Iowa Lawmakers Unveil Proposal to Place Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Measure on Ballot
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Iowa Lawmakers Unveil Proposal to Place Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Measure on Ballot

The constitutional amendment would allow adults 21 and older to purchase cannabis and would charge the Alcoholic Beverage Division with overseeing the new industry.

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January 6, 2022

Iowa lawmakers unveiled a proposal Jan. 5 to place an adult-use cannabis legalization measure before voters on the state’s ballot, according to The Daily Iowan.

The proposed constitutional amendment, which was initially announced in December, would allow adults 21 and older to purchase cannabis and would charge the Alcoholic Beverage Division with overseeing the new industry, the news outlet reported. The proposal would also establish a state tax rate of up to 20% and a local tax rate of up to 2% on retail sales.

The constitutional amendment must clear the General Assembly before it can qualify for the state’s ballot, but legalization could have the support it needs to pass if put to a public vote; a March 2021 Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll revealed that 54% of Iowans surveyed support adult-use cannabis legalization, The Daily Iowan reported.

Sens. Joe Bolkcom, Sarah Trone Garriott and Janet Petersen, the measure’s primary sponsors, are currently seeking co-sponsors and hoping for bipartisan support, according to the news outlet.

“In the coming weeks, we will be searching for a few brave Republicans to join us in this bipartisan effort,” Bolkcom told The Daily Iowan.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has said she opposes adult-use legalization, according to the news outlet, and lawmakers have put forth the proposed constitutional amendment to eliminate the need for Reynolds’ approval on a traditional bill.