Voters in Florida, North Dakota, Montana and Arkansas approved medical marijuana measures on Tuesday, while their counterparts in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational pot initiatives.

The results bring the number of states that have legalized cannabis to 29.

Arizona voters narrowly defeated a recreational pot measure, while the outcome of a similar proposal in Maine remained too close to call on Wednesday morning.

While pot sales are now legal in more than half the country, a decades-old federal ban continues to cast a shadow over the sector's legitimacy. Most banks and credit unions remain unwilling to work with marijuana firms, many of which have been forced to
operate on a cash-only basis.

Pot advocates hope that as more states legalize the drug, there will be growing pressure on Congress and the executive branch to provide stronger assurances that the marijuana business and the banks that serve it will be safe from federal interference.

The Florida measure passed with roughly 71% of the vote. It amends the state constitution to allow for medical uses of marijuana.

Meanwhile, California, Massachusetts and Nevada followed in the footsteps of Oregon, Washington state, Colorado and Alaska in legalizing recreational pot.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.