Which States Are Legal?
We review which states are currently legal for recreational or medicinal cannabis. Read below to find out which states who legalized cannabis last November!
Federal Status of Cannabis
In the United States of America, cultivating, using, possessing, selling, and transporting cannabis is illegal under federal law.
After the promotion of much propaganda, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 made cannabis a Schedule 1 substance. As such, the federal government claims that cannabis has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use, and has a lack of safety.
However, there is significant research suggesting that cannabis does have valid medical uses, including treatment for Alzheimer’s, cancer, and epilepsy. With cannabis still classified as a Schedule 1 drug, it is difficult for experts to perform the proper clinical trials to rigorously study the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
While cannabis is still federally illegal, a majority of states by this point either allow for medical cannabis or have completely legalized recreational use. In 2015, legal cannabis sales totaled $5.4 billion in the United States.
Not only would legalization increase tax revenue, but it would also create more jobs. An extrapolation projected that if cannabis was legalized, the industry would have the potential to create 100,000 jobs.
Marijuana Legalization in the 50 States
In 2016, California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts legalized marijuana recreationally. Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota also passed laws for medicinal cannabis.
As it currently stands, cannabis is also legal for recreation in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. There are 21 states that have legalized cannabis medicinally. Also, 15 states have approved some form of low-THC high-CBD oil for qualified patients.
We summarize the legalization status in each state below. Click on a state name to view details about the current legislation.
Medical States: Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
Currently, Alabama treats marijuana possession as a felony, although a first offense may be just a misdemeanor. While all recreational uses are considered illegal, nonpsychoactive amounts of medicinal cannabis have been available since 2014.
The legislation of Carly’s Law in 2014 allowed for initial trials of CBD oil treatment for epilepsy. However, many families and patients were left untreated by this provision.
By April of 2016, Leni’s Law approved for the use of cannabidiol, or CBD, the second most common cannabinoid in cannabis.
Cannabis oil is now approved for medicinal purposes, as long as THC levels are under %3. These levels of THC are low enough to not be psychoactive, yet high enough to potentially contain some medicinal benefits. THC and CBD are known to work in a synergistic manner.
While Alabama has had some success recently with medicinal cannabis oil, legalization is quite far away. In March of 2016, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions was clearly against legalization and claimed that it was more dangerous than alcohol.
Senator Ball feels similarly, as he is for medical marijuana, yet not for recreational cannabis to be legalized.
Alaska is the fourth state in the country to allow for recreational cannabis. While it is the most recent state to formally legalize cannabis, Alaska has had a long history with the plant.
Over 40 years ago, the Alaska Supreme Court said it was a right to privacy for a citizen to use a possess a small amount of cannabis.
Medical Marijuana has been legalized in Alaska since 1998. Up to 6 plants could be cultivated and up to an ounce was allowed by possession.
Two failed attempts of legalization occurred in 2000 and 2004. On November 4, 2014, the state passed legislature to make cannabis legal for recreational and medicinal purposes. Now, people can legally carry up to an ounce and have the right to grow up to 24 plants without a commercial license.
By 2015, Arizona boasts over 80,000 registered medical marijuana patients with over 90 dispensaries. It is projected that legalization would lead to over 400,000 recreational users.
The hope of recreational legalization has caused much excitement and anticipation for the election on November 8, 2016. With the currently proposed legislation, it is expected that an extra 40 million dollars would be made for schools each year.
Medical marijuana patients in Arizona worried about employers should have no worries, as long as they medicate responsibly. While you can get fired for being intoxicated at your workplace, your employer cannot legally fire you simply for having a medical card.
The Arizona Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act Initiative is currently collecting enough signatures to get on the ballot. With any luck, Arizona will be added to the list of legalized states by the end of the year.
In November 2016, Arkansas passed a bill for medicinal cannabis.
Arkansas has tried giving medical marijuana a shot, but the 2012 Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act just barely did not pass, as only 48% of the vote was for the bill.
