What States Have Legalized Recreational Marijuana?
In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana use. In New York, residents 21 and older are allowed to possess up to three ounces of flower and grow up to six plants per household. Recreational marijuana can be purchased and used anywhere cigarettes are legal, and the state is also making it easier for residents to grow and consume the plant. Prior low-level marijuana offenses will be expunged. medical marijuana green card buffalo ny
In March 2020, the state of South Dakota legalized recreational cannabis use. The state passed a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana, but a key element is still unclear. The state’s Governor, John Carney, has not been a proponent of marijuana legalization. Despite his opposition, the bill was recently passed through a state house committee. Carney’s spokesperson says his stance on the legalization of cannabis has not changed. While Delaware legalized medicinal marijuana in 2011, it still does not permit home cultivation.
While the presidential election will undoubtedly get all the attention, other states are getting on board with the cannabis industry. Earlier this year, several states voted on whether or not to legalize the industry. New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, Arizona, and Mississippi all passed measures legalizing marijuana use. While many states still have a way to go before legalizing it, the process has advanced at a rapid pace. As a result, marijuana legalization is quickly becoming a mainstream industry.
New Jersey has been on the brink of legalizing cannabis for adults. Governor John Corzine passed a medical marijuana law in 2010, but Republican Governor Chris Christie stalled the initiative in 2011 by restricting qualifying conditions and increasing the barrier to entry. In November 2018, however, incoming Governor Phil Murphy expanded the law, and it is now legal in New Jersey. New Jersey has thirteen dispensaries, serving roughly a hundred thousand registered patients.
While Montana voters approved recreational marijuana last November, the state is still far away. As of January 1, 2021, adults over 21 in Montana can possess up to an ounce of flower and 3.5 grams of THC concentrate. The state will only open up dispensaries after 2022, though. Meanwhile, conservative lawmakers are working to water down the legislation, complicate licensing requirements, and prevent people with drug convictions from participating in the industry.
While medical marijuana became legal in Maine in 2016, the retail industry is still not set up there until 2020. While small-scale marijuana growers are currently thriving in the state, large multi-state cannabis companies are eyeing the state to become a profit. Maine’s marijuana laws have been a long time coming, and this new law is a step in the right direction. And with the legalization of marijuana, more consumers will be able to access the plant.
Currently, only a few states have fully legalized recreational marijuana. However, many other states have a long way to go. While Colorado and Oregon are the most likely to legalize marijuana, a few other states have passed bills legalizing the plant. Arizona is the second state to legalize the drug, with recreational sales beginning in April 2022. The state’s legislation will help ensure that the marijuana industry is regulated.