The movement to legalize cannabis in the United States — and thus the industry that gave birth to it — will continue to grow this year and next, almost certainly via a combination of opening up state markets, ballot measures that force legalization of cannabis into state law, and state legislatures that decide on it. When medical or recreational marijuana is allowed.
The only real question is how much it will grow, quickly and where.
“We’re likely going to see pretty significant growth in the next few years. I expect we’ll have at least two more states next year, and at least a few more states the year after that,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policy at the Marijuana Policy Project.
O’Keefe said she’s optimistic sales could even start in Maryland later this year, though some observers don’t expect a start date until 2025, after the victorious recreational ballot was held in November of last year.
But she also cautioned that many legalization campaigns—particularly state legislative bills, as opposed to ballot measures like the Maryland and Missouri victories in November—are multi-year efforts that require “a lot of dealing with individual legislators.” She stressed that victory in any given country is never guaranteed.
O’Keefe said she’s optimistic about the prospects for legalization in Hawaii and Minnesota, but not so optimistic about bills in Indiana, Tennessee and Texas legislatures, for example.
O’Keefe admitted, “Most states that don’t have legalization will be served something, and most will die without even getting out of commission.” “It’s not hard to put a bill in. It’s very difficult to pass it.”
Here is a summary of states preparing to join the growing national cannabis trade, and who could adopt marijuana within the next two years.
One of two ballots legalizing cannabis to measure victories in last year’s campaign, Maryland will stand The recreational marijuana marketThe main question is when. That’s up to the legislature, which will have to approve the implementation bill. Some observers predict that sales won’t start for another year or two. But MPP’s O’Keefe said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if that happened in 2023.
The second of the two ballots measuring the wins from last year, Missouri sales It is expected to start on February 6, Immediately after the state begins to grant permits. While bone Licensed medical cannabis company applied Starting in December for permission to sell recreational cannabis, it’s not yet clear how many or exactly when the state will grant.
Mississippi, which legalized medical marijuana last year and as of late December was just waiting for lab testing to give all the clarity for sales to begin, could actually beat Missouri to the starting line, According to SuperTalk Mississippi News. The news outlet reported in December that MMJ sales could begin “within the next few weeks.”
US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands, a Caribbean territory of the United States, passed a bill to Legalization of recreational cannabisIt was soon signed into law by Governor Albert Bryan Jr. The district legalized medical marijuana in 2019, but the industry has never been implemented. The timeline for when the adult use industry will kick off is also unclear, as regulations still have to come out and work permits granted, but the islands are the latest to officially join the cannabis trade.
Polling Measurement Campaigns
there Statewide ballot initiative in the works to legalize adult use of marijuana in Florida, but the earliest it appears on the ballot is November 2024. Florida-based multi-state Trulieve is funding the campaign, having invested nearly $15 million in the effort so far, but the campaign has a long way to go Let’s cut it to the 891,589 signatures needed by February of next year to get on the ballot in that year’s general election. As of December, the campaign has only collected 53,982 signatures.
Ohio activists forced the state legislature to do so Take a position on the proposal to legalize recreational marijuana, and if lawmakers do not adopt it in the next four months during the legislative session, it will be brought to the electorate in November. In order to get to the ballot, the pro-cannabis campaign will have to collect about 150,000 additional signatures, the State House news bureau reported.
Sooner state residents will get a decision in a Special election on March 7 Whether they want to legalize adult use of cannabis. The state’s Question 820 was originally scheduled to be on the November 2022 ballot, but technical delays prevented it, and the governor put the measure on voters’ March calendar.
Lawmakers in the island state recently unveiled something new Effort to legalize recreational marijuanaAnd this time, it reportedly has the governor’s backing, which is a strong indication that the state has a good shot at joining the adult-use cannabis club. Since the bill has yet to be formally introduced, there are few details, but O’Keefe said Hawaii is the best prospect for legalization in 2023.
At the other end of the spectrum sits conservative Indiana, where three different bills to legalize recreational marijuana have already been introduced, including one by a Republican – HB 1248And HP 1039, and SB 308. However, Republicans have supermajorities in both houses and also control the Governor’s Mansion. It was the governor, Eric Holcomb openly hostile For the possibility of repairing hemp. O’Keefe puts Indiana in her tall column.
A Democratic-sponsored bill, SB 73, has been introduced in the Iowa legislature to Legalizing adult use of cannabisbut both legislatures are dominated by Republicans, a sign that the measure is likely to die quickly.