The state attorney general has proposed a constitutional amendment that would fully allow for the legalization of recreational cannabis. It is projected that the state would receive an extra $75 million per year.
Surprisingly enough, the proposed bill allows for users to grow up to 36 cannabis plants.
However, it looks like another bill was passed instead, which allows for patients to receive doctor-approved treatment. Rather than having dispensaries for profit, patients can receive up to 2.5 ounces from nonprofit compassion centers.
Many would say that the best cannabis in the country comes from California. The state has a long history of being cannabis friendly, and 2016 was the year where California finally legalizes recreational marijuana.
In 1975, the penalty for cannabis possession was brought down to the level of a misdemeanor. On November 5, 1996, California passed Proposition 215, making it the first state to legalize medical marijuana.
Former Facebook president Sean Parker donated over a million dollars to the 2016 legalization initiative. With California’s large hippie population, it is no surprise that legalizing recreational cannabis would bring in a lot of legitimate revenue into the state. California’s medical cannabis already is a $2.7 billion industry.
Recreational sales are projected to start at the beginning of 2018.
Nearly everyone is aware that Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational cannabis, which was done by the Colorado Amendment 64 on November 6, 2012. By the the first day of 2014, dispensaries were open to the public.
Being the first state to legalize, many look to Colorado to set an example for other states. In 2015, legal sales of cannabis in Colorado gave about $1 billion in revenue, creating $135 million in tax revenue.
While more tax revenue is great, especially when much of the money typically is put towards education, other still have concerns. Most importantly, many worry that legalization of cannabis will make it easier for minors to get access to the drug. While it is difficult to tell, Colorado did not see a statistically significant increase in the number of children who consume cannabis.
One difficulty of legal dispensary owners is the fact that federal banks will not issue out accounts for these businesses to hold their funds. This forces dispensaries to deal with purely cash, which increases the risk of theft. Unsurprisingly, the IRS has made it clear that these businesses must file their taxes properly.
Other statistics that have changed in Colorado since legalization include the decrease of crime rates and the decrease in traffic fatalities. While the number of incidents with drivers under the influence of marijuana has increased, the overall number of deaths due to accidents has decreased.
A few negatives associated with legalization did occur as well. The number of hospitalizations and emergency department visits has increased. Also, the amount of cannabis trafficked across state borders has increase.
While legalization in Colorado has led the state into uncharted territory, it seems that there have been no drastic setbacks due to legalization. Many other states are looking to follow in Colorado’s example.
While sale, transportation, and cultivation of the herb is a felony in Connecticut, possession has been reduced to a misdemeanor which leads to a fine.
Medical marijuana is legal in Connecticut, which was passed in 2012. By August 20, 2014, 6 dispensaries were authorized to open.
In January 2016, the Department of Consumer Protection allowed for three more dispensaries to open. As of May 2016, legislation was signed to allow for minors to also participate in medical marijuana.
Many are also pushing for the legalization of recreational cannabis in Connecticut as well.
However, two bills to legalize recreational cannabis have already failed this year, due to inactivity. While democratic Governor Malloy is for medical marijuana, he is still does not promote or encourage recreational cannabis.
In April 2016, an informational hearing was held to discuss the potential benefits and harms of legalizing recreational cannabis. While it does not look like cannabis will be legalized in Connecticut by the end of 2016, similar discussions are sure to continue.
While Delaware currently offers medical marijuana, the fight for legal medicinal cannabis has been a long one. A bill was passed as early as July 1, 2011 to allow for medical marijuana, yet things were soon to change.
By February 2012, State Governor Jack Markell declared that Delaware’s medical marijuana program would be shut down, in order to not jeopardize the legal status of state employees under federal law. By 2013, Markell stated that he would attempt to open a medical dispensary by the next year.
While it took a bit longer than expected, medical marijuana was again legalized by June 23, 2015 under Rylie’s Law. Only three days later, Delaware’s first medical dispensary opened for business. The bill allows for non-smoked cannabis oil with THC content below 7% to be administered to minors.
