Besides the Presidential Election on Tuesday, cannabis legalization was on five states ballots. All five states approved making cannabis legal in some form. They join eleven other states that have done so since Colorado and Washington broke the seal in 2012.
These results are tremendous for the cannabis community. More than 111 million Americans or 33.8% of the U.S. population now live in states where cannabis is approved for all adults' legal purchases.
States that Approved Legal Cannabis in Some Form
New Jersey is the first state in the mid-Atlantic region to approve legalized recreational cannabis use. Caught between Pennsylvania and York, their approval could also influence these neighboring states to legalize cannabis for recreational purposes. Effective January 1, 2021. The New Jersey legislature is now responsible for setting up rules and regulations for the consumer marketplace.
South Dakota had not approved of CBD use in their state. When voters agreed to legalize medical and recreational cannabis simultaneously, it was a nationwide first! Cannabis remains illegal until July 1, 2021, when residents can tart to possess, consume, and grow up to three plants. Medical use will start sales on July 1, 2021. The state has until April 1, 2022, to develop rules and regulations for selling recreational cannabis.
Montana approved a measure and a constitutional amendment to legalize weed for adults 21+ for recreational use. Beginning January 1, 2021, Montana residents can possess, use, and grow marijuana. Recreational sales will start in January 2022.
Arizona failed to pass a legalization bill in 2016 for recreational use. But yesterday, Arizona voters approved a proposition that legalizes recreational cannabis. There is no set date when it will become legal to possess cannabis. Retail sales could start on April 5, 2021, and maybe sooner.
Mississippi voters approved medical marijuana. The state has until July 1, 2021, to establish rules and regulations.
As more and more states go to legalize cannabis in some form, it influences surrounding states. Just 26 states have initiative processes at the state level. New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Mexico are already calling for their governments to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
The 15 States and 1 District with Legal Cannabis Use
Recreational/Medical: Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Vermont. The new* states: New Jersey, South Dakota, Montana, and Arizona.
The 20 States with Legal Medical Cannabis Use
Medical Only: New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Utah, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Mississippi (new*).
*Check your state guidelines for when this goes into effect.