The Midwest is a mixed bag when it comes to cannabis laws; but following the 2018 Midterm Elections the trend is definitely towards a more comprehensive and unified region with a positive outlook on cannabis, both medical and recreational.
While North Dakota has been struggling to get their medical marijuana industry up and running while voting down a ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational use of cannabis.
“The measure legalizes the use, sale, possession, and distribution of marijuana for anyone 21 years or older. For anyone under the age of 21, the law creates a new specific subset of non-felony penalties. Additionally, the law legalizes “paraphernalia” for marijuana exclusively. Finally, records are expunged for anyone that followed the new law even if it occurred in the past, except for cases of someone being under the age of 21.”
Michigan just legalized recreational cannabis in the 2018 midterm elections in addition to their medical cannabusinesses. (note: Michigan’s spelling of ‘marijuana’ in all legal documents is spelled as ‘marihuana’):
“The purpose of this act is to make marihuana legal under state and local law for adults 21 years of age or older, to make industrial hemp legal under state and local law, and to control the commercial production and distribution of marihuana under a system that licenses, regulates, and taxes the businesses involved. The intent is to prevent arrest and penalty for personal possession and cultivation of marihuana by adults 21 years of age or older…”
Other exciting news from the 2018 Midterm Elections for the Midwest was that Missouri voted to legalize medical cannabis:
Amendment 2: “Instead of creating a short and restrictive list of qualifying conditions, this initiative puts power in the hands of a state-licensed physicians, not politicians or bureaucrats, to determine who will benefit from medical cannabis.”
Tax rate: 4%
Tax revenue spent on: healthcare services for veterans
Both Minnesota and Illinois are eyeing recreational cannabis as well as opportunities for more tax revenue, job growth, and tourism. Both states already have medical cannabis systems in place, so the stage is set for recreational cannabis, especially as the newly elected officials have been outspoken about their support for adult use to come to their state.
While Wisconsin does not currently have a medical marijuana program, the recently elected Governor Evers has said, “he wants to put a legalization question on the statewide ballot for voters to weigh in on and would support ending prohibition if they approved it. In the meantime he wants to enact decriminalization and legalize medical cannabis.” So keep an eye on Wisconsin in 2020 to hopefully see recreational cannabis be legalized, and medical cannabis could be approved even before then!
Cannabis has a bright future in the Midwest if this trend continues!