Things move quickly in the cannabis industry, and many states are at some stage in the process of legalizing. So here’s an update on three of them.
Last week, Montana’s Governor Greg Gianforte signed their legal recreational bill, after voters approved the measure in November. It was seemingly done in reluctance after a bumpy road to his desk, but that’s thankfully all in the past. A resentencing of past marijuana convictions will be done by a special drug court, and some of the tax revenue will channel towards a drug treatment program in the state.
Retail sales of marijuana will begin in January, 2022.
Illinois’ marijuana industry has been killing it since legalization, with its last quarter’s earning being higher than the profits from alcohol in the state. A new social equity bill just passed the State House yesterday and is moving to the Senate which would add 110 new industry licenses through a lottery system that gives preference to individuals who have previously been arrested or convicted of cannabis-related crimes.
These are in addition to 75 approved licenses from last year that have been delayed. As of now, zero of the marijuana businesses in the state are majority-owned by a person of color.
Polls in the state (64% in favor of legal weed) have really altered the mindsets of some lawmakers, and a vote in the state legislature could come next week to legalize recreational marijuana. Democrats are feeling more confident in the legislation, and some Republican voices that were expected to be no’s are slowly changing their tune. Lawmakers vow to have social equity at the forefront of their thinking when any bill may pass through into legalization.