Cannabis was also decriminalized in Delaware by June of 2015. No longer are people be jailed for marijuana possession. Getting caught with cannabis now only results in a $100 fine that is paid just like a parking ticket.
While some say that decriminalization is the first step to legalization, Gov. Markell has already said that he would not support recreational legalization. While legalization in Delaware by the end of 2016 seems unlikely, Markell will soon be done with his term in office.
Medicinal cannabis is becoming more accepted in Florida. With a bill passing last November, and the legislature is currently meeting to discuss implementation.
Possession of cannabis in Florida is currently a misdemeanor as long as the quantity is below 20 grams. Over the past year, several cities and counties have taken measures to not arrest people and simply give out a citation. Other jurisdictions continue to make arrests.
On June 16, 2014, criminal laws were exempt to patients who had CBD oil with less than 0.8% THC. By March of 2015, patients who were expected to die within a year were allowed to access other forms of medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana was on the ballot in Florida back in 2014, but the bill did not pass. Only 57% of the vote approved the bill, while at least 60% was needed for it to pass. However, in 2016, a new bill passed with 71% support for medical patients.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
In February of 2015, a measure was passed to allow for medical cannabis oil. On April 16, 2015, non-psychoactive CBD oil was legalized for medicinal use in Georgia, as long as the THC content is below 5%. The law is referred to as Haleigh’s Hope Act.
Similar to many states who pass medical marijuana legislation, Georgia has struggled at deciding the best way to administer medical cannabis. While CBD oil is permitted for medical patients, there is currently no cultivation in Georgia, which makes accessing the oil quite difficult.
State Rep. Allen Peake has tried to push legislation to allow for a more comprehensive medical marijuana program, which would allow for legal cultivation, sales, and also remove the low THC requirement on the medicine. However, it appears that this legislation will not advance.
While a bill has been presented to fully legalize cannabis in Georgia, the bill will not be on the ballot this November. It is no surprise that recreational legalization is struggling, considering the fact that medical cannabis is not fully legal yet.
Georgia is also known for having rather harsh laws for recreational use. The current law states that possession of two ounces can lead to up to 10 years in prison. Also, blacks are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than whites, even though blacks and whites smoke about the same amount of marijuana.
On December 18, 2000, Senate Bill 862 legalized medical marijuana in the state of Hawaii. However, it would take 16 years before a medical dispensary was available to Hawaii patients.
Hawaii Governor David Ige signed an amendment that allows for two dispensaries and one cultivation center per county for medical marijuana on July 15, 2015. Medical marijuana dispensary permits are currently being handed out.
Woody Harrelson applied for a dispensary permit, but was denied. Hopefully Hawaiian patients can look forward to dispensaries opening up sometime in mid July.
Before fully legalizing recreational cannabis, the state would like to know more information about how cannabis affects driving. Determining a legal limit of cannabis for driving proves to be a difficult challenge, as tolerances widely vary.
Full recreational legalization in Hawaii has also been proposed to the Senate. While it is difficult to speculate the future of recreational cannabis in Hawaii, medical cannabis will be available shortly to patients in need.
Currently, all forms of cannabis are illegal in the state of Idaho. Possession of under an ounce could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and lead to jail time. It does not look like the legal landscape of Idaho will be changing any time this year either.
In 2013, Idaho made a clear stance when the state released a resolution claiming that marijuana is unsafe, addictive, and unhealthy, even for medical purposes.
A medical marijuana bill was approved by legislation last year, but Governor Bruce Otter vetoed the bill. The proposal would have only allowed for high CBD cannabis oil, in particular for families with an epileptic child.
Two Idaho Medical Marijuana Initiatives have been proposed in 2014 and 2016, but both were never able to make the ballot. The first did not get nearly enough valid signatures, while the latter had to be retracted due to inaccurate claims provided in the bill.
If any changes are to be made next, it seems like Idaho would be more likely to start by reducing criminal charges, rather than adopting full legalization.
