Posted on September 01 2022
By Vincent Bitetti, CCO
My wife has a small vegetable garden. She grows everything from seed. She got that habit from me. Cuttings/clones always seem to have aphids or other pests or disease. Her pride and joy: heirloom tomatoes. Other favorites include radishes, zucchini and herbs like rosemary and basil. That being said, she buys plenty of organic, locally sourced produce at the supermarket -- the home grown produce she grows at home does not cannibalize supermarket produce sales.
So… Why do some dispensaries “lobby” against legal Home Grow, while others sell seeds and/or clones?
Hmm… If you Google this, you can actually find the answer. Some legislators try to keep Home Grow (even one plant) out of state legalization—medical or recreational. The reasons? One reason is basic: they often say people grow it instead of buying it, hypothetically “robbing” (LoL) the state of tax revenue. Others think it adds to the illegal market. Therefore “stealing” sales from dispensary locations. In reality, this is nonsense.
Would it surprise you to know that it’s a felony—with a hefty fine—if you get caught growing just one plant in New Jersey, even though weed has been legalized there? Let that sink in: weed is legal there and you can legally buy it, but growing your own is not legal. Unbelievable, but true. A recreational dispensary-driven sales state where it’s legal to buy, sell and possess it. Yet right across the river in New York, you can grow plants at home for personal use. The specifics: New Yorkers 21 years and older can grow up to six plants in their home for personal use (3 mature plants and 3 immature plants) and a maximum of twelve plants per household (6 mature plants and 6 immature plants), even if there are three or more adults over the age of 21 in the residence. New Jersey is one of the only states with legalization that does not include home grow, but it is only because groups in the other states pushed back hard to get it included. There are efforts underway in New Jersey to correct this problem, but they haven’t passed the legislature yet as of this writing.
Note: Pot is not legal in Georgia but Personal Use, and possession of one ounce or less is a misdemeanor, not a felony. The laws and penalties in the U.S. is in sharp contrast to the entire country legal approach—in Canada and Mexico you can buy it at retail shops (seeds as well) and grow it at home. Imagine that…
Not to mention other east coast states like Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island all allow Home Grow. It’s only logical. To decriminalize weed is to both decriminalize and (finally) democratize the plant. Period.
According to research analyst Noah Tomares of EquioData.com, people who grow at home for personal use range from access to convenience to cost to getting specific (often medicinal) strains that are just not on the “menu.” Many others say it’s their only source, and/or they claim they can grow better quality. Medical patients do a lot of research and in addition to finding the appropriate strain, many (especially the immune compromised) worry about pesticides, mold and other contaminates. Regarding access, think about this: when Home Grow is legalized in a state, it’s the entire state, unlike with retail dispensaries, which cities and counties can (and often do) opt to deny licenses. This is why even states as liberal as California end up with around 50% of the state saying no to retail shops. Yet Home Grow is still legal state wide.
As of this writing, in North America Home Grow is legal in all of Canada and Mexico. The U.S. laws, by comparison, are enacted state by state. Currently there are 20 adult use states, with more expected to come on line in 2022. In addition, New Jersey is working to finally tweak their laws and add Home Grow soon. Apparently you can fight City Hall!
So, where is it legal to grow? The states that allow recreational use and home growing are Washington D.C., Washington, Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana, Missouri, Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, Hawaii, Colorado, California, Arizona, New York, Virginia, Alaska and Connecticut, which just passed legalization.
2022 is a (mid-term) election year, and several more states have legalization initiatives on the ballot.Here’s an overview with the latest updates:
Proponents must gather 89,151 signatures by July 2022
Activists have until May 2022 to collect nearly 65,000 signatures for each initiative.
Similar to the campaign to legalize medical use in the state in 2018, Missouri residents could see several competing legalization measures on the state’s 2022 ballot. Fair Access Missouri, one of the groups working to qualify reform ballot measures, has submitted several initiatives, at least one of which would legalize adult use in the state.
