North Dakota Voters Reject Cannabis Legalization Measure

North Dakota voters rejected adult-use cannabis reforms for the second time during Tuesday’s elections.

Full story after the jump.

North Dakota voters have rejected a measure to legalize cannabis for adult use by a 55%-46% margin, according to New York Times polling results. It marks the second defeat for the reforms in the state, where North Dakotans voted down a similar measure in 2018 59%-41%. 

Luke Niforatos, executive vice president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a Virginia-based political organization that opposes cannabis legalization – and helped fight the measure in North Dakota – told the Associated Press that the vote showed “It’s pretty clear North Dakota families don’t want marijuana across the state.”  

The organization behind Measure 2 received close to $600,000 in donations this election cycle, mostly from national pro-legalization groups and dispensary operators, according to Inforum. Much of those funds were spent gathering signatures to put the issue to voters.  

Voters in neighboring South Dakota also rejected the reforms. 

The North Dakota House of Representatives passed a measure similar to the ballot initiative in 2021 but the proposal did not make it to the Senate floor for a vote, according to Time. Voters in the state also rejected the reforms during the 2018 midterm elections.  

The initiative would have legalized the possession of one ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older and allowed home cultivation of up to three plants.  

According to an MJBizDaily projection, an adult-use market in North Dakota could have generated up to $100 million during its first year of operation and up to $285 million in its fourth year. 

North Dakota voters legalized medical cannabis in 2016. 

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