States that Legalized Cannabis in 2016

California: Recreational.

California already had a series of legalized marijuana laws enacted in the state. Proposition 64 was passed and the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), legalizes:

  • the possession of 1 ounce of marijuana flower, or up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates for those 21 years and older,
  • the cultivation of up to 6 plants,
  • the industrial cultivation of hemp,
  • a taxed and regulated system for a recreational marijuana industry.

California’s recreational marijuana law outlines marketing restrictions to minors, allows local tax rates and limitations on commercial marijuana operators to be in the hands of local counties and municipalities, and
creates systems for reducing sentences and expunging past marijuana convictions, among others.

Nevada: Recreational

Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana become legal in November 2016, as well as the cultivation of up to six plants for those who live over 25 miles from a dispensary..

For residents 21 years and older, the initiative legalized:

  • possession of 1 ounce of marijuana,
  • a taxed and regulated recreational cannabis industry with tax revenue supporting K-12 education,
  • and includes a clause that allows anyone who does not live within 25 miles of a marijuana store to grow up to 6 marijuana plants.

The initiative outlined that funds from industry taxes be allocated to schools and the regulatory structure.

Maine: Recreational

Maine legalized recreational marijuana for residents 21 years and older in November 2016.

The initiative in Maine aimed to legalize recreational marijuana for residents 21 years and older and creates a taxed and regulated recreational cannabis industry. The initiative legalized:

  • the possession of up to 2 1/2 ounces of marijuana,
  • the possession, cultivation and transportation of up to 6 flowering marijuana plants, 12 immature marijuana plants and unlimited seedlings, and possession of all the marijuana produced by the marijuana plants at that person’s residence.

Maine’s Question 1 placed the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to regulate and control the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of marijuana.

Arizona: Medical
Voters rejected Proposition 205 — to Legalize Marijuana in Arizona.

The Legalization and Regulation of Marijuana Act, or Proposition 205, was on the ballot in Arizona this November. Medical marijuana was previously already available for almost 100,000 cardholders, but recreational marijuana possession still faced legal charges. For residents 21 years and older, the initiative proposed to legalize:

  • the possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana,
  • a taxed and regulated recreational cannabis industry,
  • adults to grow up to 6 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked space within their residences and possess the marijuana produced by those plants in the location where it was grown. A limit of the total marijuana plants grown in a single residence is limited at 12.

The passage of this initiative would have created a new agency called the Department of Marijuana Licenses and Control to oversee the industry.

Massachusetts: Recreational

Question 4 legalized the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana outside of an individual’s residence, cultivation of up to 6 plants and more.

The Question 4 initiative to regulate and tax marijuana for recreational use for adults 21 years and up, like alcohol, was on the November ballot, and legalized:

  • possession up to 1 ounce of marijuana outside of an individual’s residence,
  • possession of up to 10 ounces of marijuana in an enclosed, locked space within their residences,
  • growing up to 6 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked space within their residences and possess the marijuana produced by those plants in the location where it was grown. No more than 12 total marijuana plants can be grown in a single residence.

This bill created a new Cannabis Control Commission to oversee all government regulation of marijuana in the state. It also places a tax on sales that pay for regulatory structure and any remainder is added to the Massachusetts’ General Fund.

Florida: Medical
Amendment 2 allows a licensed Florida physician to prescribe medical marijuana to patients with debilitating medical conditions. It also allows medical care centers to produce and distribute marijuana under the watch of the Department of Health.

Florida voted on medical marijuana for the second election cycle in a row. Medical marijuana was narrowly defeated (by 2 percent!) in 2014. The 2016 Amendment 2 initiative legalized and stated:

  • the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating medical conditions as determined by a licensed Florida physician,
  • allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana,
  • and that the Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers.

Arkansas: Medical
Arkansas presented a small bill compared to the leaps made by California and Massachusetts. It allows possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana by registered patients with doctor-approved treatment through nonprofit compassion centers.

Arkansas had an interesting ballot, and there were two competing proposals: the Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (Issue 7) and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (Issue 6).

Issue 6 legalized doctor-approved medical cannabis treatments for patients. This measure placed the program under the control of Arkansas’ Alcoholic Beverage Control, as well as, a new medical marijuana commission.

Montana: Medical
Montana’s I-182 expanded the medical marijuana laws already in place in the state. It removed previously enacted laws that restricted medical access to marijuana, like a prohibitive three-patent limit for marijuana providers.

Medical marijuana was originally made legal in 2004 in Montana. However, due to excessively restrictive limitations, it was almost impossible for patients to gain access to medical marijuana.

North Dakota: Medical
Medical marijuana became accessible to patients suffering from cancer, AIDS/HIV, PTSD, epilepsy and more thanks to passage on the November ballot. Measure 5 legalized possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana and cultivation of up to 8 plants for those living more than 40 miles from a compassion center.

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