A new adult use legalization ballot measure has been submitted by Legal Missouri 2022, the same proponents behind the successful medical initiative in 2018. 171,592 signatures are need to qualify each initiative by May 2022.
After a 2020 medical legalization measure was stripped from the ballot, advocates with Nebraskans for Medical MJ are once again working to legalize medical access in the state. In order to avoid violating the single-subject rule that derailed the 2020 effort, activists now plan to place two separate, complementary initiatives on the ballot for 2022. Nebraska lawmakers considered legislation to legalize medical access in 2021, but the bill was ultimately defeated.
The campaign team has officially submitted language for the two measures to the secretary of state’s office, and expect approval by the end of the month. For each measure, advocates will need to collect 126,838 signatures by July 2022.
A group of North Dakota activists are collecting signatures for a proposed adult use legalization initiative in 2022. The measure would allow adults to legally possess and purchase it from retail outlets, as well as grow a limited number of plants at home for personal use.
A separate group, made up of proponents behind a failed 2018 legalization ballot measure, will likely be working to qualify an adult use initiative as well. Proponents must collect nearly 27,000 signatures by January 2022.
Proponents behind the effort, the Coalition to Regulate MJ Like Alcohol (CTRMLA), have submitted an initial slew of signatures in hopes of qualifying a statewide ballot measure that would push lawmakers to enact adult use legalization in Ohio. Once advocates collect 132,887 signatures by December 2021, lawmakers will have four months to enact the reform. If lawmakers fail to act, then 132,887 additional signatures will be required by July 2022 to put the measure on the ballot before voters during the 2022 election.
The proposed measure would allow adults to legally purchase and possess up to 2.5 ounces and grow up to six plants at home. Most recently, the adult use legalization measure was formally approved for signature collecting after the Ohio Ballot Board determined that the language meets the single subject rule.
A group of activists in the state is working to qualify a ballot measure to legalize and regulate adult use . The measure would allow adults to legally purchase product from already existing dispensaries, as well as allow adults to grow up to 12 plants for personal use.
The same group of activists is also working on a separate ballot initiative to amend the state’s currently operating medical program. The proposed measure would transform the Oklahoma Medical Authority into an agency that would be responsible for regulating all legal products in the state. The measure would also fund research programs, mental health services, and law enforcement training.
For each of the initiatives, proponents will need 177,958 valid signatures by August 2022.
The proponents behind Amendment A, the 2020 ballot measure which was overturned by a state court, have submitted four separate adult use legalization initiatives, but will only pursue them if the state Supreme Court upholds the decision of the lower court nullifying Amendment A. Each of the four different approaches would legalize possession of up to four ounces by adults, as well as the home cultivation of up to three plants. Some of the proposed measures would legalize commercial retail sales, others would not. The differences between the four approaches are outlined here.
If and when the measures are approved by state officials, proponents will need to gather at least 33,921 signatures for a constitutional measure and 16,961 for a statutory one by November 2021.
Reform proponents in Wyoming, including Wyoming NORML, were approved to start signature gathering for a proposal to remove the threat of jail time for adults who possess up to four ounces, instead imposing a fine of $50 for first and second offenders, and $75 for subsequent offenders. Those caught growing at home would face a maximum $200 fine.
Advocates in the state were also approved to begin collecting signatures for a medicinal legalization ballot initiative, which would permit qualifying patients to access up to up to four ounces of flower and up to 20 grams of medical products (oils and concentrates, etc.) per 30-day period. Patients would also be allowed to cultivate up to eight mature plants at home for therapeutic use.
After the state Attorney General issued ballot summaries for both measures, the state presented petition sheets for signatures on both initiatives last week. Activists have kicked off signature gathering efforts in at least seven cities across Wyoming. For each of the medical and decriminalization initiatives, activists need to collect 41,776 by February 2022.