Marijuana legalization candidates have gained significant momentum in 2020. Proponents of state ballot measures have outraised opponents this year by nearly 36-to-1, a gigantic increase from the last presidential voting year, when advocates outraised their opponents by only 4-to-1.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, candidates supporting marijuana legalization in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota have raised approximately $19.6 million in 2020, compared with just $546,000 raised by opponents.
Adult-use legalization is back on the ballot this year in Arizona, and there is a good chance that it gets approved this voting period. A poll conducted at Monmouth University in New Jersey at the beginning of October showed 56% supported the measure with 36% opposed and 8% undecided. Marijuana legalization candidates have outraised competitions 11-to-1 in 2020. Up to now, Smart and Safe Arizona, the committee behind the measure, has raised more than $5 million while opponents have only earned $459,000.
29% of the supporting Arizona contributions came from the Marijuana Policy Project in 2016. The deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) , Matthew Schweich, stated that while the organization supports the Arizona and New Jersey ballot measures, its staff has been more focused on the Montana and South Dakota campaigns in the recent voting cycle. Schweich also stated, “That’s where our assistance can make the biggest difference.” MPP has given $84,330 in cash and in-kind donations to the two states, a much smaller amount compared with the $1.69 million it gave Arizona in 2016.
Other marijuana businesses, including Massachusetts-based Curaleaf, Arizona-based Copperstate Farms and Illinois-based Cresco Labs, have contributed a combined $1.3 million to support passing marijuana legalization in Arizona.
New Jersey marijuana legalization candidates received $800,000 from Scotts Miracle-Gro, a leading company in the lawn and garden industry. which possesses Hawthorne Gardening, a hydroponics subsidiary for cannabis growers.