Kansas lawmakers from both parties have plans to support the legislation this year would Legalization of medical marijuana. It remains unclear what the chances of such a bill will be in the GOP-dominated legislature after a close but failed legalization attempt in 2022, when a bill that died in the Senate passed the state assembly. A bipartisan committee on legalizing the MMJ was formed, which held its last meeting in December. A bill will be introduced in the coming weeks. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly is also an outspoken supporter of legalizing the MMJ, having named it one of the top five priorities of her second term in office, and that could be enough to tip the scales.
There is a new push for Democrats in the Kentucky legislature to hold a statewide referendum Legalization of medical marijuana. If the bill passes, it would bring a ballot question to Kentucky voters in the November 2024 election. Like Kansas, the state has a pro-cannabis Democratic chief executive, Gov. Andy Beshear, who issued an executive order In November residents are allowed to possess medical cannabis and Called the legislature To legalize the MMJ. But politics can still be an obstacle, since Republicans control both houses of the legislature.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is another opportunity for legislation in 2023, according to O’Keefe, 243 pages Bill to legalize adult use of cannabis It has already been submitted. But despite a lot of attractive provisions in the measure — such as lower state taxes and city and county bans banning marijuana businesses — Also has disadvantages. With that said, Minnesota is definitely a state to watch.
Nebraska is another stubborn Midwestern state that has tried and failed for nearly a decade to legalize medical marijuana, but activists refuse to give up, promising to Another bid in the legislature next year. Legislative Bill 88, from Democratic State Sen. Anna Wishart, would do just that. But again, it’s a Democratic bill in a GOP-dominated legislature, which automatically lowers the odds of success for that bill. Nebraska Gov. Jim Belin has also spoken out against legalizing cannabis, whether medical or recreational, without FDA approval, so he’s a possible veto of Wishart’s bill.
A country whose motto is “Free life or death” will look again Legislation to legalize adult use of cannabis This year, some backers are hoping they can strike a bipartisan deal. The Senate has been the main hurdle for various reasons, but since last year’s election, the makeup of the chamber has changed. That gave some stakeholders hope that 2023 will be the year New Hampshire joins the rest of New England and legalizes cannabis.
North Carolina is another Republican-controlled legislature where legalizing medical marijuana has made slow but steady political gains over the years, with a bill to do so through the Senate last year before dying in the House. While the MMJ legalization bill has not yet been officially introduced, it is It is expected to be a hot topic in this year’s legislative session.
Keystone State is another High probability for 2023, but a bill to legalize adult use of cannabis has yet to be introduced. It’s also unclear how much support the issue has among lawmakers, but the state’s new governor, Josh Shapiro, has supported Legalization, which has cannabis advocates excited about the state’s prospects. The legislature is also divided, with Republicans controlling the Senate and Democrats holding the House, but there was a bipartisan attempt last year to legalize recreational marijuana that could be replicated this year.
a pair of bills l Legalization of medical cannabis It was introduced back in December by South Carolina lawmakers, suggesting that legalizing the MMJ could be a big boost this year. But standing in either way is Governor Henry McMaster, who is my vote hemp discount.
Another long-running state legislative attempt Legalization of medical marijuana In Tennessee, where Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation in the GOP-dominated legislature. Senior Republicans have vowed to fight the bill. O’Keefe put Tennessee on the list of states where legalization is most likely to succeed this year.
Democratic lawmakers in conservative Texas have introduced no less than five bills so far this year Legalization of medical and recreational marijuanaBut again, it’s an attempt at a GOP-controlled legislature by stretch Governor Who is not friendly to cannabis consumers. O’Keefe was also pessimistic about Texas.
Virginia is strange duck in the rationing movement. While the state has technically already legalized both medical cannabis and adult use, the latter is transitioning Follow-up legislation required In order to start an operating industry. One Republican bill to do so have been submitted This year after last year’s attempts stalled, but it is unclear whether the new bill can pass the Democratic Senate. Regardless, recreational sales are set to begin in 2024, whether or not lawmakers get a regulatory regime approved. The key question now is whether the divided legislature can agree on a framework for the industry and whether Republican Glenn Youngkin will support it.
A Democratic legislator introduced a bill to Legalizing adult use of cannabis in West Virginia, HB 2091, but appears to face long odds in GOP-controlled state government. Republicans occupy the State House, the Senate, and the Governor’s Mansion. And as Benzinga You mentioned, the state legalized medical marijuana in 2017, but the first dispensary didn’t open until 2021.
It shows the case of the Midwest, sandwiched between several other states that have already legalized either medical or recreational cannabis. Preparing to legalize the MMJ This year, since top Republican officials announced their support for the move. But hmm short stop from supporting recreational legalization, which Democratic Governor Tony Evers has advocated.