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The future of an effort to get full “adult use,” or recreational marijuana, onto Missouri’s November 2020 ballot is “unclear,” according to a statement circulated early Saturday by Missouri attorney and cannabis activist Dan Viets.

The future of an effort to get full “adult use,” or recreational marijuana, onto Missouri’s November 2020 ballot is “unclear,” according to a statement circulated early Saturday by Missouri attorney and cannabis activist Dan Viets.

Viets is the state coordinator for the pro-cannabis group NORML and is an advisory board member for Missourians for a New Approach, the entity backing the current push for recreational weed in the Show-Me State.

“No official decision has yet been made regarding whether to suspend the campaign,” the written statement said.

But it’s not looking good, and that’s because of the current pandemic.

“It is, of course, virtually impossible to effectively gather signatures on petitions given the response to the coronavirus pandemic,” Viets said in the statement.

While Missouri is one of a handful of U.S. states without any stay-at-home order covering its whole territory, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Columbia all have stay-at-home orders in place, in a bid to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 infection rates.

The last significant campaign push to add signatures to the New Approach recreational petition appears to have been on March 10, the day of Missouri’s presidential primary vote.

The campaign, backed by New Approach, was announced in January,a week after Missouri health authorities handed out licenses for commercial cannabis dispensaries in the Show-Me State’s fledgling medical marijuana program. Voters approved medical cannabis in November 2018.

Under state law, New Approach would need to gather 160,000 petition signatures by May in order to get recreational cannabis onto the November 2020 ballot.

“We should know within a very short time whether the campaign will be continuing this year or not,” Viets wrote in the statement. If the current campaign is suspended, New Approach is likely to try again in 2022, according to the statement.

The News-Leader was not successful reaching Viets on Saturday morning.

A Missouri Health Department spokesperson previously said she doesn’t expectdelays in the implementation of the new medical cannabis program. Meanwhile, the department’s medical marijuana section has approved roughly 40,000 patients for lawful use of medicinal weed so far, even as state authorities grapple with the pandemic.

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