Montana group continues push to get adult-use cannabis on ballot

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A Montana group, rebuffed in its effort to collect digital signatures for a recreational marijuana legalization campaign, said Thursday it will begin collecting signatures in person while following strict public health protocols.

New Approach Montana plans to start the signature drive May 9 and hopes to collect the necessary 25,468 signatures by the July 17 deadline to place a commercial adult-use cannabis legalization proposal on the November ballot.

Under the ballot initiative:
  • The sale of smokable flower would be permitted. Products would be required to be tested for potency and contaminants.
  • The state Department of Revenue would license and regulate the industry, with applications beginning by Oct. 1, 2021.
  • A 20% retail tax would be assessed on adult-use products.

“As our state reopens for business, we must also reopen for democracy,” Pepper Petersen, political director for New Approach Montana, said in a news release, referencing the coronavirus.

Peterson added the team will take a “very conservative and cautious approach” that includes providing disposable single-use gloves to individuals signing the petition and observing a 6-foot social distance when the petitions are in the process of being signed.

Petition circulators will wear masks at all times and gloves when handling the petitions.

Last week, the group’s request to collect signatures digitally was denied by a Montana judge.

Before the coronavirus outbreak, experts believed recreational marijuana legalization had a good chance to make the November ballot in Montana.

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