Back in November, voters in eight states approved ballot measures to liberalize their states’ cannabis laws. Half a year later, how’s that working out? Here’s a look at how lawmakers are regulating their newfound legal cannabis in five states:
Arkansas became the first Bible Belt state to pass a workable medical cannabis measure (Issue 6). Cannabis advocates have been generally pleased with how state lawmakers have handled the issue, unlike some other state legislatures that have been trying to undermine voter-passed initiatives.
“[Lawmakers] did some crazy things,” attorney David Couch, who sponsored the amendment, told Talk Business & Politics. “But it wasn’t anything that would affect the overall stability or the overall ability to get medicine, marijuana, to the patients.”
Efforts to roll back the initiative stalled in the legislature, including one to ban smoking and another that would delay implementation until the drug is legalized by the federal government. There is a ban on smoking for patients under the age of 21. The Arkansas Board of Health approved rules for the program in April.
Lawmakers in Florida continue to anger medical marijuana advocates after 72% of voters in the state approved Amendment 2. Tasked with coming up with regulations for medical cannabis, the House introduced a bill to ban smoking, vaping and edibles, Miami New Times reported.
After public outcry, House reps amended the bill to allow edibles and vaping, which brought the legislation closer to the Senate’s version. Still, the legislation leaves much to be desired: It provides for a total of seven licenses for a state of 21 million people.
The Massachusetts legislature in has been consistently criticized for failing to respect the will of voters when it comes to cannabis regulations. First, there was a six-month delay that was decided without public hearings or