After two years of waiting, medical marijuana patients in North Dakota’s largest city will finally have safe, reliable access to medication. The very first medical cannabis dispensary in the Roughrider State is opening in Fargo on February 28, 2019.
Voters in North Dakota approved Measure 5, legalizing the use of medical cannabis as well as a retail market for the medication, in November 2016. Only 120 medical marijuana cards have been issued to patients at this time. This number is expected to increase to 4,000 by 2021.
According to Jason Wahl of the state’s Medical Marijuana Division, only a final security inspection must be passed before the first dispensary, called The Botanist, will be fully approved to open.
The Botanist in Fargo will be located at 4302 13th Ave. S. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, The Botanist will be open Wednesday through Friday from 10 am to 7 pm, 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday, and 12 pm to 6 pm on Sunday.
More than just approved forms of medical cannabis, The Botanist in Fargo is expected to feature a live botanical wall and an area dedicated to education for patients to explore.
The Botanist is owned and operated by Acreage Holdings, a company based out of New York. Acreage Holdings was awarded two North Dakota dispensary licenses in September of 2018. The Fargo location is the only one with a scheduled open date at this time.
Pure Dakota Cannabis
Only one producer, Pure Dakota, is reported to have finished product ready to be sold at this time, so all of the cannabis available to patients shopping at The Botanist in Fargo this week will have been produced by Pure Dakota.
Pure Dakota, located in Bismarck, was first to be awarded a cultivation license in North Dakota. The company cultivates the maximum number of plants permitted by law, which is only 1,000, in a 20,000 square-foot space.
The Botanist Locations
Acreage Holdings, the parent company of The Botanist, operates multiple dispensaries in several different states. Currently, The Botanist dispensaries are operating in:
Buffalo, New York
Middletown, New York
Queens, New York
The Botanist will be opening soon in the following locations:
Marijuana initiatives passed in three out of the four states where they were put before voters on Tuesday. A new Marijuana Moment analysis shows that in many cases these cannabis proposals did better than other ballot measures or candidates for major office who appeared on the same ballot.
Marijuana legalization got more votes than the winning candidate for governor, Gretchen Whitmer (D), who received 53.34 percent of the vote (2,256,700 votes). The measure also got more votes than incumbent U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), who got 2,195,601 votes, or 52.2 percent. Obviously, legal marijuana also garnered more support than the Republican candidates who lost to Whitmer and Stabenow.
More people approved of cannabis than they did the winning attorney general candidate, Dana Nessel (D), who will need to carry out cannabis regulations—and potentially defend them from any federal interference. Losing AG candidate Tom Leonard (R), who opposed the initiative but said he would uphold it if elected, got 435,000 fewer votes than legal cannabis did.
Voter turnout in the state was up significantly from 2014. In the last two mid-term elections, about 3.2 million votes were cast. 4.3 million votes were reported in this year’s election. That’s about 55.4 percent of the voting age population, or 14 points higher than in 2014, and close to general election levels, which were 4.8 million votes in 2016.
The total votes on Proposal 1 (yes and no voters) were higher than the totals for either Proposal 2 (anti-gerrymandering) or Proposal 3 (electoral reforms) on the same ballot, though those proposals had more definitive “yes” votes, which implies that Michiganders overall had stronger opinions on marijuana than those other issues.
The winning measure, Amendment 2 was approved by 66 percent of voters, or 1,572,592 votes.
The initiative got 824,615 more votes than competing cannabis measure Amendment 3 and 541,221 more than Proposition C, another medical marijuana proposal.
When compared to other issues on the ballot, the successful marijuana question got 113,016 more votes than Amendment 1 (redistricting and campaign finance reform), 84,224 more than Proposition B (minimum wage hike) and 470,762 more than Proposition D (a gas tax hike).
Amendment 2 also got 326,860 more votes than Josh Hawley, the Republican winner of the U.S. Senate race who defeated incumbent Claire McCaskill (D) by winning 51.4 percent of the vote.
Missouri counties where Amendment 2 did extra-well:
St. Louis City
A total of 329,086 people turned out to vote in North Dakota. While the measure to fully legalize cannabis lost, it garnered 131,585 votes, or 40.5 percent of the vote, and did better than losing candidates in several races.
Marijuana got more votes than congressional contender Mac Schneider (D), who got 113,891 votes, or 35.6 percent, secretary of state candidate Josh Boschee (D) who got 119,983 votes (39.2 percent) or attorney general candidate David Clark Thompson (D), who got 102,407 (32.2 percent).
