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Voters Approve Recreational Cannabis In Four States

November 5, 2020

Cannabis initiatives swept last night, going five-for-five in states voting on the matter. New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota approved recreational cannabis legalization, and Mississippi voters overwhelmingly chose the more generous of the two medical programs under consideration.

With 62.6% of precincts reporting, New Jersey’s Public Question 1 had 66.9% approval and, with 85.3% reporting, Arizona’s Prop. 207 was at 59.8%, a strong sign of changing public opinion on the topic. For comparison, both figures are higher than the percentage of ‘yes’ votes in either Washington or Oregon when they legalized in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Beyond its borders, New Jersey is seen as a key domino to fall in the Northeast. By beating New York and Pennsylvania to the punch, the Garden State is in position reap an out-of-state windfall from residents in New York City and Philadelphia. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has pushed for legalization in his state the last two years, recently reiterated the draw of cannabis tax revenue, especially now that Covid-19 has pressured the Empire State’s coffers. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has also begun speaking out in support of the issue. Likewise, Rhode Island is in the early stages of preparation to legalize because, according to governor Gina Raimondo, the state is being hemmed in by legal markets such as neighboring Massachusetts and will be forced to deal with the costs of recreational cannabis without the benefits unless it acts.

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