Voters in these states may choose their option of legalising marijuana

Voters in these states may soon decide whether to legalize marijuana

Initiatives on ballots this November reflect growing bipartisan support for legal recreational pot.

Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota all have measures up for a vote to legalize and levy recreational marijuana.

South Dakota voters will face a ballot initiative that would legalize personal possession and home cultivation, but it wouldn’t create a regulated commercial market, similar to that of Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, a medical marijuana initiative stands a good chance of getting on the ballot in Nebraska.

Ballot referendum efforts this year have focused on recreational marijuana, given that most states already have legalized medical cannabis.

Thus far, 11 states have legalized recreational pot: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington state.

Levying legal weed is looking attractive at a time when states are anxious to boost their coffers.

Jurisdictions often slap an excise tax, along with a state general sales tax, on pot sales.

Currently, 19 states plus the District have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use.

Based on increasing public support for legalization, the ballot initiatives all have a strong chance of passing. More than two-in-three Americans (68 percent) support legalizing marijuana, according to a November 2021 Gallup poll. That’s up from 48% a decade ago.

Still, it’s not a given that all the initiatives will quickly become law, as legal challenges could delay or derail their rollout.

Legalizing marijuana has become a bipartisan issue and a new opportunity for investors to consider). While Democrats generally support legalization at a higher rate than Republican voters do, most of this year’s ballot initiatives are in states where Republicans control the state legislature and the governor’s mansion.

That’s because the amount of revenue they can collect will depend on the structure of the tax and the ease of obtaining a license for growing and selling the product, according to Ulrik Boesen, senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation.

If you’re wondering whether Congress will step in and just make pot legal nationwide, forget it. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has introduced such a bill in the Senate, but it has zero chance of passing. Plus, President Joe Biden has said he opposes legalization.

Boesen pointed to Oregon as an example of a state that’s been relatively successful at legalizing and levying marijuana.

“Oregon has a low tax rate and a flexible licensing system, so there are a lot of growers and retailers,” Boesen said. The Beaver State applies a 17% excise tax on the retail price of pot, generating $102 million in tax revenue during the 2019 fiscal year.

However, legislative efforts to legalize failed to drum up enough support. Lawmakers ultimately decided to go another route and put the measure before voters.

If approved, Public Question No. 1 would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older. The program will be regulated by the same commission that oversees New Jersey’s medical cannabis businesses, and the krecr products would be subject to the state sales tax (currently 6.625%).
By initial estimates, New Jersey’s recreational cannabis market could be hefty. Marijuana Business Daily pegs annual sales between $850 million and $950 million by 2024 — but a successful initiative carries greater significance outside of New Jersey’s borders. The passage of recreational cannabis in New Jersey could accelerate legislative efforts in neighboring New York and Pennsylvania.

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