot licenses would be capped at 10 percent of retail liquor store licenses, which is unfortunate, and sales are taxed at 15 percent. This initiative seems cumbersome, but it’s probably better than nothing. This one is polling at “flip a coin.”
California would allow adults over 21 to possess up to 28.5 grams (roughly an ounce) of flower or up to eight grams of concentrate. Adults could also grow up to six plants at home. The initiative creates an astonishing 19 different licenses for pot-related activities, and recreational sales would be taxed at 10 percent. State residency is required for licensure, which is a bad idea and possibly unconstitutional (see: dormant commerce clause), but that restriction expires in 2019. If California passes, it’s probably game over for federal prohibition. This one is polling at “almost a done deal.”
Maine would allow adults over 21 to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Adults could also cultivate six flowering plants and 12 vegetative plants at home. Retail sales would be taxed at 10 percent. Maine appears to have set this up nicely, and it’s good to see an Eastern state get in on the action. This one is polling at “slam dunk.”
Massachusetts would allow adults over 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana or five grams of concentrate. Adults could also grow up to six plants, but possess only 10 ounces at home (small plants). The sin tax is pretty low, at 3.75 percent, which is on top of the state sales tax. However, the dreaded option for local bans is included, which could result in a patchwork of pro- and anti-cannabis jurisdictions statewide. Sound familiar? This one is polling at “signs point to yes.”
Nevada would allow adults over 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana flower and a stingy one-eighth ounce of concentrate. Those who live farther than 25 miles from a licensed store could grow up to six plants in a locked area. There will be no stores allowed in Las Vegas itself... just kidding! You would definitely be able to buy weed in Las Vegas. Here, ordinary sales tax applies, with a wholesale tax at 15 percent. This one is polling at “too close to call.”
Currently Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Washington, DC, all allow recreational marijuana use. If that number goes up to nine states in November, 73.4 million Americans will have access to recreational markets. That is impressive, and more importantly, irrepressible. November 8 should be a big day for legal weed nationwide.