Updated: 8:49 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Nov. 5
As Election 2020 results continue to pour in across the U.S., we are monitoring cannabis-related down-ballot races in several states.
Unofficial election results show Costa Mesa, Calif., voters are in favor of allowing adult-use cannabis dispensaries and delivery services; and Laguna Woods, voters support that city allowing dispensaries. A measure in La Habra to permit “up to four cannabis delivery licenses” received more “yes” than “no” votes.
Ventura County, Calif., voters said “yes” to Measure O. ” The Ventura County Star reported Oct. 3, “The initiative on the Nov. 3 ballot allows up to 500 acres of cultivation of cannabis in greenhouses and 100 acres in nurseries in certain unincorporated areas.”
Patch has reported preliminary voting results out of Banning, Calif., favoring a tax on cannabis distribution businesses. The “gross receipts tax — capped at 10 percent” will go toward 911-emergency services.
And Calabasas, Calif., a city that doesn’t currently allow cannabis dispensaries, is likely to approve an ordinance that would impose a tax on cannabis business, according to Patch.
As the ordinance states, the 10% tax would be imposed “on the privilege of conducting the following activities within the city’s jurisdiction: transporting, dispensing, manufacturing, producing, processing, preparing, storing, testing, providing, donating, selling, or delivering, or distributing cannabis, cannabis products, cannabis accessories, or cannabinoid preparations delivering, or distributing cannabis, cannabis products, cannabis accessories, or cannabinoid preparations ... in the City of Calabasas, under the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act and the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (California Business and Professions Code sections 26000, et seq.) ….”
In Jurupa Valley, Calif., a measure designed to affect changes that would bolster city revenue from cannabis sales, was rejected by voters in a vote of 6,543 to 6,139, according to final election results posted on The Press Enterprise.
A citizen-led initiative in 2018 permitted adult-use cannabis sales, “But city officials said the 2018 law has generated little revenue for municipal coffers,” according to The Press Enterprise.
Measure U - City Of Jurupa Valley Tax Increase On Cannabis Businesses For General Municipal Services “would boost marijuana tax dollars while allowing as many as nine stores, or dispensaries — up from the current ceiling of seven,” The Press Enterprise reported. “Measure U would let the city council set the tax rate as high as 6%. Jurupa Valley officials estimated the tax could bring in $2 million to $3 million per year. Existing marijuana stores would be allowed to continue operating under Measure U, and a lottery would be established to determine who gets licenses to open new cannabis shops.”
Three Colorado cities voted to legalize adult-use cannabis sales, according to preliminary election data.
Voters in Littleton, Colo., voted to allow adult-use cannabis sales, according to early election results Nov. 3, reported Colorado Community Media.
“Voters approved Ballot Question 300, allowing the city's three medical marijuana dispensaries to begin recreational sales, with 64.6% of the vote in the first round of election results at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3,” according to the report. “The vote ends years of opposition to retail sales from city council, which first banned retail marijuana sales in 2014, after Colorado voters passed Amendment 64. That statewide measure, which also passed in Littleton, established a constitutional right to possess marijuana for personal use, but allowed municipalities to regulate whether sales were allowed.”
Voters in Lakewood, Colo., also voted to allow adult-use cannabis sales. The language for Ballot Question 2B, which was voted in by a vote of 66.02% to 33.98%, asked voters whether the City of Lakewood should “adopt an ordinance adopting regulations governing the operation of retail marijuana stores and retail marijuana cultivation facilities.”
And voters in Buena Vista, Colo., approved retail cannabis sales in a vote of 54.88% to 45.12% as well as a cannabis sales tax in a vote of 66.14% to 33.86%, according to the Heart of the Rockies Radio.
Voters in Broomfield County, Colo., passed Ballot Question 2A, 59.56% to 40.44%. The measure says the city and county of Broomfield will place a new 4% sales tax on adult-use cannabis and cannabis “products” and “dispensaries” “if the prohibitionon retail marijuana stores is allowed to expire on February 1, 2021.” Broomfield City Council can increase the tax but not to more than 10%.
Seven Chicago suburbs have voted on whether to allow adult-use cannabis sales, according to the Chicago Tribune. These are the unofficial results with all precincts reporting:
- Park Ridge – 59% of votes in favor of sales
- Elk Grove Village – 63% of votes in favor of sales
- Mount Prospect – 63% of votes in favor of sales
- Batavia – roughly 62% of votes in favor of sales
- Wilmette – 55% of votes in favor of sales
- Glen Ellyn – 51% of votes in favor of sales
- Western Springs – 61% of votes against sales
A few hundred miles south, voters in Murphysboro, Ill., voted Nov. 3 to allow adult-use cannabis sales in the city, reversing a previous vote by city leaders to ban adult-use cannabis, according to WSIL TV. As WSIL reported, now that the advisory question has passed, “The city of Murphysboro will now determine how to move forward with marijuana businesses in town.”
In Maine, voters in the towns of Surry and Southwest Harbor have expressed their support to allow adult-use cannabis retail businesses, according to The Ellsworth American. These are the first municipalities in Hancock County to allow adult-use retail.
The news outlet said the vote was particularly close in Surry, with 572 people voting for and 504 people voting against allowing the businesses.
To the southwest, in Portland, Maine, a measure to scrap the city’s 20-retail-store cap and allow dispensaries to be closer together passed with roughly 53% of the vote, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Maine legalized adult-use cannabis through a 2016 ballot initiative; however, municipalities must opt in to the program, and legal sales in communities that opted in didn’t begin until Oct. 9 this year. The adult-use program was initially delayed when former Gov. Paul LePage in November 2017 vetoed a bill that, if signed into law, would have taxed and regulated recreational cannabis. “On May 2, 2018, the Legislature overrode the Governor's veto of LD 1719, An Act to Implement a Regulatory Structure for Adult Use Marijuana,” according to the Government of Maine’s website. A regulatory structure was finally signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills on June 27, 2019, per the government report.
Voters in Pinckney, Livingston County, Mich., on Nov. 3, ended a ban on marijuana businesses, according to Livingston Daily. The ban had followed adult-use legalization in the state; Michigan voters’ approved Proposal 1, which legalized adult-use marijuana for people age 21 or older, in November 2018. As Livingston Daily reported:
“Pinckney will be the first municipality in Livingston County to allow marijuana businesses after voters approved a proposal to end a ban on such establishments.
Voters approved the measure, 54.3% to 45.7%. It passed by 117 votes, with 743 votes in favor of the proposal and 626 against it."
Michigan’s Kawkawlin Township (Bay County) said no to adult-use cannabis. Voters there rejected by a marginal vote of 1,537 to 1,149 a proposal to nullify the township board’s previous decision to opt out of adult-use cannabis business under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act and to allow an unlimited number of adult-use licenses in the township, according to MLive.com.
Voters in Sherwood, Ore., approved a measure to end the prohibition on recreational cannabis facilities with 54% voting in favor. “I think it is great that voters of Sherwood have voted to allow adult use cannabis retailers to open shop,” Jesse Bontecou, director of membership service for The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association, says. “They have shown once again people love cannabis and the legal jobs and taxes it generates for communities. Cannabis legalization is here to stay locally and nationally!”
Meanwhile, residents of Winston, Ore., rejected a measure to ease zoning restrictions on cannabis retailers, while voting in favor of an additional 3% sales tax for items sold at existing retailers.
Also, Deschutes County residents rejected a measure that would have allowed new cannabis producers, processors and processing sites to be located in unincorporated areas.
Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary Senior Editor Brian MacIver contributed reporting.