Marijuana Legalization Hopes Rise in Nebraska for 2020

Marijuana legalization hopes never really ended in Nebraska. Signature gathering paused in the state amid the pandemic and the lockdown.

Sushree Mohanty - Author

Jul. 24 2020, Updated 12:01 p.m. ET

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Marijuana legalization hopes never really ended in Nebraska. Signature gathering paused in the state amid the pandemic and the lockdown. However, Nebraska came up with new strategies to collect signatures in May and followed social distancing measures. The deadline was July 8 to collect signatures for the medical cannabis measure. Nebraska submitted 182,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Now, the state has to wait and see if voters approve the measure.

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Nebraska works towards marijuana legalization

In May, when the lockdown and quarantine restrictions hit the state, the Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana campaign said that it would start gathering signatures again. The group started the medical legalization initiative in the state. Towards the end of May, the group started collecting signatures again and followed all of the required social distancing measures.

A Marijuana Moment article stated that the group submitted 182,000 signatures on July 9 for the November ballot. The group thinks there are more than enough signatures. The measure will likely qualify for the ballot. However, legalization depends on the voters in the state. The group hopes that the voters will approve the measure and make medical cannabis legal in the state. 

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There’s a huge demand for medical cannabis in Nebraska. Senator Anna Wishart, who is also the co-chair of the campaign committee, said, “Families with loved ones suffering from conditions like epilepsy, PTSD, and cancer have fought for years to make medical cannabis safely accessible. Today represents a huge step forward for thousands of Nebraskans who deserve compassion.”

Now, the measure will need 21,669 valid signatures from registered voters to qualify for the ballot. Also, the rule requires that 5% of the voters are from a minimum of 38 counties across Nebraska. If voters approve the measure, patients in the state who suffer from medical conditions will have access to cannabis. Patients will be able to possess, purchase, and “discreetly” cultivate marijuana for personal use. 

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What’s happening with cannabis companies in July?

Besides Nebraska, Arizona and Montana also successfully submitted the required signatures for their legalization campaigns. The states hope that voters approve marijuana legalization. To learn more, read Arizona’s Marijuana Campaign Qualifies for November Ballot. Illinois’ record-breaking sales month-over-month motivates many other states to work towards legalization. Read Illinois’ Cannabis Sales Soared in June: Which Stocks Will Benefit? to learn more.

Some states like North Dakota, Florida, and New York had to suspend their campaigns due to pandemic restrictions. Although Idaho suspended its campaign, a recent ruling by the court might ignite some hope for legalization in the state.

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Legalization will drive US cannabis companies’ revenue. The companies have already seen drastic growth amid the pandemic. Cresco Labs, Green Thumb Industries, Curaleaf, and Charlotte’s Web Holdings have more scope with additional state legalization.

Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB), OrganiGram (NASDAQ:OGI), Canopy Growth, Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY), and Hexo (TSE:HEXO) will have a chance to expand in the US market.

So far in July, Aurora Cannabis, Cresco Labs, Charlotte’s Web, OrganiGram, Hexo, Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC), and Curaleaf stocks have fallen by 4.0%, 1.2%, 6.5%, 8.0%, 0.62%, 2.7%, and 4.8%, respectively. Meanwhile, Green Thumb and Tilray have gained 1.0% and 5.7%, respectively.

To learn more about the sector, read What to Expect from Marijuana Stocks in July.


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