What Are the Recent Changes in Cannabis Legalization Across the United States?

The landscape of cannabis legalization in the United States has undergone significant changes recently. A pivotal moment occurred on July 1, 2023, when new laws came into effect allowing adults aged 21 or older to possess and consume cannabis within certain limits. Specifically, individuals can have up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower, 12 grams of concentrated cannabis, or a total amount of cannabis products not exceeding 750 mg THC, collectively known as the “personal use amount.”

As of March 1, 2023, cannabis legalization for recreational use has been enacted in 21 states, along with Washington D.C., Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. These measures remove all state-imposed penalties for specified marijuana activities. The APIS – Alcohol Policy provides more insights into these recently adopted cannabis legalization laws.

In Maryland, the Cannabis Reform Act, effective from May 3, 2023, allowed existing licensed dispensaries to convert their licenses for dual medical and adult-use sales, establishing a legal adult-use marketplace from July 1, 2023. More details on this can be found in the Maryland Cannabis Administration FAQs.

Additionally, New Jersey updated its Personal-Use Cannabis Rules (N.J.A.C 17:30) effective March 6, 2023, proposing additional ingestible forms of cannabis. These updates and their implications are detailed on New Jersey’s official website.

Minnesota’s legalization of recreational cannabis in 2023 marked it as the 23rd state to do so. This law permits the home growth of up to eight cannabis plants, with a maximum of four mature plants at any given time. Safety risks and compliance with city electrical codes are essential considerations for those planning to grow cannabis at home, as outlined by Bloomington, MN’s guidelines.

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On the federal level, October 2022 saw President Joe Biden grant clemency to certain low-level federal marijuana offenders and initiated a review of marijuana’s status under federal law. These developments, among others, are discussed in CRS Reports on recent developments in marijuana law.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remains actively engaged in identifying and addressing public health concerns related to marijuana use. Their latest review and findings, as of September 21, 2023, can be found on the CDC’s website.

Ohio is facing a significant decision with a ballot measure slated for November 7, which could legalize recreational marijuana use and permit the opening of new marijuana farms and stores. More information on this can be obtained from the Ohio Senate’s official page.

Finally, the Maryland Cannabis Administration highlights that from July 1, 2023, adults over 21 can legally purchase and possess cannabis. The opening weekend of consumer cannabis sales, from February 3 to February 5, 2023, saw combined sales of over $12.6 million. Further details are available on the Maryland Cannabis Administration’s website.

The evolving policies and laws regarding cannabis across the United States signify a shift towards broader acceptance and regulation of marijuana use for both medical and recreational purposes.

What Are the Recent Changes in Cannabis Legalization Across the United States?

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