For good reason, there was a lot of excitement among marijuana reform advocates after Tuesday’s election. Three states passed measures legalizing cannabis for medical or adult use, after all. But there were also a few smaller cannabis-related measures on state and local ballots that haven’t received quite as much attention.
Here’s what you might have missed:
In Colorado, a measure to change the definition of industrial hemp under the state constitution passed, 61-39 percent. There were some concerns that, should the federal government legalize hemp—as it seems poised to do—the state’s existing definition would be inconsistent with the federal definition, which could put Colorado hemp farmers at a disadvantage. Now Colorado’s definition will have the “same meaning as it is defined in federal law or as the term is defined in Colorado statute.”
Almost 90 percent of voters in Chicago said they want tax revenue from perhaps soon-to-be-legal cannabis sales to go toward public schools in the city and mental health services. The question was advisory in nature, so it won’t actually change the law—but it does signal that people have strong feelings about where marijuana tax revenue should go.
Los Angeles voters rejected a measure that would have established a public bank in the city, 58-42 percent. The measure was designed to mitigate some of the difficulties that cannabis businesses face when dealing with traditional financial institutions, as well as provide financing for affordable housing initiatives.
A ballot measure that would have allowed Los Angeles to establish a public bank, in part to service the cannabis industry — backed by centrists and socialists alike — failed by quite a large margin. https://t.co/Dl6Vyz9Hdv pic.twitter.com/IwkzwA9GiM
— Charles Davis (@charliearchy) November 7, 2018
And more than 90 cities and counties across California voted on measures to change the way that marijuana is taxed, licensed and regulated in their jurisdictions. For example, voters in Malibu, California, approved a measure that allows cannabis delivery services and impose a new tax on gross receipts for non-medical marijuana sales.
Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.