Four red states – Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, and South Carolina – could legalize medical marijuana through their legislatures this year, and, if successful, they could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in business opportunities across the supply chain over time. Legalization seems more likely in the southeastern states after Mississippi voters approved a citizen-driven medical marijuana initiative on Nov. 3. Similarly, efforts to approve cannabis legalization are gathering momentum in Republican-leaning states after a clean sweep at the ballot box in November that included MMJ and adult-use victories in Montana and South Dakota. To date, 38 states and Washington DC have legalized commercial MMJ programs. That has implications at the federal level. In particular, legalization in conservative states increases the pressure on federal lawmakers from those jurisdictions to consider policy reforms such as marijuana banking legislation like the SAFE Banking Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed in 2019. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged state budgets and spurred more states to consider legalizing marijuana as a source for job creation, economic development, and tax revenue.

Marijuana Business Daily, 01/21/2021 06:30:00

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