top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Omaha Chronicles

Deadline For Nebraska's 2024 Medical Marijuana Petitions Drawing Near

Nebraska's cannabis landscape is undergoing a significant shift as petitions circulate among its voters, aiming to bring two crucial measures to the forefront.

Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) have been trying to meet the 87,000 signatures from voters needed on two ballot petitions for legalizing and regulating medical marijuana by July 3rd, 2024.

These petitions are:

The Medical Cannabis Regulation Act and the The Patient Protection

Each petition contains a statutory measure — similar to a bill that might be introduced in the state legislature — that hopes to enact into Nebraska law.

If enough voters sign the petition sheets, both medical cannabis measures will qualify for the November 2024 general election ballot.

If and when the majority of Nebraska voters approve both measures, they become law once the results of the election are certified.

Medical Cannabis Regulation Act

This petition is also aimed at legalizing medical cannabis while establishing a comprehensive framework for its governance. Although similar to the Patient Protection Act, there are some differences.

Formation of the Commission: The proposal establishes the Nebraska Medical Cannabis Commission, tasked with regulating and overseeing the medical cannabis landscape in the state. Commission members, appointed by the Governor, will be entrusted with ensuring compliance with established rules and standards.

Registration and Regulation:

 Individuals and entities intending to participate in the medical cannabis industry must register with the state.

 Once registered, they can engage in activities such as possession, manufacturing, distribution, delivery, and dispensation of cannabis for medical purposes, all under the oversight of the Nebraska Medical Cannabis Commission.

Setting Rules and Granting Registrations: 

The Commission will play a pivotal role in setting rules for registration eligibility, granting registrations to qualified entities, and monitoring the operations of registered cannabis establishments.

Key Terms: 

The proposal meticulously defines essential terms such as "cannabis," "cannabis accessories," "cannabis for medical purposes," "cannabis products," "commission," "registered cannabis establishment," and "registration." This clarity ensures a cohesive understanding of the legislation's scope.

Enforcement and Oversight: 

To uphold the integrity of the regulatory framework, the Commission will possess the authority to impose fines for violations and oversee the collection and distribution of these fines.

The Patient Protection Act

Essentially, The Patient Protection Act is a special set of rules for using cannabis as medicine. The proposed legislation lays out clear rules for the therapeutic use of cannabis. Here's what the proposal entails:

Access for Qualified Patients: 

Individuals with a valid recommendation from a healthcare provider would gain access to medical cannabis. They would be permitted to possess and use up to five ounces of cannabis to alleviate medical conditions. Yes you read that right, five ounces.

Exclusion of Hemp Products: 

The proposal specifies that hemp and hemp-derived products are not included in the allowances for medical cannabis.

Definition of Cannabis Accessories: 

"Cannabis accessories," essential for storing and using cannabis, are delineated within the proposal.

Role of Caregivers:

 Designated caregivers, whether family members or healthcare facilities, would play a pivotal role in assisting patients in obtaining and using medical cannabis.

Criteria for Qualified Patients: 

Those eligible for medical cannabis use must possess a written recommendation from a healthcare provider, ensuring that access is granted under professional guidance.

Medical Marijuana Cards/Written Recommendations: 

Healthcare providers can issue written recommendations, signaling their approval of cannabis use for specific medical purposes.

Compliance with Regulations: 

Following the rules outlined in the proposal, qualified patients and their caregivers can legally obtain and use medical cannabis without fear of legal repercussions under drug laws.

In Conclusion

In essence, the proposal endeavors to strike a balance between accessibility and accountability, making medical cannabis available to those in need while safeguarding against potential misuse.

If enacted, this legislation could mark a significant step forward in Nebraska's approach to medical cannabis, offering hope and relief to countless individuals seeking alternative forms of treatment.

To sign the petition please go to the Nebraskan's for Medical Marijuana website at:

Click the tab "Find A Place To Sign" at the menu at the top.

Then click "Find A Signing Event".

The state process

In Nebraska, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated state statute for the ballot is equal to 7 percent of registered voters as of the deadline for filing signatures. Because of the unique signature requirement based on registered voters, Nebraska is also the only state where petition sponsors cannot know the exact number of signatures required until they are submitted. Nebraska law also features a distribution requirement mandating that petitions contain signatures from 5 percent of the registered voters in each of two-fifths (38) of Nebraska's 93 counties.

Signatures must be submitted at least four months prior to the next general election. Signatures do not roll over; they become invalid after the next general election at least four months after the initial initiative application filing. Depending on when the initiative application is filed, petitioners can have up to just under two years to circulate petitions.

The requirements to get an initiated state statute certified for the 2024 ballot:

Signatures are submitted to the secretary of state. The secretary of state sends the appropriate signature petitions to each county, where county election officials verify the signatures. Upon receiving the signatures back from county officials, the secretary of state determines whether or not the requirements were met.

Details about this initiative

  • The initiative was filed on June 9, 2023, by Sen. Anna Wishart (D), Crista Eggers, and former Sen. Adam Morfield (D)


bottom of page