WY Marijuana Dispensary Guide
Efforts Underway to Legalize Medical Marijuana and Decriminalize Recreational Marijuana In Wyoming
Type of program Being Proposed: Medical
- Cannabis policy reform advocates are undertaking a voter initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Wyoming.
- Efforts to decriminalize marijuana in Wyoming are also underway.
- A recent attempt to legalize adult recreational marijuana failed to move lawmakers.
- Several signature-gathering rallies are being planned in cities across the state of Wyoming.
Efforts to decriminalize marijuana in Wyoming
In an effort to decriminalize and possibly legalize medical marijuana in Wyoming, activists are preparing to collect signatures to place two ballot questions on the 2022 ballot.
In March, a bill to regulate and legalize adult-use marijuana advanced out of a House committee but failed to get a floor vote before the closing of the session. The Republican chair of the House Judiciary Committee showed support for the legislation.
The measure would have allowed adults 21 years and older to purchase and possess up to three ounces of cannabis. It would also permit adults to grow up to 12 mature marijuana plants for personal use. The House speaker and some top GOP lawmakers co-sponsored the measure.
After state lawmakers advanced but ultimately failed to pass the legalization, activists launched the ballot initiative. Prior to being cleared by the attorney general’s office, campaign officials, and advocacy groups including NORML and the national Libertarian Party turned in the requisite 100 initial sponsorship signatures for each measure to the secretary of state last month.
Petition sheets were provided by the secretary of state’s office Tuesday, weeks after Wyoming’s attorney general issued ballot summaries for the measures.
To qualify for the November 2022 ballot, advocates must collect 41,776 signatures per measure by February of 2022. If they don’t meet their signature quota, the activists will have to wait until January 2023 to qualify for the next election.
What’s in the petitions?
If the medical marijuana initiative is passed, qualifying patients would have the right to purchase and possess up to 20 grams of “medical marijuana-derived products,” and four ounces of cannabis flower. The measure would allow the patients to purchase said amounts for each 30 day period. Each patient would be allowed to lawfully cultivate up to eight mature plants for personal use.
Qualifying patients suffering from an array of debilitating conditions, including glaucoma, HIV, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and MS would have the right to grow medical marijuana.
The licensing of marijuana businesses would ultimately be under the auspices of The Department of Revenue’s Liquor Division. The Department would be required to instigate the rules by July 1, 2023.
The division “shall regulate the acquisition, growth, cultivation, extraction, production, processing, manufacturing, testing, distribution, retail sales, licensing, transportation and taxation of medical marijuana and medical marijuana-derived products and the operation of medical marijuana establishments in a manner that will not prove excessively burdensome for Patients to access medical marijuana or medical marijuana-derived products nor burdensome for licensed healthcare providers to certify their Patients,” the text of the measure states.
Present Proposal By Cannabis Advocates
At present, cannabis advocates are proposing a measure to impose nominal fines on individuals in possession of up to four ounces of marijuana, sans jail time. The first and second offenses would be considered misdemeanors and penalized with a $50 fine. All future misdemeanor possession offenses would receive a $75 dollar fine. Individuals arrested for growing cannabis would receive a maximum $200 fine.
Additionally, those caught in possession of cannabis and exceeding the four-ounce limit may be fined up to $500. Individuals found to be under the influence of marijuana could receive a $50 fine.
Just over half of Wyoming residents support legalizing adult recreational use of marijuana according to a poll released in December. Voters in neighboring South Dakota and Montana approved medical marijuana legalization ballot measures last November.
A series of signature-gathering rallies will be held in several Wyoming cities over the weekend in an effort to garner support for the initiative.