Cannabis advocates throughout the US are anticipating another green wave in the upcoming elections of November 2020. Earlier, this wave had swept the nation in 2016, where eight out of nine states legalized cannabis in their respective jurisdictions. What will voting for cannabis legalization hold for the future of states who have popped the big question on their November ballots?
Cannabis Legalization Voting in 2020
This year, the decision of legalizing marijuana is going to be placed before voters of five different states in the United States. If the results turn out in favor of the cannabis industry, the sector can be expected to experience some impeccable growth in the future.
With global legalization talks already on the forefront, the CBD market is expected to reach $2.1 billion in consumer sales by the end of 2020 according to Hemp Business Journal.
Other opportunities like recreational expansion of CBD among older populations, increase in medical testing and addition of CBD into a variety of products, mean that there is a niche in the market for many new ventures.
The effect cannabis legalization on the US economy is heavily dependent upon voters’ choice in the November elections. Here is an overview of the states that are going to put the measure on their ballots for voter’s verdict.
In 2016, Arizona’s initiative to legalize marijuana had failed by a small percentage. Out of the total number of votes cast, 48.7% voted in favor of the legalization, putting the percentage of the opponents of the imitative at 51.3%.
This year, Proposition 207 has made it to the ballots again as another legalization effort. Under this Smart and Safe Arizona Act, possession, use and cultivation of marijuana in limited quantities would be permitted by law to adults 21 and older. An additional provision made under the Act is the expungement of past marijuana offense records of individuals.
Industry publications by Marijuana Business Daily estimates recreational sales in the state to reach between $700 million to $760 million by 2024.
Opposition by critics of marijuana legalization in the state include names like Governor Doug Ducey, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Smart Approaches to Marijuana.
As opposed to this, some prominent names of the cannabis industry are backing the recreational initiative of Proposition 207. Curaleaf, Harvest Health & Recreation and Cresco Labs are a few of them.
Success of legalization efforts in New Jersey will have rippling effects on its neighboring states of New York and New Jersey. The decriminalizing of limited quantities of marijuana and halting arrests relating to marijuana crimes imply social justice reforms that the state has already put in place.
According to DeVaughn of Marijuana Policy Project, “At two ounces, it would still be progress for the region. The reality is that for every increase is another life that could potentially be saved; somebody that could not be forced to encounter law enforcement.”
The cannabis legalization initiative known as Public Question No.1, will legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older in the state. The same commission that oversees the states medical cannabis businesses will manage the initiative upon success.
According to the estimates of Marijuana Business Daily, the recreational cannabis market would generate between $850 million and $950 million by 2024. A state sales tax amounting to 6.625% will be applied on the products.
South Dakota is going to be unique participant of the cannabis legalization voting of November elections. This is because usually most states adopt some form of medical cannabis legalization before moving towards the recreational sector.
Unlike this conventional attitude, South Dakota is asking voter’s verdict on both medicinal and recreational marijuana programs under Measure 26. The initiative will make individuals with debilitating medical conditions eligible for a medical cannabis program and a registration system.
An additional marijuana initiative called Constitutional Amendment A is also on the ballot. This will legalize cannabis for all adults and require state legislators to adopt medical cannabis and hemp laws. By the fiscal year of 2024, $29.3 million in may be generated in tax revenue in the state.
Sales estimates are not yet available.
Like South Dakota, voters in Montana will also see two cannabis initiatives on their ballots. I-90 is related to the possession, purchase and use of cannabis for recreational use. The other initiative, CI-118, would regard 21 as the minimum legal age to carry out activities listed in I-90.
The tax on recreational cannabis would be 20%. In addition, individuals serving a sentence for previous cannabis related crimes would have their cases reviewed. This will also include expungments of past records.
If voters favor the initiative, recreational sales in the state could reach $193 million in 2025. Furthermore, the tax revenue could be $38.5 million in the state.
Initiative 65 in Mississippi made it to the ballots as a result of a petition filed by a citizen. Under its provisions, physicians could prescribe medical cannabis to patients with 22 types of ailments. These include various types of cancer, multiple sclerosis and PTSD.
Initiative 65A is another marijuana initiative in the Mississippi ballots. Under this competing measure, cannabis medical products should be of pharmaceutical grade. In addition to this, the quantity of cannabis that can be used by the terminally put under diminution. Furthermore, any the right to make amendments in the present regulations, will rest with the legislature under this initiative.
According to the estimates of Marijuana Business Daily, Initiative 65 would generate medical sales between $750 million to $800 million by 2024.
Recycling Of Tonnes Of Cannabis Containers
Cannabis products formulations in solid, liquid, and smoke-able forms are available in the market for medical and recreational use. Marijuana products are kept under storage conditions set out by the manufacturer.
