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CALIFORNIA – Tuesday, voters approved the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (Prop 64) in California, making it the largest domino to fall in the fight for legalization.
Proposition 64 has passed and adults 21 and over are immediately allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrates, and grow 6 marijuana plants per residence. The measure will also allow for retail sales and impose a tax of 15% on all sales.
The approval of Prop 64 has now created the largest potential market for marijuana products in the U.S, and comes nearly 6 years after a failed ballot initiative (Prop 19). Many activists declare that Prop 64 in California is an important moment for legalization across the U.S.
Former Facebook President Sean Parker and Hedge fund billionaire George Soros raised close to $16 million, nearly 10 times the amount brought in by the No on 64 Campaign.
“It’s disappointing that big marijuana and their millions of out-of-state dollars were able to influence the outcome of these elections,” commented former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, an advisor to the opposition group SAM Action. “We will continue to hold this industry accountable, and raise the serious public health and safety issues that will certainly come in the wake of legalization.”
Max Simon, of Green Flower Media said that “this is a historic day for the cannabis movement as California officially legalizes marijuana for the adult market. Not only will this stop tens of thousands of people from getting arrested each year just for using an all-natural substance that’s much safer than alcohol, but it will also create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and give millions of people safe access to a medicine they desperately need.”
One of the best aspects to California’s Prop 64 is that the legalization of personal use and cultivation goes into effect retroactively – meaning that an estimated 1 million marijuana offenders could petition to have their charges dropped and records wiped clean. Prop 64 will also free many non-violent marijuana offenders from prison and save the state of California millions of dollars.
The CEO of Flowhub, a seed-to-sale tracker for the marijuana industry added to Simon’s thoughts.
“It’s fantastic news for the health of this country that California has legalized cannabis for adult-use,” Sherman said. “Not only are tens of thousands of jobs going to be created but cannabis will be regulated in a system built to keep consumers safe from pesticides and other additives.”
Users shouldn’t “break out the Cheetos” just yet according to Colorado governor John Hickenlooper. Retail sales won’t begin in California until Jan 1st. 2018, so consumers will not have a place to buy their bud legally until recreational permits have been handed out.