In the not too distant past, marijuana was illegal across the United States no matter what way you wanted to use it. If you wanted to get your hands on marijuana, you would have to get it illegally on the streets and not through a legal dispensary.
It was only recently that concrete evidence began to emerge regarding the positive benefits the consumption of cannabis can have when it comes to treating a whole array of different medical conditions.
This is what started the movement towards getting marijuana legalized for medicinal use. As time has gone on, certain states have also approved it for recreational use, with this list growing quite quickly.
It is imaginable that in just a few years, marijuana could be completely legalized for medicinal use throughout the majority of the country.
What areas have legalized marijuana?
So far, there are nine states plus Washington D.C. that have gone ahead and legalized recreational marijuana use for people who are aged at least 21 years old.
There are a further 30 states in which marijuana is medically legal if you are suffering from certain conditions and a medical professional has recommended it for some form of medical treatment. The latest state to have legalized the medical use of marijuana was Oklahoma, when the relevant vote was passed in June 2018.
Now more than ever are people in favour of fully legalizing cannabis, with the traditionally resistant Republicans also starting to embrace this wave of change.
There is also a massive potential in terms of tax revenues for states, as well as the businesses involved in the trade. For example, there was almost $10bn in revenue generated through the industry during 2017, which was a rise of 33% compared to the previous year.
Not many people expected this market to grow quite as fast as it has done already, and it doesn’t look like stopping as of yet. There are some people estimating that this market could hit revenues of almost $32 billion in the next five years.
The following states have legalized marijuana in one way or another.
People aged at least 21-years-old are allowed to use marijuana recreationally. Since the start of 2015, it has been legal for its residents to be able to possess, use, and move as much as an ounce of cannabis if it is for recreational use.
It was towards the end of 2016 that the first pot store was opened. This has proved to be a significant boost for tourism in the state, and this money is going right back into the local economy.
Perhaps the state that people most associate with the use of marijuana, the Golden State first legalized the medical use of marijuana in 1996. It was in 2016 that it became legal for people to utilize or carry as much as an ounce.
Anyone who is at least 21-years-old can buy marijuana concentrates in a quantity of as much as 8 grams (usually edible form) and they are able to grow a maximum of 6 marijuana plants in their home.
There are certain cities found throughout the state though that have banned the selling of weed for recreational use, including the likes of Bakersfield and Fresno.
Colorado is another state that is well-known for its stance on marijuana. It seems as though you will find more dispensaries for marijuana than you will find McDonald’s and Starbucks combined. Along with Washington, they were the first state that completely legalized this drug back in 2012. Anyone that is at least 21-years-old is able to purchase as much as a gram of marijuana or 8g of concentrates.
Like in California, there are certain jurisdictions in Colorado that have restricted marijuana use in some shape or form.
There is a law in place in Maine which gives people the right to have as much as 2.5 ounces worth of marijuana, which is a lot larger than a lot of other states allow currently. However, weed is not yet available for sale in the state, with dispensaries not expected to open up their doors to customers until 2019.
Since 2016, residents in Massachusetts are able to utilize and carry as much as an ounce of cannabis, as well as grow as many as a dozen plants within a given house.
There has been a delay implemented on when the pot stores are allowed to open. As per the law that was voted upon, these stores were meant to be opened by January 2018, but it wasn’t until July 2018 that they were finally given the green light to proceed with their offerings.
Both tourists and residents that are at least 21-years-old can purchase an ounce of cannabis here, or else they can get an eighth of an edible ounce.
There have been numerous shortages to date in the weed stores in Las Vegas, so the supply often runs dry. Recreational weed first started being available to buy in July of 2017 and since then they have generated almost $20 million in taxation revenue for the city and state.
However, there are strict rules when it comes to growing your own weed. You cannot grow any plants if you live within 25 miles of a dispensary, and you will need to prove this in order to get a growing license.
Recreational weed has been in place in Oregon since 2015, and they can grow as many as four plants of cannabis in their residence as well as have an ounce on their body when walking around.
There has been a massive increase in funding for social sectors, such as the state police, public health policies and the education system, with $85 million in revenue generated from weed taxes in the state.
Vermont was in fact the very first state that brought marijuana legalization by pushing it through their legislature as opposed to through a ballot initiative. This occurred on January 22nd of 2018 when the Republican Governor signed the respective bill, which meant that it then became law.
You can carry as much as an ounce of weed if you are an adult and you can only grow a maximum of two plants in your residence. However, there is yet to be any law in place that will allow a market that is legal for both producing the marijuana and selling it in from a weed store or dispensary.
Since legalizing marijuana for recreational use in 2012, there has been more than $1 billion generated in the state. You are able to have as much as an ounce of weed on your person, but if you want to get a growing license you will need to showcase that you need marijuana for a medical reason, rather than just for recreational use.
The capital city of the United States passed a bill in November of 2014 after a public vote which saw recreational marijuana use being legalized. People are allowed to carry as much as two ounces on their person and can gift another person as much as an ounce if there is no bartering involved in this transaction.