Cannabis products come in containers of variable sizes and shapes. The material used to prepare containers depends upon the manufacturer’s choice and demand for the stability of marijuana products.
Recycling of containers is occurring for decades to reuse items or process used items into new ones. Doing so reduces pollution and helps to use one material multiple times.
Returning And Recycling Of Cannabis Containers To SDQC
In less than 12 months, about 21 tonnes of empty plastic containers were sent to recycle to the SQDC. SQDC is the company that does the recycling under the name Societe Quebecoise du cannabis. It is a government-owned company.
The company began its recycling package or recovery program in August 2020. Since August, a lot of plastic containers have gone through recovery programs, precisely 2291143 containers.
The use of cannabis products has hugely increased in the market. The number of marijuana containers purchased by consumers is likely to be much more than the number of containers send to SQDC to recycle. There is only a deposit on SQDC beverages included in the RECYCQUEBEC consignment system.
However, there is no deposit on the SQDC containers in the system. Quebecers who do return pot containers do so not for money as they do not get money. They do so to keep containers away from trash.
According to the SDQC, the benefit of returning empty containers is that others materials cannot contaminate cannabis containers. Moreover, doing so ensures that these packaging materials do not end up in the blue boxes. Collecting these empty plastic packaging allows sending a uniform material to businesses that reuse it easily after quick processing.
What Happens To Marijuana Containers After Recycling
The Societe Quebecoise du cannabis signed a partnership with TerraCycle. TerraCycle is a U.S.-based recycling business company. The SQDC sends collected cannabis containers to TerraCycle and other such companies that are in agreement to recycle them.
TerraCycle recycling business company focuses on using the used items to form urban furniture such as park benches, flower boxes, etc. According to some individuals, TerraCycle recycles bags that could have added to pollution or result in a landfill otherwise.
According to the Canadian press, it is uncertain what happens to those containers. It is also unclear how many of such packagings go into and out of the company. No one knows the exact number of plastic packaging required to produce urban furniture. Furthermore, there is little knowledge about other formulations that use this recyclable material. So far, there is no way to find it as the TerraCycle recycling business company does not respond to emails or phone calls as per the Canadian press.
The SQDC, in a Facebook post on a page, announces that they will continue to work to improve the environment. They are working with a team of experts to develop an efficient action plan for cannabis containers and packaging recycling that is eco-friendlier. They are looking forward to going further with their environmental efforts.
Some people are criticizing SDQC for its products that are considered over-packaged or are environmentally unsustainable. Individuals complain that they have to wait in line to return the cannabis containers, and it would be much better if SQDC places outdoor bins in front of SQDC branches. Some individuals, while returning multiple marijuana containers, feel embarrassed.
SQDC replied to these complaints and said that they are aware of the critical remarks. However, they cannot do much about it as they are to abide by the law. Placing outdoor bins cannot ensure control over the material. Outdoor recycling bins can increase the risk of accidental cannabis consumption in children and youth.
Pot Legal In NYC But Where To Buy Recreational Cannabis In New York
Pot products, including recreational cannabis and medical marijuana products, are legal in New York. The lawmakers have successfully approved the weed legalization and decriminalization bill. However, the administration working and policies to implement the bill is taking way too much time.
The disagreements among legislators and the inability to develop a plan to implement the legislation delays implementation of the new bill. Due to delays in proceeding procedures, things have become difficult for almost everyone.
Cannabis Legalization Program Of New York – A Train To Nowhere
Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislatures did approve cannabis legalization and decriminalization bill in March this year. However, there has not been much progress. According to critics, the Governor is the real buzzkill on the issue.
Critics elaborate that Cuomo is yet to nominate an executive director for his new Office of Cannabis Management. He also has to name appointees to the Cannabis Control Board. The Marijuana Taxation and Regulation Act were passed months ago, yet the official is working slowly to appoint and name some people for the office to begin further proceedings.
The Governor is delaying the procedure because the Senate members have not yet passed Cuomo’s proposed MTA legislation. Richard Azzopardi is the spokesperson of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. According to his spokesperson, there are multiple unfinished businesses in Senate. However, they will submit their nominees and names for designated positions. The spokesperson also mentioned that they hope Senate passes MTA legislation and let nominees selected by the governor implement order regarding cannabis.
Politicians Against Delay In Implementation Of Cannabis Legalization Policy In New York
Mike Murphy is the spokesman for Senate Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins. According to Murphy, MTA approval and nominating nominees are separate issues with no interlinkage. Thus, these matters need separate resolutions, and it is best not to try to relate them.
According to State Senator Diane Savino, after observing the current situation, it is evident that the cannabis legalistic program is likely to delay for much a longer time. She added that the public and officials of New York are in between a rock and a solid hard place.
Moreover, apart from the politicians, the public is angry and frustrated at the delay of matters. Residents of the state are unable to understand the logic or reasoning behind the pending situation.
According to Diane Savino, legislatures or lawmakers should walk and sign a joint agreement at the time regarding the subject to settle things as quickly as possible.
The politician further added that nothing can happen concerning marijuana sale policy and license issuance to begin a legal business. At least until regulators develop a set of ground rules to conduct cannabis business, following legal practices is impossible.
What Is More About Marijuana Policy In New York State?
According to Diane Savino, no operation involving marijuana is practicable unless legislators set some ground rules. Licenses to individuals to begin a legal sale, cultivation, processing, manufacturing, or distribution of marijuana is unapprovable before settling some limitations. Moreover, it is inappropriate to approve licenses without designing a regulatory system.
ALSO READ: Cannabis Dealer Stopped By Police
Governor needs to select three people to begin the formation of the five-member Cannabis Control Board. The nominees will first get approval from the Senate to offer their services. The selection of the other two members falls on the legislatures. One member of the five-member committee will be selected by lawmakers from the Assembly and one from the Senate.
The selection of nominees and their approval is the next step after passing the bill, and it took almost a year for completion. Delaying the process cause trouble for the state and the public who had to go to borders to purchase cannabis legally from neighboring states like Massachusetts.
Unless the regulatory and administrative procedures are incomplete, the state is unable to generate revenue. Pending them will only slow down the development process of the cannabis business field and delay experiencing possible benefits from its tax revenue.
Originally covered on: NYPost
Cannabis Products Association With Perceived Risks And Availability
Cannabis products are in use for medical and recreational purposes in more than thirty states of the United States. Some of these states allow medical marijuana products, while others allow pot for all purposes, including adult and medical purposes.
Multiple studies have been conducted relating to cannabis, including pot effects and associations with other factors. Perceived risks and availability links with marijuana use disorders. Moreover, research findings can demonstrate how perceived risks can alter pot use disorders in individuals.
According to a new study at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, perceptions of the risks and availability of cannabis influence the risk of pot use. This influence is more than the perceived risk and effect of perceived availability alone.
The research discovers that individuals that perceive cannabis as a low-risk and available drug are more likely to use cannabis. There are some other findings too. Researchers discovered that individuals with perceptions that cannabis is high-risk and unavailable drug report fewer drug use cases. You can find research discoveries in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
More About Research Regarding Perceived Risks And Availability Effects On Cannabis Use
Natalie Levy is a Doctoral Student of the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School and the first author of the study. According to this research, perception of cannabis risk affects its use, frequency of use, and pot use disorders. Moreover, the availability of cannabis does influence the chances of drug use, its frequency, and marijuana use disorders.
However, the findings show that cannabis risks and availability together influence pot use more frequently. The research focused on the evolution of collective perceptions of marijuana risk and availability from 2002 to 2018.
Data of 949,285 participants helped in doing the investigation or survey studies. These participants are from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Researchers found that over the years from 2002 to 2018, more people perceive marijuana as a low-risk drug. The prevalence of individuals who perceive pot as a low-risk drug doubled in these years. However, the influence of the change in availability perception was comparatively less evident.
The joined perceptions influence was evident in these years. The percentage of individuals with the perception of cannabis as low-risk and available increased from 17% to 36% from 2002 to 2018, respectively. The number of individuals who perceive marijuana as a high-risk and available or unavailable drug decreases in these years. The percentage of people who perceive pot as high-risk and available is 26 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of individuals that consider weed as high-risk and unavailable is twenty-seven percent.
Marijuana Perception Effects
According to findings, individuals who regard cannabis as low-risk have reported and are likely to report six times more about pot use. Individuals with the perception of cannabis being available are five times more likely to use pot.
However, joined perceptions increase the chances of pot use. Individuals with joined perceptions are twenty-two times more likely to use marijuana. That is, people who perceive cannabis as a low-risk and available drug are more than 22 times more likely to use pot than people with the opposite perception.
Marijuana perceptions vary from males to females. A large percentage of the male population views marijuana as a low-risk, more available drug when compared to females. Researchers noted variations in pot perceptions in different age groups of each gender. According to the study, individuals of age 12-17 years show minimal cannabis perception differences.
Silvia Martins, MD, Ph.D., is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School. She is the director of the Substance Use Epidemiology Unit of the Department of Epidemiology. She is also the senior author of the study. According to Martins, their research will open a new pathway for searching specific hypotheses. Moreover, the study highlights the importance of exploring joint perceived risks and availability on cannabis use.
Originally covered on: news-medical
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