Montana, Massachusetts marijuana initiatives make ballot

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A recreational marijuana legalization initiative in Massachusetts and a measure to fully legalize medical dispensaries in Montana both qualified for the 2016 general election ballot this week.

The Massachusetts measure will appear on the ballot as Question 4, according to a statement from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. The secretary of state notified the campaign on Monday it had made the ballot, after overcoming a recent court challenge.

The Montana measure, known as Initiative 182, was certified for the ballot on Wednesday, the Montana Cannabis Industry Association announced.

Dispensaries in Montana will be forced to close at the end of August. That’s when a long-delayed 2011 law goes into effect that allows only MMJ providers to have a maximum of three patients each, essentially regulating dispensaries out of business. The initiative is an attempt to legalize the industry.

The news brings the total number of states that will vote in November for certain on cannabis legalization – either medical or recreational – to seven.

The other states include; Arkansas (medical), California (recreational), Florida (medical), Maine (recreational), and Nevada (recreational). Several more statewide marijuana campaigns, including Arizona, Missouri and North Dakota, are waiting to see if they will qualify for the ballot.