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Cannabis ballot measures approved across the country (Newsletter: November 4, 2020)



MA & IL hit marijuana sales benchmarks; Biden campaign touts cannabis decrim pledge; NJ gov was confident on legalization

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Voters in seven states approved ballot measures to legalize marijuana, allow medical cannabis, decriminalize drugs and legalize psilocybin therapy.

  • Arizona voters passed a marijuana legalization initiative, four years after defeating a similar measure.
  • Mississippi voters approved a robust medical cannabis ballot over a restrictive alternative placed on the ballot by lawmakers.
  • Montana voters approved marijuana legalization.
  • New Jersey voters approved a referendum to legalize cannabis, setting up a potential wave of East Coast states following suit.
  • Oregon voters made their state the first in the nation to decriminalize possession of all drugs. The ballot measure they approved also uses existing marijuana tax revenue to fund expanded treatment services.
  • Oregon voters also approved a first-of-its-kind measure to legalize psilocybin therapy. 
  • South Dakota voters approved separate initiatives to legalize marijuana and medical cannabis.
  • Washington, D.C. voters approved a measure to decriminalize psychedelics in the nation’s capital.

Check out Marijuana Moment’s Live Results Tracker—sponsored by ETFMG | MJ— for full results and links to coverage.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign urged voters to tout his pledge to decriminalize marijuana on social media through a photo template people could download and share.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said ahead of the vote in his state that he was “highly confident” that the marijuana legalization referendum on the ballot would be approved.

  • “God willing, it’ll pass. We’ll then work with the legislature to get that up and running.”

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission announced that legal recreational marijuana sales have crossed the $1 billion mark since the program launched less than two years ago.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced that marijuana retailers have sold more than half a billion dollars worth of legal recreational cannabis products since  the beginning of the year, and that October also saw a new monthly sales record.


Federal Bureau of Investigation agents raided the home of a Compton, California City Council member and the offices of a lawyer as part of an investigation into dealings with marijuana businesses.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing rules on suspicious orders of controlled substances.

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) tweeted, “Proud to cosponsor the #MOREact and be an advocate for ending the federal prohibition on marijuana.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) replied to a tweet about someone mistyping “legalize marinara” instead of “legalize marijuana” by saying, I believe both should be legal, which is why I support the #MOREAct and the SAFE Banking Act!”


An Oregon judge rejected a request to pause certification of ballot in Washington County over a ballot typo on the impact of the state’s drug decriminalization measure.

A New Jersey assemblyman is calling for an immediate halt to marijuana possession arrests.

Ohio regulators will begin accepting hemp license applications on Monday.

New York regulators posted an updated list of approved hemp research partners.


The Denver, Colorado City Council rejected an amendment to move $4 million from the police department to a program aimed at diversifying the marijuana industry.

The mayor of Long Beach, California tweeted, “In California we’ve legalized marijuana and in Long Beach we’ve unionized our dispensary workers with @UFCW324. They pay fair taxes just like any other small business. It’s time to legalize cannabis across the country.”


Brazil’s ministry of justice is pushing for the defeat of a bill to legalize medical cannabis cultivation.

The Buenos Aires, Argentina Legislature advanced medical cannabis legislation.


A study of mice found that “CBD reduces cocaine preference 20 days after treatment cessation.”

A review concluded that “preclinical data has demonstrated evidence to suggest promising potential for cancer pain and the urgent need to translate this into clinical practice” but that “due to limited data, for adults with advanced cancer being treated with opiate therapy, the addition of cannabis or cannabinoids is not currently supported to address cancer pain effectively.”


The National District Attorney’s Association is hosting an event on the impact of marijuana legalization with Kevin Sabet of prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana on Friday.

The Pennsylvania Family Council criticized Gov. Tom Wolf (D) for pushing marijuana legalization.


Canopy Growth Corporation is moving  its U.S. stock listing from the New York Stock Exchange to the Nasdaq as of November 13.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc reported $137.1 million in quarterly revenue and a net loss of $12.2 million.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced that a loan commitment it received for $20.7 million has increased to more than $25.7 million.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. received initial commitments and funding from lenders for a first advance of $28 million pursuant.

Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. will begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange on Thursday.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis/Side Pocket Images.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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