In short, it seems that the state’s voters favor legal marijuana more than they favor Democrats.
There were four counties where the measure did get a majority of votes. In Sioux county, 71 percent of voters (994) selected yes. In Rolette, 2,891 voted yes (58 percent) and in Benson, 1,153 supported the measure (51.3 percent). In Cass County, where Fargo is located, the measure passed by 50.8 percent. And in Grand Forks County, the measure outdid the state-wide percentage rate, with 46.7 percent of voters (12,976) approving the initiative.
In Utah, where there are still a relatively substantial number of ballots yet to be counted, Proposition 2 to legalize and regulate medical marijuana has so far received 407,943 votes, or 53 percent. That is just barely more votes than Proposition 3 for Medicaid expansion, which received 407,596 votes. Proposition 4 regarding independent redistricting received 371,614 votes, or 36,329 fewer than Prop 2.
It received substantially more support than losing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jenny Wilson, who got 241,951 votes, but came roughly 70,000 votes shy of winner Mitt Romney (R).
In a county-by-county breakdown, the number of people voting for Proposition 2 was greater than the number voting for the House of Representatives winner in several counties, though there is not yet data available showing how individual congressional districts voted on the medical cannabis measure.
Preliminary voter turnout in Utah was estimated at around 54.7 percent at 5 PM on election day, far surpassing the last mid-term turnout of 46.3 percent of registered voters.
Counties where the proposition performed exceptionally well:
In all four states, more people voted for the marijuana initiatives than supported Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 (h/t Weedmaps). And Michigan’s marijuana legalization ballot measure got more votes than President Trump did in the state that year.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
North Dakota voters rejected a measure to fully legalize marijuana on Tuesday.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the initiative, Measure 3, was rejected 41-59 percent.
Under the proposed law, adults 21 and older would no longer have been subjected to criminal penalties for growing, consuming, selling or distributing cannabis. The measure would have, however, established penalties for the possession or distribution of marijuana to or by anyone under 21.
Measure 3 also included an automatic expungement system, which would have wiped the records of individuals who’ve been convicted of drug-related offenses that are now legal.
Additionally, the measure would have changed the definition of drug paraphernalia to exclude products used for cannabis.
LegalizeND was the main committee backing the measure. NORML and the Marijuana Policy Project also threw their support behind the initiative.
UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect the latest election results information.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
2018 has been a banner year for marijuana ballot initiatives. Voters in two states are considering legalizing recreational use, while those in another two states will decide whether to allow medical cannabis.
In the lead-up to the election, committees supporting or opposing these initiatives have raised a total of $12.9 million in cash and in-kind services over the past two years to convince those voters, Marijuana Moment’s analysis of the latest campaign finance records filed the day before Election Day shows.
On the day final ballots are cast and tallied, here’s where funding totals now stand for the various cannabis committees, both pro and con, in the four states considering major modifications to marijuana laws.
(Notes: For Missouri, PACS supported one of three initiatives that would bring some form of medical marijuana to the state. Missouri Oppose ($6,000) data isn’t visible on chart due to scale.)
New Approach Missouri, which supports Amendment 2, raised a total of $1.7 million. Major donors included Drug Policy Action, which contributed $258,500 and the national New Approach PAC, which contributed a total of $173,470 in-kind, most of that coming through in October. Former Anheuser-Busch CEO Adulphus Busch IV contributed $134,000 through individual donations and his Belleau Farms. Seven Points LLC contributed $125,000 over the course of the year, Missouri Essentials dropped in $97,000 and Emerald City Holdings put in $75,000. The group received a last-minute $25,000 donation from 91-year-old Ethelmae Humphrys, former CEO of TAMKO, and realtor Ron Stenger contributed $25,000 over the year.
Latecomer PAC Patients Against the “Bradshaw Amendment,” also supports Amendment 2 and raised $2,530.
Missourians for Patient Care, which supports Proposition C, reports raising $1.48 million, but much of that is in-kind services from staff.
Another group, Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, raised only $350.
Citizens for SAFE Medicine, which opposes all the initiatives, did not appear on the scene until September, and accounts for only $6,000 of the total.
Michigan committees raised more than $5 million in the past two years around adult-use legalization on the ballot. The pro-legalization Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol raised the most: $2.3 million. The National New Approach PAC provided almost half of those funds, with $1.1 million in contributions. The Marijuana Policy Project contributed $554,205, while the Drug Policy Alliance provided $75,000 in the last weeks of the campaign.
Anti-legalization committee Healthy and Productive Michigan was right behind, raising $2.2 million, with over a million of that from national prohibition organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). SAM also provided over $125,000 of in-kind support.