Governor Pat Quinn legalized medical marijuana on August 1, 2013, which took effect on January 1 of the following year. Since then, at least 55 licenses have been given out for dispensaries.
Recent Illinois legislation will extend the state-wide medical marijuana program to last until the end of July 2020. Governor Bruce Rauner is in support of the bill, but still needs to formally sign for its approval.
Another bill will also allow for the decriminalization of recreational cannabis, no longer having arrests, jail time, or criminal records given out for small amounts of marijuana. Users caught with less than 10 grams would only be subject to a fine between $100 and $200.
A legalization advisory referendum will be on the ballot this November, but it remains unclear what direction the state will turn.
Indiana currently has no medical marijuana program and also considers possession to be a misdemeanor. Getting caught with a single joint of marijuana could lead to a year of jail time with fines up to $1,000.
A few attempts for legal medical cannabis has been tried as early as 2013, but there has been no success yet.
More recently, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against a county in Indiana over the right to hold a marijuana legalization rally. Local businesses complained about the 50-60 people that were rallying for legalization. ACLU argues that the First Amendment gives them the right to organize and state what is on their mind.
While there have been many attempts to allow for legal medical marijuana, nothing ever seems to stick. Also, very few efforts have been put forward to decriminalize recreational use as well. As Indiana is a relatively conservative state, don’t expect to see any changes for legalization in Indiana this year.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
Possession of cannabis in Iowa is a misdemeanor, as many decriminalization attempts have failed in the past. However, repeated possession charges are not considered a felony.
Many bills have been proposed this year to extend Iowa’s current medical marijuana program to allow for more patients to get treatment. Currently, medical patients cannot legally cultivate or purchase any medicine, so they would have to bring the product in over state lines.
As of April 2016, five republican Iowa senators have written a request to the President and Congress to reschedule cannabis, so it is no longer considered a Schedule 1 substance. The DEA is currently considering if cannabis should be rescheduled.
While citizens of Iowa are largely for medical marijuana, recent polls suggest that the public is not ready for recreational legalization. Full legalization may be a ways away, but look for medical marijuana to be extended soon.
All forms of cannabis are currently illegal in the state of Kansas. possession can lead to 1 year in prison with fines as large as $2,500.
Kansas has some of the harshest cannabis laws and is not afraid to enforce them. In 2015, a mother lost her child for treating her Crohn’s disease with medical marijuana. The mother is now sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. The mother is currently suing the state of Kansas.
Both the House and the Senate have proposed bills for medical marijuana in January of 2015, but both have been squashed since February 26th, 2016.
While the state is currently making possession charges less harsh, legalization of medical marijuana certainly will not happen this year.
First time marijuana possession offenders are only be subject to $1,000 in fines and 6 months in jail as of July 1, 2016. While this may be a small victory, legalization in Kansas is still a distant reality.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
Recreational cannabis is illegal in Kentucky, which will result in a misdemeanor for carrying under 8 ounces. A study has shown that while blacks and whites smoke cannabis at comparable rates, blacks are six times more likely to get incarcerated.
On April 14, 2014, a bill was passed that allowed for CBD oil for medical patients. However, many patients are still unable to find proper treatment.
Many have gotten more excited in 2016, as the Senate and the House proposed bills for legalizing medical marijuana in March. However, both of these bills were shut down by April 15, 2016.
The state of Louisiana implemented a medical marijuana program in 2015. While recreational use remains a criminal offense, punishment has been reduced to a maximum of $300 in fines and 15 days in jail.
While medical cannabis is legal in the state, dispensaries will not be opened until at least 2017.
It appears the Louisiana medical cannabis program was delayed a bit, as the passed bill fumbled over proper terminology. Technically, doctors federally cannot prescribe cannabis, but they can recommend cannabis. As of May 19, 2016, the bill has been corrected and things seem to be moving forward.
Recently, New Orleans City Council has unanimously decided to decriminalize recreational cannabis.
Lawmakers are also discussing legalizing recreational cannabis completely. Since the state has $850 million in debt, they are considering legalizing cannabis for monetary reasons.
