The recreational cannabis industries in Colorado and Illinois are set for growth after voters in several regions endorsed local ballot queries to lift previous industry restrictions.
In Colorado, more than ten municipalities voted on marijuana-related ballot approvals. According to Denver Alt Weekly Westword, as of Thursday, eight towns voted to authorize commercial cannabis, and two towns voted to approve special sales taxes for marijuana.
Municipalities in Colorado that set to endorse recreational marijuana sales include Buena Vista, Cedar Edge, Romeo, Broomfield, Lakewood, Paonia, Littleton, and Fort Lupton.
Despite approving recreational marijuana sales tax, the resort town of Winter Park did not specifically endorse recreational marijuana sales.
The town of Dinosaur upheld increased cannabis sales tax. However, the towns of Eckley and Kiowa did not sign off the ballot measures to regulate new cannabis businesses.
In Illinois, more than five Chicago suburbs voted to endorse marijuana businesses in their localities. They include Wilmette, Glen Ellyn, Mount Prospect, Elk Grove Village, and Batna. A report by the Chicago Tribune indicated that, as of Thursday, at least seven pro-cannabis questions were passing.
Overall, the recreational marijuana sales ballot received considerable support in Illinois, with Western Springs being the only town that rejected the ballot measures.
Both states have recorded similar trends over the years, where localities previously resisted measures to lift bans on commercial cannabis. As witnessed in recent elections, the trend is slowly changing in favor of benefits such as jobs and tax revenue the industry promises.
Legalizing recreational cannabis has become the latest priority for states ever since it was first ratified by Washington and Colorado in 2012. So far, eleven states, including Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational cannabis. South Dakota and Mississippi have legalized medical marijuana, a move still awaiting approval in thirty-three other states, among them Washington, D.C.