Updates on the cannabis market from Montana, Maine and beyond

Recreational cannabis is on the ballot this fall in Montana, South Dakota and Arizona. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Recreational cannabis is on the ballot this fall in Montana, South Dakota and Arizona.

From Montana to Maine and all the way down into the depths of the federal bureaucracy, Americans' ability to access and understand cannabis has taken a few steps forward in recent days.

Let's take a look at where and how.

Maine set to open its market
"Today's announcement is a major milestone in honoring the will of Maine voters," Erik Gundersen, director of Maine's Office of Marijuana Policy, said in an Aug. 14 statement.

The milestone honoring that will of those voters is that Maine's legal cannabis market will be opening for business, albeit nearly four years after those very voters expressed that very will.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Maine's voters passed, narrowly, an amendment to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis. A series of challenges — a recount, a veto and most recently, a pandemic — have stalled the opening of the state's retail marketplace. Now though, Mainers have a date to look forward to. Stores can open on Oct. 9.

On the ballot in Montana
It's officially official in the Big Sky State; the voters will decide the future of recreational cannabis in Montana this November.

New Approach Montana, the group behind a pair of initiatives that would legalize and regulate cannabis in the state, needed to collect about 75,000 signatures to land on the ballot. In June, the group submitted more than 130,000. On Aug. 13, Montana's secretary of state certified that the group had in fact reached the required number.

Montana joins Arizona and South Dakota as states with recreational cannabis on their 2020 ballots.

Feds ramp up study of CBD
Last month, the Food and Drug Administration released results of a testing campaign it conducted on a selection of publicly available products containing CBD. The administration found that the labeling on products containing CBD isn't exactly trustworthy.

Along with the results, the FDA stated its desire to learn more about these products and what they contain. It appears those weren't just empty words.

On Aug. 14, Marijuana Moment reported that the FDA was looking to hire a contractor to analyze between 1,000-3,000 products containing CBD — far more than the 147 tested in the FDA's previous study. According to the FDA's release, work on this larger study could begin as early as Sept. 10 of this year. ♦

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