BOISE, Idaho — The initiative to legalize medical marijuana in Idaho has been approved by the Idaho Secretary of State's office to enter circulation and begin gathering signatures.

Lawrence Denney, the Secretary of State, announced on Friday that backers of the ballot initiative can begin collecting signatures now that the legal language of the initiative is finalized.

The ballot initiative would enact the Idaho Medical Marijuana Act if approved by voters in 2020. The act would protect patients, growers and others involved with medical marijuana from civil and criminal sanctions and arrest for the possession and distribution of marijuana.

Patients, caregivers, growers and others would all have to register with the state and receive identity cards to buy medical marijuana. Dispensaries would have to get a certificate from the state which would authorize them to grow marijuana.

The act would limit qualified patients and caregivers to four ounces of medical marijuana and no more than six marijuana plants in their possession.

MORE: Idaho group to try again with medical marijuana initiative

Proponents of the ballot initiative have until April 30, 2020, to gather at least 55,057 signatures, which is 6% of registered voters from the 2018 general election, and the signatures have to be collected from at least 18 legislative districts in Idaho with a minimum of 6% of registered voters from each district signing the initiative.

The deadline to submit all signatures on May 1, 2020.

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