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Why Marijuana Was A Big Winner From The 2018 Midterms

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Why Marijuana Was A Big Winner From The 2018 Midterms

Democrats took control of the House and Republicans maintained their grip on the Senate, but another winner of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections is the cannabis industry.

Aside from electing political candidates, citizens in six states states had measures related to the legalization of cannabis.

Michigan Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

Michigan voters were asked to give their opinion on Proposal 1, which would fully legalize marijuana in the state. Fifty-six percent voted in favor.

This will instate a regulated system of cannabis cultivation and sales. Adults over 21 will be allowed to grow up to 12 plants at home, posses 2.5 ounces of weed in public and keep 10 ounces in their house, in addition to what they grow. Businesses will be issued licenses and cannabis will be subjected to a 10 percent excise tax in addition to a 6 percent state sales tax.

Benzinga, which recently brought 600 investors to Toronto for the first-ever Cannabis Capital Conference, is hosting the Michigan Cannabis Business Roundtable at its Detroit headquarters Friday, Nov. 9.

Utah and Missouri Voters Approve Medical Marijuana

In Utah, the ballots included Proposition 2, the Medical Marijuana Initiative. This legalizes medical marijuana for people with certain qualifying conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis. The proposition bans smoking pot, however; instead patients can consume edibles, vape and use other means of consumption.

The new law will instate a system to license and regulate medical marijuana businesses and will exempt marijuana from local and state sales taxes. Moreover, people are allowed to grow up to six plants for personal medical use if they live more than 100 miles from a dispensary. Proposition 2 was passed with 53 percent of the vote.

In Missouri, there were three measures related to the legalization of medical marijuana. Amendment 3 would allow doctors to prescribe weed, but would impose a 15-percent tax and ban home cultivation; and Proposition 3 would tax marijuana at 2 percent and set a list of qualifying conditions. Both of these failed to pass.

Amendment 2 was passed with a margin of 66 percent to 34 percent. Amendment 2 sets a marijuana tax of 4 percent, but doctors are allowed to recommend marijuana for any condition they see fit. It also allows patients with marijuana cards to buy at least 4 ounces of cannabis at dispensaries per month and grow up to six marijuana plants.

In this way, Utah and Missouri joined a list that now includes 33 states where medical marijuana is legal.

Wisconsin and Ohio Closer to Legalization

Wisconsin held a referendum to ask voters' opinion on legalization of marijuana across 16 counties. The majority voted in favor of legalization either medicinal or adult-use of marijuana, which signals state officials that they should proceed with the necessary reforms.

In Ohio, six cities had local cannabis decriminalization measures, with five voting in favor of decriminalization.

Stocks Move Higher

Investors appear enthused about the results. Several cannabis stocks traded higher Wednesday morning:

  • Aphria Inc (NYSE: APHA) was up 1.5 percent
  • Aurora Cannabis (NYSE: ACB) up 3 percent
  • Canopy Growth (NYSE: CGC) up 2 percent
  • Cronos Group (NASDAQ: CRON) up 4 percent
  • Tilray Inc (NASDAQ: TLRY) up 7 percent.

The marijuana ETF (NYSE: MJ) was also up about 2.5 percent.

Related links:

Michigan Poised To Become 10th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Marijuana & The Midterms: What's Going On? Why Does It Matter?

* Benzinga, which recently brought 600 investors to Toronto for the first-ever Cannabis Capital Conference, is hosting the Michigan Cannabis Business Roundtable at its Detroit headquarters Friday, Nov. 9.

Posted-In: Cannabis Government News Regulations Politics Top Stories Markets Movers Best of Benzinga

 

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