The cannabis industry was among the winners of the US election, a report suggests.
Of the five states voting on cannabis reform during the election, all five passed their respective ballot initiatives, adding four new adult-use markets and two medical markets.
Those states were New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and Mississippi, as highlighted in a report by Akerna, an enterprise software and compliance technology company.
New Jersey Public Question 1: 67% in favour, 33% opposed
New Jersey Public Question 1 alters the state’s constitution to legalise the cultivation, processing, and sale of cannabis for adults over 21.
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission will oversee the adult-use programs, though the scope of its regulatory authority has yet to be determined by the legislature.
Proposition 207: 60% in favour, 40% opposed
Proposition 207 will legalise adult-use cannabis for individuals over the age of 21 and permit residents to grow up to six cannabis plants per household. The measure also imposes a 16% tax on cannabis sales, allows the state to expunge cannabis-related offenses, and ban smoking cannabis in public.
Initiative 190: 57% in favour, 43% opposed
Initiative 190 legalises the possess and use of cannabis for adults over the age of 21. Cannabis sales will be taxed at 20%, and the Montana Department of Revenue will be responsible for developing industry regulations.
Amendment A: 53% in favour, 47% opposed
Amendment A legalises adult-use cannabis for adults over the age of 21. Adults may legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis, grow up to three mature plants, and cannabis sales are taxed at 15%.
Initiated Measure 26: 69% in favour, 31% opposed
Initiated Measure 26 legalises medical cannabis for patients suffering from debilitating conditions, which is loosely defined as chronic conditions causing cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms. The state Department of Health will be responsible for overseeing and regulating the program.
Initiative 65: 74% in favour, 26% opposed
Initiative 65 amends the state’s constitution to legalise medical cannabis for patients suffering from up to 22 debilitating conditions. Patients may possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis, and sales will be taxed at 7%. The Mississippi State Department of Health will oversee the program and pass regulations.
With a clean electoral sweep, these burgeoning markets will undoubtedly accelerate growth in the cannabis technology sector, as well as the wider industry.
By 2025, the North American cannabis retail sales are estimated to grow to US$40.3 billion.
During that same period, the cannabis seed-to-sale software market is expected to increase from US$330.3 million to US$630.4 million.
Further fueling the potential for growth is the increasing pressure on Congress to enact federal cannabis reform.
Cannabis has not only proven to be popular with both Republican and Democratic voters, but also the substance is now legal, either for adult-use or medical purposes, in more than half of the country.
Akerna CEO Jessica Billingsley said: “We are well positioned to capitalise on these new market opportunities. Cannabis reform once again proves to be a bipartisan issue. One out of three Americans now live in states with adult-use cannabis, and many more live in states with medical cannabis laws. There has never been a better time for Congress to act on cannabis reform.”
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