Overall, medical marijuana going in a good direction in Louisiana. With any luck, citizens will get to vote on legalizing recreational cannabis as well this November.
Status: Recreational and some recreational<N/h4>
Medical marijuana has been legal in Maine since 1999, and recreational passed in 2016. With at least 10 dispensaries, Maine has made medical marijuana available to many patients in need. The state has also introduced multiple amendments to increase the diseases and conditions covered.
By 2009, Maine decriminalized cannabis possession for under 2.5 ounces.
On November 5, 2013, the city of Portland completely legalized cannabis for recreational use.
2.5 ounces are now legal for possession, and citizens may also cultivate plants and participate in marijuana social clubs.
While Maryland legalized medical marijuana as of April 8, 2014, it appears that dispensary licenses will be delayed until summer 2016, which will lead to dispensaries opening up sometime in 2017.
It is anticipated that 15 growers and over 100 dispensaries will be licensed shorty.
Possession of cannabis in Maryland is also decriminalized. First time offenders with under 10 grams simply have to pay a $100 fine. Paraphernalia has also been decriminalized, as of February 20, 2016. This bill was first vetoed by the Governor, which was then overruled by the Senate.
While medical marijuana is slowly making progress and many support full legalization, it is currently unclear if a legalization bill will make it to the ballot before the elections this November.
While recreational cannabis used to be a $100 civil offense for possession under an ounce, the state passed recreational cannabis in November 2016.
With three open dispensaries, medical marijuana is finally starting to fully sprout in Massachusetts. With legislation passing in 2012, it took quite some time for dispensaries to open their doors. Now that recreational laws have passed, it will only be time until more dispensaries open doors.
While many corporations in Massachusetts were against legalization, speculations suggest that legalization could bring a $1.1 billion industry to Massachusetts alone by 2020.
In 2008, Michigan legalized medical marijuana for patients with approved conditions. By 2013, the state made dispensaries illegal, forcing patients to grow their own plants.
Regardless of the legislation, about 83 dispensaries still remain open. Michigan state police and DEA agents have raided many dispensaries.
Keego Harbor voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2015, creating a small safe haven in Michigan.
Statewide legalization is also a hot topic. While voters are in favor, the Senate is making it difficult to acquire enough signatures.
While it seemed extremely likely that Michigan was going to legalize cannabis this year, there is a chance that neither bill will make it on the ballot. Too many signatures were ruled invalid since they are now over 180 days old.
Currently, the MILegalize chairman is attempting to sue and argue that these signatures should be counted. If the lawsuit lasts too long, then the bills will not be approved in time for the ballot.
Minnesota legalized medical marijuana in 2014, which also allows for some research on some of the medicinal properties of cannabis. Currently, eight dispensary licenses have been issued, and three are fully operational. However, smoking of the plant is prohibited.
The state has also decriminalized cannabis, giving out a maximum fine of $200 for 42.5 grams or less. Two ounces, however, could lead to 5 years in prison.
While the state has approved chronic pain as a treatable medical condition, only 5% of patients have access to medical marijuana.
While Zach Phelps is pushing hard for the legalization of recreational use, a lot more legislation must surface before anyone should get excited about legalization in Minnesota. With their implementation of medical marijuana still lacking, hopefully, more patients will be able to access medication soon.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
While cannabis is essentially illegal in the state of Mississippi, it is at least decriminalized for first possession of under 30 grams.
The only exception is CBD oil for medical patients. THC levels must remain below 0.5%, so there is not a chance that anyone could experience psychoactive properties.
While two bills were presented in 2016 for extending medical marijuana, both have been defeated. Another bill was presented to fully legalized recreational, medicinal, and hemp production, but this was turned down as well.
No more legalization efforts will be made for Mississippi this year.
Ironically enough, Mississippi has been growing the federal government’s weed since 1980.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
In Missouri, possession of 35 grams or less is a misdemeanor leading to up to a year in prison and $1,000 in fines.
