Cannabis Emerges as the Winner of the Midterm Elections

The biggest winner of the midterm elections may not have been any particular party, but rather the cannabis industry. The outcome largely reflected the continuing shift of public acceptance towards the legalization of cannabis. Once the dust settled, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize recreational use of cannabis, while Missouri and Utah joined the states that have legalized the plant for medical use. In addition, nearly half of the newly elected governors previously voiced their support for legalization to varying degrees. With the resignation of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions – who previously expressed his desire to prosecute the commercial sale of cannabis under federal law – the “green wave” continues its momentum forward.

In sum, 10 states allow for the recreational use of cannabis, 33 allow for its medical use, and 13 allow use of  cannabidiol (CBD) – a naturally occurring cannabinoid contained in cannabis. Only 3 states remain that outlaw cannabis entirely – Idaho, South Dakota, and Kansas. The map presented by the Cannabis Business Times aptly summarizes the current state of affairs: https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/page/marijuana-legislative-map-cbt/

As 2018 winds down, we look ahead to 2019 and expect continued policy change in favor of legalization and (much needed) reform to existing regulations in this evolving landscape.

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