Election night fallout for marijuana industry

(This story has been updated with additional election results from Massachusetts, Montana and Virginia.)

This year’s off-year election was a decidedly mixed bag for marijuana businesses across the country.

There were a number of victories – such as the failure of a new marijuana tax in Colorado – but also some setbacks, mostly instances where voters decided to ban recreational and medical cannabis sales in parts of Michigan, Montana and Massachusetts.

In Colorado, voters shot down a proposed statewide tax hike on adult-use marijuana sales, Proposition 119, which lost 55% to 45%. A similar measure in Denver, Initiated Ordinance 300, was also defeated, 60% to 40%.

In Billings, Montana, voters rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed recreational marijuana stores within city limits, 55% to 45%. But local taxes on both recreational and medical marijuana were approved by Yellowstone County voters, Billings TV station KTVQ reported.

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In Michigan, the city of Lapeer went the opposite direction, with voters approving a ballot measure to allow recreational marijuana shops within city limits, MLive.com reported. But the Detroit suburb of Clawson voted down a similar measure, prohibiting adult-use sales.

In Massachusetts, the town of Methuen rejected a ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana businesses, including retailers, growers and transportation, The (North Andover) Eagle Tribune reported. The measure lost 57% to 43%.

In Philadelphia, voters easily approved a symbolic resolution supporting full marijuana legalization, 73% to 27%. Though the measure, Question 1, does not have any effect on local or state law, it was intended to send a message to state lawmakers about how voters feel on cannabis.

And in Virginia, where GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin beat Democratic ex-Gov. Terry McAuliffe, cannabis stakeholders might be worried that the incoming governor will be an obstructionist for the upcoming recreational marijuana market, given that Youngkin has been vocally anti-cannabis.

But Youngkin’s campaign stated over the summer that he will “not seek to repeal” the legalization bill that was signed into law in April by the current governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, the Virginia Mercury reported.