Bradley attorney Whitt Steineker was quoted in Marijuana Business Daily on a business-friendly medical marijuana initiative with no license caps expected to appear on ballots in Mississippi this November. The initiative faces high hurdles, but even modest support could sway legislators in neighboring conservative states to be more open to legalizing MJ markets.
Steineker noted that when states “reasonably similar to you” are supporting medical cannabis, then it might become an important proxy for action in other states.
“One would assume that Mississippi would be one of the last states” to legalize, Steineker said. “So it’s a compelling story. It’s not people living in California anymore (who are involved in a legal marijuana industry), but people living an hour down the road.”
Steineker said he’s getting the sense that prospective marijuana businesses are adopting a wait-and-see attitude but that ancillary firms such as licensing consultants are advocating hard for the initiative.
“I do think the end result of having the competing proposals makes it much more difficult to have either of them become law,” he said.
If Mississippi voters did pass the initiative, “that will put pressure on neighboring states to accelerate their programs,” Steineker said.
In Alabama for example, Steineker said, there hasn’t been much polling on the issue and lawmakers probably hear more from people in opposition.
He also noted there is the tax issue, exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19 on state budgets.
“People always have talked about tax revenue in support of a legalized regime,” he noted. “I think this becomes even more compelling” as an argument depending on the vote in Mississippi.
The original article, "Mississippi Heads for Potentially Close November Vote on Medical Cannabis Legalization," appeared in Marijuana Business Daily on September 9, 2020.