Yesterday, a green wave washed over America as Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota voted to legalize cannabis, and Mississippians voted to legalize medical marijuana.
While the Presidential Election has yet to be decided upon, and has fluctuated greatly over the past 24 hours, huge gains have been made on the cannabis front, with several states committing to cannabis legalization.
This puts the total number of states with legal, recreational cannabis at 15, and 36 states that have legalized medical cannabis.
As we covered earlier in the week, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Arizona were all scheduled to vote on the legalization and establishment of a recreational cannabis market and Mississipi was due to vote on the creational of a medical cannabis market.
Impressively, all of these ballots were passed by a comfortable majority in each state, with 67% of voters supporting New Jersey’s ballot, 53.4% supporting South Dakota’s recreational initiative, and 56.9% supporting Montana’s legalization effort.
The sweeping legalization follows news that Illinois had just surpassed half a billion dollars in total cannabis sales since legalizing the plant at the beginning of the year.
According to Forbes, “Arcview Research, a top cannabis market researcher, said the estimated value of the combined cannabis markets of the five states that just passed legalization measures is expected to rack up more than $3.1 billion by 2025.”
The green wave of legislative changes to marijuana policy in the U.S. comes amid a tumultuous election, which has oscillated between favouring Joe Biden and Donald Trump throughout it.
As we’ve covered previously, neither candidate is entirely bullish on cannabis, though Joe Biden has the preferable cannabis policy due to his previous pledge to decriminalize the plant, should he win the presidency. Comparatively, Trump has famously taken a “hands-off” approach to cannabis, leaving it up to the states.