US states continue to work on marijuana legalization. They have been looking at strategies to gather signatures and qualify for the 2020 ballot. The pandemic made gathering signatures a challenge. People stayed home due to lockdowns. While signature collection failed in many states, some are still working hard. Arkansas faced the same issue. However, a federal judge allowed the state to look at strategies for signature gathering to qualify for the November ballot.
Arkansas steps up for marijuana legalization
There might be hope for marijuana legalization to make it on the November ballot in Arkansas. According to a Marijuana Moment article, a federal judge ruled that the Secretary of State should accept signatures that weren’t collected in-person or notarized. The previous policy wanted signatures to be collected in person, which became difficult after the pandemic hit. Arkansas has until July 3 to collect and submit the signatures. So far, the marijuana reform campaign group Arkansans for Cannabis Reform has collected 20,000 signatures. The group has to collect 90,000 valid signatures from registered voters before the deadline.
The new policy will allow voters to download, print, and mail-in signed petitions. Melissa Fults, the group’s executive director, said, “I am still confident. We’re going to give a hard push these next four-and-a-half weeks—hoping and praying that we get signatures and get them turned in and get on the ballot.” The director has faith that once it reaches the ballot, it will pass since “the support is high in the state for recreational cannabis legalization.”
If passed, the proposal will allow the following:
- Individuals 21 and older would be able to purchase and possess up to four ounces of cannabis flower.
- Individuals could grow six plants and six seedlings.
- Each county should have a minimum of one dispensary.
- 30 shops can operate per congressional district.
- The state will utilize the tax revenue from marijuana sales in after school programs and operations at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Marijuana legalization efforts have continued in a few more states. In some states, lockdowns rules have been easing. Also, some states might consider collecting signatures online. Montana, Nebraska, and Arizona are among those states. Other states including New York, New Mexico, and Texas see legalization as an option to end racial injustice and recover economic losses. Legalization efforts have been continuing in other countries like Mexico and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Bermuda is on track to set up a regulated medical cannabis market. Recently, Lebanon legalized marijuana. Federal legalization in the US still isn’t certain. Democrats and Republicans have opposing views.
Meanwhile, marijuana companies’ stock prices are trading in the green. Marijuana sales have been on the higher side since the pandemic hit. The companies have reported good quarterly numbers except for a few like Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC)(TSE:WEED). Canopy Growth’s fourth-quarter results were disappointing. Most US cannabis companies outperformed their Canadian peers. Curaleaf (OTCMKTS:CURLF) has gained 0.52%, while Green Thumb Industries has fallen 1.9% in June. Meanwhile, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB), Canopy Growth, Aphria, Hexo (TSE:HEXO), and Cronos Group have gained 5.0%, 7.5%, 13.9%, and 57.9%, respectively, as of June 9. Hexo will likely report its third-quarter results on Thursday. Read Will Hexo’s Q3 Earnings Bring Positive News? to learn more.