Epilepsy patients may possess CBD oil, as long as the THC percentage is below 0.3%. A neurologist must determine that at least three other treatment options did not work, so essentially there is no medical marijuana in Missouri.
The state has yet to approve all of the signatures, but there is a good chance that Missouri will get to vote this November.
However, the House has also shut down another bill recently. While the media seems to keep flip flopping back and forth, it appears that one bill for medical marijuana may make it to the November ballot.
Possession of 60 grams or less in Montana is a misdemeanor, which may result in 6 months in prison and a $500 fine.
Medical marijuana was passed in 2004 and currently has 10 operating dispensaries.
In 2016, a bill was passed which extended the bill further, allowing more patients to properly access medicine.
While cannabis is decriminalized in Nebraska, no medical marijuana legislation is in place. First-time possession of under an ounce results in no prison fine and a maximum of $300 in fines.
A bill was presented to legalize medical marijuana in 2015.
While a Senator said he would support a petition to get the bill on the ballot, it appears that medical patients will not be able to get treatment in Nebraska for a while.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Nevada since November 7, 2000. In 2016, Question 2 was passed, which legalized recreational marijuana use.
Nevada previously had five open dispensaries, which even take out of state medical recommendations. The state has already served over 14,000 patients roughly in the previous year.
Many patients also come from out of state. Many speculate that Las Vegas will start to gain more cannabis tourism.
It is anticipated that marijuana will be regulated in a manner very similar to alcohol.
New Hampshire legalized medical marijuana on July 23, 2013. The first dispensary did not open up until May 1, 2016, and now three are open.
In the beginning of 2016, it looked like recreational cannabis would be decriminalized as well, but the bill was shot down by the Senate. The bill was reissued, but it was then rewritten to not change much. While a bill will be passed, it does not really decriminalize cannabis anymore.
Medical marijuana has been legal in New Jersey since January 11, 2010. Currently, three dispensaries have their doors open. While the state only serves about 6,500 patients, medical cannabis is slowly starting to become more available.
A bill was introduced to legalize cannabis possession recently, but Governor Chris Christie says he will veto any such proposal. This is nothing new, as essentially the same thing happened at the end of 2015.
With almost 120,000 arrests in four years for cannabis offenses, legalizing the herb would completely change the current legal landscape.
The Senate and the House are currently working on legislation for legalization. With 58% of Jersey for legalization, Christie may be the only obstacle in the way.
By April 2007, New Mexico had legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes. Currently with 13 dispensaries, New Mexico has been able to provide much-needed medicine for many patients.
For recreational use, the herb is still illegal, as first-time possession can give 15 days in jail. While New Mexico’s punishment is not the harshest, any jail time at all seems unnecessary.
Two-thirds of people in New Mexico support regulating marijuana in a similar manner to alcohol. While three bills have been proposed to legalize the plant, the Senate has voted down at least one of these.
While most of the state would prefer for cannabis to be legal, it remains unlikely that New Mexico will fully legalize this year. On the bright side, more and more medical patients will continue to be helped this year.
Status: Medical (no smoking plant material)
Medical marijuana has been legal in New York since July 14, 2014. Patients did not have means to acquire the medicine until January 7, 2016, when 8 dispensaries were opened. Cannabis is also decriminalized for possession throughout the state.
Medical dispensaries are allowed to offer edibles or oils to their patients, however, the plant cannot be smoked. Patients are not permitted to grow any cannabis either.
HuffPost questioned if New York would legalize cannabis in 2015, yet it is still not allowed in 2016. Hope still remains, as an NYC cannabis parade promoted a lot of pride, yet there are still concerns with the current medical treatment.
To put things in perspective, only 2,875 medical patients, or .01% of New Yorkers have registered for medical marijuana. The anticipated number of patients in need would be significantly higher. With only 20 permitted dispensaries throughout the state, many patients would be too far away to get medication.
Many argue that full legalization would at least allow for all medical patients in need to easily get access to the plant. Since the current medical marijuana program does not apply to many patients, why not legalize recreational use all at once?
