Midterm elections have become a critical component for spurring the shift in the creation and implementation of medical cannabis policy, but you don’t need to be a cannabis marketing agency to know that! With so much going on in the political realm, we wanted to sort through the noise to bring you five key cannabis takeaways from the recent midterm election.
State by state
- Michigan – Michigan voters passed an adult-use legalization measure, bumping the state up from medical-only cannabis use.
- Utah – Voters passed medical marijuana legalization, making history for a red state known for its deeply conservative views.
- Missouri – The Show-Me state showed its support of cannabis this November by passing a measure making medical marijuana legal.
- North Dakota – The state recently passed a medical marijuana bill in 2016, so moving to adult-use in 2018 would have made it the fastest transition in our country’s history. Unfortunately, the bill failed to pass, but that was, for the most part, to be expected. The measure would have legalized cannabis without any regulations, leaving it to state lawmakers to quickly enact rules instead. Typically, adult-use legislation sets up controls ahead of time, so it was pretty much expected to fail.
- Ohio – Five Ohio cities (out of six that voted) passed marijuana decriminalization measures. Decriminalization passed in Dayton, Fremont, Norwood, Oregon and Windham. While the outcome will not alter state law (possession of up to 200 grams is a misdemeanor), it will help protect people in places that have approved the decriminalization measures.
So, what does this mean?
Medical cannabis companies now have the green light to begin medical operations in Utah and Missouri, and Michigan now has a much larger consumer base. Cannabis marketing in Utah, Missouri and Michigan will undoubtedly become more of a necessity as the race for exposure begins. If you’re a brand in one of these states, you’ll want to make sure you hit the ground running to increase brand awareness before your competition does.
Meanwhile, in Arkansas
Although voters passed medical legislation in 2016, state lawmakers have been holding up the process of implementing medical cannabis. While the Natural State was the first Southeastern “red state” to go medical, it has faced significant delays. Many believe this is due to lawmakers, who publicly oppose cannabis, pumping the brakes on the process despite voters having voiced their opinions at the ballot box.
When the ball finally gets rolling, brands can bet that cannabis marketing in Arkansas will play a critical role in overcoming the political roadblocks. There will most likely be ample barriers to advertising and communications about cannabis throughout the state, but with the right help from experienced canna-marketers, we predict many businesses will thrive.