While final results in many state races and the presidential election remain murky, cannabis advocates have proclaimed a clear winner of the 2020 election: marijuana.
Seven Michigan communities decided on ballot initiatives related to marijuana, nearly all voting to expand the licensing of medical or recreational marijuana businesses.
Beyond Michigan, the Associated Press reports marijuana reform efforts were likely to pass or winning in New Jersey, South Dakota, Mississippi, Arizona and Montana.
New Jersey, Montana and Arizona laws would legalize adult use and possession and create recreational marijuana markets similar to Michigan; the South Dakota law legalizes adult use and possession; and in Mississippi, medical marijuana will become legal.
“The public has spoken loudly and clearly,” said Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “They favor ending the failed policies of marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a policy of legalization, regulation, taxation, and public education. Elected officials — at both the state and federal level — ought to be listening.”
Nearby Southwestern Michigan cities and towns, including Niles and Buchanan, already allow medical and recreational marijuana sales.
Here are the results of marijuana-related ballot initiatives across Michigan, based on results available Wednesday:
Three Oaks Township in Berrien County: A ballot initiative to allow for a limited number of recreational marijuana businesses passed with about 63% support.
Port Huron in St. Clair County: 71% of voters, with all precincts reporting, supported a law to increase the number of licensed recreational and businesses allowed within the city limits. It also allows for the addition of medical marijuana businesses, the Times Herald reports.
Kawkawlin Township in Bay County: An initiative to allow an unlimited number of recreational marijuana businesses lost with about 57% of voters casting ballots against the measure.
Utica in Macomb County: Nearly 54% of voters supported a ballot proposal that would increase the number of businesses allowed to be licensed for recreational marijuana sales.
Village of Lake Orion in Oakland County: Almost 65% of voters in the Oakland County community supported an initiative to allow recreational marijuana businesses in the village.
Village of Pinckney in Livingston County: A proposal to allow for a limited number of recreational marijuana businesses passed with 56% of voter support.
Village of Northport in Leelanau County: Nearly 76% of voters rejected a proposal that would have prohibited recreational marijuana businesses in the village.
Michigan’s recreational marijuana market opened in December of last year and has grown exponentially, with expectations of generating nearly $1 billion in revenue for the industry over the next year.
“We saw record participation in last night’s general election, and cannabis continues to be popular among Americans and Michiganders,” said Rick Thompson, a Michigan marijuana advocate and publisher of the Michigan Cannabis Industries Report.
Still, more than 1,400 of Michigan’s 1,733 cities, townships and villages have prohibited recreational marijuana businesses.
Thomson said legalization efforts across the state and nation are “consistently” succeeding, which he believes will soften the reluctance of many Michigan communities to join the state’s new recreational marijuana industry.
Distributed by Tribune