Marijuana legalization has started heating up again in 2020. Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Pete Buttigieg discussed their bold stances to legalize marijuana in 2020. Lawmakers and voters in New York, New Hampshire, and Connecticut want to make marijuana legal. Recently, Missouri lawmakers also approved a legalization proposal that the state submitted last year. Now, the state needs to execute the plan.
Missouri launches signature drive for marijuana legalization
On January 30, Marijuana Moment reported that Missouri activists officially launched the campaign for marijuana legalization. The campaign’s target is to collect 160,199 verified signatures from voters to qualify for the 2020 November ballot.
If approved, the proposal will allow individuals 21 years and older to purchase marijuana from licensed retailers. Notably, the proposal will also allow them to grow up to three plants for personal use.
The state will charge a 15% excise tax on marijuana sales. Missouri plans for the tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales to go towards veterans services, substance abuse treatment, and infrastructure projects. The state hopes that a regulated cannabis market will earn $155 million annually by 2025.
Missouri’s campaign has support from two national advocacy groups—Marijuana Policy Project and New Approach PAC. John Payne, the group’s campaign manager, said in a press release, “Eleven other states, including our neighbors in Illinois, have successfully regulated and taxed adult-use marijuana, bringing millions in new funding for state services.”
Other states are also stepping up
The challenge in Missouri is to collect enough signatures before the May 3 deadline. Earlier, Floridians took a similar approach and launched two campaigns to put legalization on the 2020 ballot. The campaigns didn’t get enough signatures before the deadline. However, there’s still hope in Florida. Now, lawmakers are trying to pass legalization proposals for 2020.
A Marijuana Moment article stated that other states are taking a legalization stance in 2020. Mississipi has successfully gathered enough signatures to qualify medical marijuana for the 2020 ballot.
The recreational marijuana legalization drive even qualified for the 2020 ballot in South Dakota. A medical cannabis proposal will be presented to the state voters this year. New Jersey will also put the marijuana legalization measure on the November 2020 ballot. More states will likely put legalization on the 2020 ballot.
Cannabis companies will benefit as more states legalize marijuana. Currently, the cannabis industry is in a cash crunch. MedMen is using its stock as payment to suppliers. The company’s CEO also departed amid its struggles to survive. Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) are cutting their workforce to survive the cash crunch. Recently, Hexo (TSE:HEXO) got downgraded due to lawsuit concerns.
January was a stable month for cannabis stocks. Some of the stocks gained, while some of them declined in January. In February, MedMen has fallen 11.8%, while Hexo has risen 7.2%. Aurora Cannabis stock has risen 12.1%, while Tilray has risen 0.29%.