MI Legalize raised just over $500,000, most of that in 2017, and two smaller PACS raised a total of $10,000.
Funding has continued to pour in at an extraordinary rate during the last days of the campaign. 31 percent of the total money raised—$1.6 million—has come in since October 21.
The PIC that raised the most was against the proposition: Drug Safe Utah raised $842,424 in 2018. Over $350,000 of that funding came from a single lawyer, William Plumb, and his associates.
A smaller opponent to the proposition, Truth About Proposition, raised $66,040.
It took pro-reform PIC Utah Patients Coalition 18 months to raise $831,471. The group’s largest donor was the national organization Marijuana Policy Project, which contributed $268,000 in cash and $55,111 of in-kind staff time. The Libertas Institute contributed $135,000, and hemp-infused Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps donated $50,000. Non-profit patient group Our Story contributed $49,000 and DKT Liberty Project put in $35,000.
With the exception of Drug Safe Utah, most campaign finance activity surrounding the race has slowed significantly following the announcement last month of a deal to pass a compromise medical cannabis bill through the legislature after Election Day.
The committees supporting the initiative were heavily out-funded in cash funding, by a ratio of 18 to one. Healthy and Productive North Dakota, which opposes the measure, accounted for more than half of the total funds raised, even though it didn’t start raising money until October. It raised a total of $226,234, entirely from SAM, which also supplied $237,234 of in-kind support.
North Dakotans Against the Legalization of Marijuana raised a total of $163,180, almost two-thirds of that in October. Big donors last month included the North Dakota Petroleum Council with $30,000, and the Greater North Dakota Chamber, which contributed $10,000 on top of their $30,000 donation in September. The Associated General Contractors of North Dakota dropped in $10,000. Outdoor sports magnate Steve Scheels contributed $10,000 personally, and $9,500 through the Scheels corporation.
Pro-legalization group LegalizeND raised only $19,754 in cash, but received another $67,264 in in-kind services. A separate group, Legalize North Dakota, appears to have raised approximately $12,750, but the reports it filed are not consistent.
After all the money that has been spent across the four states, the decision is in the hands of voters. Within hours, the ballots will be counted, and the effectiveness of the funds contributed and spent on both sides of the various measures in the four states can be evaluated.
See the original article published on Marijuana Moment below:
Campaigns supporting and opposing marijuana ballot measures are filling up airwaves and social media feeds with political advertisements in the run-up to the midterm elections.
From Utah to Michigan, battles to convince the electorate via video advertisements to vote one way or the other on cannabis-related initiatives are heating up.
Here’s a roundup of ads you can find on TV and the internet as competing camps work to get out the vote in the four states with recreational or medical legalization up for consideration on Election Day.
The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol also produced a series of ads focusing on the safeguards that a regulated cannabis system creates, the economic benefits of legalization and the positive impact of a legal marijuana marketplace on criminal justice.
But in this ad, anti-legalization Healthy and Productive Michigan president Scott Greenlee falsely conflates active impairment from marijuana with the presence of cannabis metabolites in drug tests.
The group also created an ad fear-mongering about the risks that the legalization of cannabis edibles poses to young people.
Dr. Brad Bradshaw, the main supporter of Missouri’s Amendment 3, released a video touting his credentials and arguing that a vote “yes” means supporting cancer research. (The video is not embeddable, but you can view it here).
A campaign committee in support for Amendment 3 also released several attack ads on Amendment 2, including the fact that it allows patients to cultivate their own medicine at home. (These videos are also not embeddable. You can view them here).
“Personal freedom and criminal justice reform are at the heart of Measure 3,” a pro-legalization ad states. “On November 6, let’s exercise our rights and vote ‘yes’ to legalize recreational marijuana.”
Drug Safe Utah, an anti-legalization committee, released an ad indicating that the group was sympathetic to efforts to legalize cannabis for medical use—but that the legalization proposal at hand goes “too far.” (The video is not embeddable, but you can view it here.)
It’s likely that pro- and anti-legalization camps in Utah would have funded more ads ahead of Election Day—but competing campaigns effectively reached a ceasefire in light of a proposed legislative compromise deal that lawmakers are expected to consider soon after November 6, regardless of whether the ballot measure is approved by voters.
Voters in 16 counties and two cities in Wisconsin will have the chance to voice their opinion on marijuana legalization in November—in the form of non-binding advisory questions that could help inform future legislation. The pro-reform advocacy group Forever Wisconsin released an ad recently that delivers a short and sweet message to prospective voters: