Kansas City, Mo – The Missouri Secretary of State’s Office announced Tuesday that it has certified more than 214,000 voter signatures as valid, enough to put marijuana legalization on the ballot.
“Grocery stores DMVs everywhere we are allowed to speak to the public and inform them about the initiatives that we have there. The amount of manpower required to get the signatures needed for the ballot is extensive. That is the only thing that we talk about it from the moment we wake up until we name it all day,” said Casey Efting, Director of Retail Operations for Greenlight.
A state audit of marijuana legalization projects could generate $40 million annually in tax revenue. A significant part of that could be from sales in Kansas City-area dispensaries if amendment 3 passes in November.
That’s because Kansas is one of a handful of states that doesn’t have any type of marijuana sales. People on the other side of the state line cannot buy medical marijuana in Missouri, but Kansans can buy recreational marijuana in Missouri. Under current Kansas law, however, it would be illegal to bring it home to Kansas.
Instant signature verification is welcomed by Missouri dispensaries, growers and manufacturers that serve nearly 200,000 medical marijuana cardholders. Other countries have seen recreational sales double or even quadruple it.
“As a business, it will increase revenue, but it will increase our reach, and destigmatize it so that more people realize that they can use it and have it as an aspect of life,” Aaron Turvey, BesaMe Wellness Director of Communications. , he said.
The measure also has the public support of Mayor Quinton Lucas and Jackson County Executive Frank White. Both pointed to other parts of the amendment that would expunge marijuana-related convictions for non-violent offenders.
Legalizing marijuana is about more than just allowing recreational use or the money it can make. It’s about undoing policies that disproportionately target black and brown communities, especially men, who are more likely to be arrested and sentenced to significant time behind bars.White said in a statement.
“That’s part of what I’m excited about the bill as well is the expungement baked into it. Besides just being able to get off the street, not having to worry about it being illegal, having access to drugs you’ll have your record expunged for past offenses,” he said. Turvey.
It took about two years to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Missouri after the measure was approved by voters in 2018. With the industry already in place, recreational sales are likely to start sooner after ironing out some laws. Efting predicts it will take about three months if approved.
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