Montana, one of the states where citizens approved a ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for adult-use in the November 2020 election, now has a definitive start date for legal sales under enabling legislation signed into law recently by Governor Greg Gianforte. According to the Daily Montanan, Gianforte signed House Bill 701 into law on Tuesday, May 18, implementing the state’s regulated recreational cannabis market.
The report notes that sales will begin January 1, 2022. Montana counties where a majority of voters approved the legalization initiative will automatically see cannabis businesses allowed within their jurisdictions, while counties where voters did not approve the ballot initiative will be required to affirmatively approve allowing adult-use operations.
Alabama lawmakers recently approved a bill creating a limited medical cannabis program in the state, with Governor Kay Ivey signing it into law earlier this week. According to Marijuana Moment, registered patients in Alabama will be limited to products such as “capsules, lozenges, oils, suppositories, and topical patches,” while raw flower, vaping products, and edibles will remain prohibited.
Mississippi voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize medical cannabis and create a regulated commercial market in the November 2020 election. Late last week, however, the state Supreme Court struck down the voter-approved measure on a technicality, which is explained in a report from Marijuana Moment. The court’s decision also had the effect of doing away with citizen-initiated ballot measures altogether in Mississippi. Legislators could conceivably amend current law to reinstate the ballot initiative process in the state, but this year’s legislative session has already ended and doing so would not reinstate the successful medical cannabis ballot initiative just struck down by the court.
Several state lawmakers and officials have called on Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves to call a special session of the legislature to address the ballot initiative issue, as well as approve a medical cannabis program. However, a recent report from Mississippi Today quotes Reeves as stating that he is “a long way” from deciding whether to call a special session or not.