Montanans have nicknamed their state the “Treasure State” because of its rich production of precious metals like copper, gold, and silver. Starting from January 2021 however, the state will also be associated with a revolutionary legislature known as Initiative 190.
Initiative 190 also known as I-190, is a legislative reform that was drafted with the intent to legalize the recreational usage of marijuana in Montana. Lawmakers in the state put the proposal on the November 2020 ballots for taking the voter’s verdict on this issue.
To the relief of legalization advocates, the state saw significant support from the public leading to the success of Initiative 190 after securing 56.90% of favorable votes. In contrast to this, the percentage of voters opposing it stood at 43.10% – representing the ‘former’ conservative mindset of the state’s legislatures.
Before we move on to the details of legislative reforms that will be put into effect through Initiative 190, let’s take a look at the history of the state’s drug laws.
Overview of Marijuana Laws in Montana
Marijuana was first made illegal in Montana in 1929 following the federal ban of the drug in the US. The Health Committee meeting where this decision was taken is infamous for Dr. Fred Flusher’s racist and ridiculing remarks towards Mexican immigrants.
A local newspaper quoted him saying, “When some beet field peon takes a few rares of this stuff… he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico so he starts to execute all his political enemies.”
The meeting was described as ‘great fun’ by representatives who took the decision-making process. After this, xenophobic laws were drilled into the state’s legislature.
1987 Dangerous Drug Tax Act and the Kurths
In 1985, the Kurth family of Montana resorted to the cultivation and sale of cannabis in an attempt to pay off their debts. Their cattle business was failing so the money from their cannabis ‘side-business’ was really helpful to make ends meet.
However, it was not long after this that drug traffickers got word of their success and the family was soon threatened with extortion and physical abuse. Later, their business was reported, ultimately leading to their arrests, penalties, and property foreclosures.
Under Montana’s Dangerous Drug Act of 1987, a tax of $865000 was supposed to be levied on the plants seized from the Kurth’s farm. The case was significant because it raised questions over whether this tax amount was justified as the family had already been slammed with drug charges and paid related penalities.
Montana Medical Marijuana Act – Medicinal Legalization begins in 2004
Montana adopted its first medical marijuana law in 2004 and called it I 148. The measure was approved after 62% of Montana residents voted in favor of it.
Since then, the growth of marijuana patients had been modest up until 2009. This also corresponded to the subtle relaxations in the federal law towards marijuana.
House Bill 161 – 2011
Between the years 2009 to 2011, the number of medical marijuana cardholders in Montana saw a significant increase. While they stood at 2000 in March of 2009, their volume increased to 31000 by May of 2011.
In response to this, House Bill 161 was introduced to repeal the reforms put into effect by I-148. However, due to the veto of Governor Brian Schweitzer against the bill, state representatives had to make do by putting strong restrictions on the medical program. Initiative I-148 was not repealed.
In November of 2016, Initiative 182 was passed through the approval of 58% of voters. It had proposed relaxations in the possession limits of marijuana and added PTSD to the list of eligible conditions for marijuana treatment.
Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Regulation and Compliance System was put into effect in May of 2017. It signed the mandatory testing and seed to sale tracking of marijuana into law. Also, a tax limit of 4% was imposed on medical marijuana, which was later revised to 2% in 2018.
Recreational Use Gets Legalized in 2020
As mentioned earlier, Initiative 190 marked the legalization of adult-use marijuana in Montana. Here is an overview of the reforms that this initiative will introduce in the state:
Adults 21 or older will be allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Possession of 8 grams of its concentrate is also permissible. Registered cardholders can possess up to four mature plants, four seedlings and a legally permitted quantity of marijuana if they have not named a service provider. If a provider is named by the cardholder, possession of one ounce of medical marijuna is allowed.
It is compulsory uponcardholders to inform related authorities about the number of plants or seedlings about their possession.
Public consumption of medical or recreational marijuana is prohibited under all circumstances. They can only be consumed on private property, away from public view.
Driving, flying an aircraft to boating under influence can lead to severe penalities and repercussions.
Four Tips to Secure Cannabis Dispensaries in Oregon Today
Since the chain of cannabis crime is being beaded at a much faster rate in Portland, Oregano, there is a dire need to enhance the security measures. Robbery of a cannabis dispensary is as money-spinning as of a bank. Until an act is passed to allow the transactions, cannabis dispensaries remain the prime target of a robbery as all dealings continued to be done in cash.
Tips to Fortify Cannabis Dispensaries Security
The recent report by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission showed almost 120 robberies since march 2020 in Portland Metro alone. It resulted in a total loss of $500,000 in terms of both products and cash. To strengthen the security around the dispensary in a quick and easy way, a key step is to install rolling doors to keep criminal activities at bay.
Tip #1 – Tight Security Measures at Storefront
One of the most popular yet helpful ideas to prevent looting is to install heavy-duty steel doors, which can help add an extra layer of protection for the cannabis business. The plus point is that the manufacturer can directly mount it into the already existing buildings exteriorly. Also, these are significantly helpful in protecting the glass windows, which can be expensive to replace.
What’s more, it can block the view of the thieves to the merchandise. These are different from the other standard rolling grills. With these, the criminals won’t be able to see the stockware when the door is closed. Some of the dispensaries have tested their door against the Department of Defense to assure that even no violent attack can harm them. These doors are lift- and pry-resistant.
Tip #2 – Need of Visibility and Ventilation
If the cannabis dispensary owner wants to let the outside world see their merchandise, there is a need for more robust security. With compact impact glass and a heavy-duty grille, it is possible to stay away from the world’s sight when needed.
Easy custom orders and installation makes it an excellent choice to adhere to the security demands. Heavy-duty grilles that have rods closely spaced and strong interconnections are difficult to lift and attack than the standard grilles.
The rolling grilles become even a much better option to protect the counters in the cannabis dispensaries. There is no need to do any modifications to adjust it behind the glass door. It can be easily installed in small places where the ceiling is low.
Tip #3 – Separating Cannabis Dispensary from the Store
Cannabis dispensaries in the high-end stores need extra protection, and thus, important to separate them from the rest of the shop. Cannabis dispensary separated from the rest of the shop can have different operational hours like some states have specifically specified.
The mesh metal grilles look much better and significantly affect the aesthetics of the store. It can deliver both beauty and security while customers can easily view the cannabis products of the store. There are manufacturers who are even designing logos on the grilles to give aesthetic pleasure.
Tip #4 – Secure Delivery to and from Cannabis Dispensaries
The cannabis dispensary owners usually tend to forget about secure deliveries that are most prone to attacks. Deliveries being made at the store back and the receiving areas are usually the areas of concern. It is extremely important to track down the time of delivery, people present there, and the stock delivered.
The heavy-duty service rolling doors provide exceptional security than those traditional sectional rolling doors. They are made to meet the demands of beauty and security, both as they are highly customizable and can be easily adjusted to limited spaces. They offer the idea of security by using stainless steel, galvanized steel, and aluminum in the grilles.
Impaired Driving: A Must Consideration for the State’s Cannabis Bill
Even with the concept of Vision Zero and more raising concerns for the traffic rules, Albany legislators aren’t focused on it, while rushing to legalize the use of cannabis in New York. Silive shares the thoughts of how important it is to slow down the process of legalization and first pass on a bill that would stop impaired driving and hold marijuana-impaired drivers accountable for accidents.
Before the legalization of marijuana, to create a safer environment, it is extremely important to put pressure on the notion that studies categorize all intoxicating substances as unsafe for driving.
Impaired Driving Same as a Speeding Ticket
No consideration against the impaired driving would make people think it unimportant as a speeding ticket. This indirect message by the leaders would eventually lead to a greater number of casualties with each passing day.
It is nothing but a truth that marijuana has the potency to affect concentration, response time, motor function, and movement. Also, the science links a high concentration of THC in the blood due to cannabis intake to impaired driving. Surprisingly, marijuana is a second substance that has a major influence on driving capability after alcohol.
Need to Reinforce the Drug Definition in New York
Apart from considering classifying impaired driving due to marijuana as a minor criminal act, some light should also be shed on revising the term drug as other 45 states have done. Any substance should be called a drug that can compromise the ability to think, focus, and react.
If this act is not taken, according to the law, they cannot be charged if the alleged impaired drivers refuse to have a chemical test. The dismissal would eventually result in chaos and poor law enforcement. Such impaired drivers could not be held accountable and would be back on the roads again, risking the lives of hundreds of people.
The legislators of Albany must think about the message they are conveying to the younger generation out there. Already, as shown by the personal accounts of many teenagers, marijuana is nothing big for them and seems harmless.
Different treatment for impaired drivers than those drunken drivers would further strengthen this perception among people. Since neighboring states have already legalized marijuana for recreational and other purposes, New York seems to be next.
Strict Laws and More Investment in the Traffic Sector
Along with the modifications in the law to serve a better criminal justice system, there is a need to pass on better provisions to ensure safety on roads. No person should become a target of people managing a 3,00 pounds vehicle while being impaired by marijuana, asserts the source.
There should be provisions in the law to hold such people against the criminal act. To run a smooth traffic system, it is mandatory to design out complete traffic safety rules. There should be more people, funding, and resources to train the Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officers and create awareness of the possible effects of drug abuse, including marijuana. As time has changed, the use of synthetic drugs has made it difficult to articulate a specific one; thus, the need for DRE officers has become as important as the need to include the provisions in the bill.
The legalization in New York for cannabis should be set straight from the start. Before the bill includes and assures safety on roads, the legalization of recreational cannabis is a non-starter. All the roads
Cannabis Sales Reaches Skies, Set Highest Mark With $17.5 Billion Sales
The novel coronavirus has been devastating for most industries. For some industries, however, it was bliss. Concerning cannabis, 2020 was a breakout year. Across the United States, 15 states granted permission for adult use, while 35 states allowed medicinal use of cannabis. According to a recent report by Forbes, there was a 46% incline in cannabis sales and use in comparison to 2019, with a budget of $17.5 billion.
Cannabis Sales Increase In Different States
Generation of sales or profit occurs from both medical and adult-use of cannabis. However, recreational or adult-use generates the highest portion of sales, especially in markets like the Colorado marijuana market. In Colorado, the sale of marijuana increased by 26 percent resulting in business involving $2.2 billion.
According to BDSA, an improvement in sales of Oregon occur by 29 percent from 2019. Moreover, the Oregon market makes a business of $1.1 billion. The cannabis market in Illinois is under progress and development. Yet, it was able to achieve the highest sales in 2020.
ALSO READ: Know Doctors Recommended Marijuana Tips
Moreover, during 2020 Illinois marijuana industry expanded from medical use to adult use. As a result of legalizing adult-use, an increase of $784 million occurs in sales. Besides, now Illinois is doing sales of over $1 billion in its marijuana market.
Sales in California and Florida also increased. $ 586 million increase in sales of marijuana in the California market occurs, a total of about $3.5 billion business is happening in it. Moreover, the rise of $473 million occurs in the Florida marijuana market.
What causes The Rise In the Economy Of the Marijuana Industry And Market?
According to BDSA’s insights and analytics department, the cannabis industry is recession-proof and continues to progress. Moreover, it has the most potential of evolving and flourishing.
According to Kelly Nielsen, the rise in the marijuana industry was due to three reasons. Firstly, during the coronavirus pandemic, dispensaries were major-businesses, and many individuals built their own.
Secondly, more devoted customers enter big markets like California, Colorado, and Oregon. Third, multiple states legalize the use of cannabis for both medical and adult use. As a result, the overall sale of marijuana products increased remarkably in the previous year.
Moreover, another major factor is that individuals have begun to consume cannabis in larger amounts. Furthermore, more and more people are now involved in marijuana consumption.
Cannabis users agree that their consumption of cannabis has increased by 25 percent since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the demand for cannabis in legal markets has risen since legalization. According to Nielsen, alcohol penetration is 60 percent, while marijuana penetration is 50 percent.
Cannabis Industry Achieves Mega Sales Hits
Urban Leaf co-founder Josh Bubeck states that 2020 has been a tough year due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, Urban Leaf was able to enhance the market penetration of its cannabis products from 37% to 39%. Moreover, according to Bubeck, the company had its best sales during the last week.
Cannabis companies that have dispensaries at the places of tourists’ attraction suffer the most losses. Similarly, Urban Leaf‘s flagship location near Sea World suffered the biggest-drop.
The legalization of marijuana enables doing business legally and prohibits doing illegal activities. As a result, legal-activities rise, and the pressure of high demand in legal setup rises. Similarly, the closing of illegal dispensaries moves more individuals towards legal dispensaries, leading to a further rise in sales.
Like other cannabis companies, Sava also gets involved deeply in the market. Moreover, according to the founder of Sava, the company observes 60% more growth in their sales during 2020.
According to Andrea Brooks, people are getting comfortable with new legalization and decriminalization policies. Moreover, as people are getting-used-to cannabis policies, the demand for cannabis products is rising, and so are its sales. Despite large profits and sales during the pandemic, no marijuana industrialists want to relive the stressful 2020.
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