Status: Medical (CBD only)
As of July 2015, North Carolina has permitted the use of CBD oil extracts for treating children with epilepsy. The oil must have below 0.3% THC and over 10% CBD. Possession of under a half ounce is also decriminalized.
A petition for that bill that would allow for medical use is located here.
Recent research has suggested that more treatment and less jail time is needed. This milestone depicts how the public opinion of cannabis is starting to head in a positive direction for North Carolina.
North Dakota passed a bill for medicinal cannabis in November 2016. Interestingly enough, the cultivation of hemp was legal. However, possession of the herb was a misdemeanor.
With the new bill passing, patients suffering from serious conditions such as cancer, AIDS/HIV, and epilepsy will be able to receive treatment soon.
This just in!!! As of June 8, 2016, Governor John Kasich signed a bill that will approve for medical marijuana in 90 days. While smoking will not be allowed, vapor, patches, and edibles will be allowed.
Possession is still a minor misdemeanor, which results in a $150 fine, no prison time, but potentially a driver’s license suspension.
While an attempt has been made to fully legalize cannabis in the past, the state will most likely take the time to get used to their new medical program before allowing for recreational use as well.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
While Oklahoma does have a limited medical marijuana program, they are also known for some harsh laws. Production of brownies or hashish can actually result in prison for life in the state of Oklahoma. As of April 2016, penalties for second time possession will be cut in half.
Oklahoma has allowed for medical marijuana as of April 30, 2015 for children with epilepsy. They have recently extended their medical program to allow for treatment for all ages. Patients with multiple sclerosis or chronic wasting disease may now get medicine.
With clinical trials approved for treating epilepsy with CBD oil, medical marijuana is heading in a good direction in Oklahoma. A bill for a more comprehensive medical marijuana program may have a chance to make the ballot this November.
An attempt for recreational legalization and cannabis export was presented in 2014, but the bill did not receive enough signatures to make it to the ballot. Laws are somewhat strict, as possession can lead to 1 year in prison or $10,000 in fines.
Oregon has a long history with legal cannabis since medical marijuana was approved on December 3, 1998.
With over 200 dispensaries open in Oregon, cannabis has been widely available to many residents. Within the first month alone, the state obtained 3.5 million in tax revenue. With ongoing reform, all forms of legal cannabis will continue to flourish in the state of Oregon.
Tax revenue is split between school funds, mental health, alcoholism, drug services, the police, and the cities. Concentrates and extracts are considered illegal.
Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program approved 25 growers and 50 dispensaries as of May 17th. Regulation priorities are currently being established, and patients can expect to receive treatment within the next month.
Possession of under 30 grams results in a misdemeanor with a maximum of $500 in fines and 30 days in prison.
Many hope that the access to medical marijuana will help decrease opioid addiction throughout the state. Evidence seems to suggest that states who implement medical marijuana laws with access to dispensaries decrease the number of people who are addicted to opioids.
Rhode Island has allowed for medical marijuana since 2006 and currently has 5 dispensaries open. The first dispensary opened on April 19, 2013.
Possession currently only results in a civil violation with a $150 fine. As of February 11, legislation has been introduced to try to legalize recreational cannabis. With 57% of the population in favor of this decision, hopes rose for Rhode Island to become one of the next states to legalize.
While not much new has surfaced over the past two months, perhaps Rhode Island will soon legalize recreational cannabis.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
The only legal cannabis in South Carolina is medical CBD oil with less than 0.9% THC.
The Medical University of South Carolina administers the CBD oil to patients for clinical studies.
First-time offense can lead to one year of probation, but standard criminal charges will not be applied. Citizens can urge state legislators to tax and regulate cannabis.
It appears that South Carolina is spending tax dollars on promoting anti-medical marijuana propaganda. According to “The Blunt Truth”, marijuana is addictive, is not approved by the FDA, and causes problems in the workplace.
Currently, all forms of cannabis are illegal in South Dakota. Punishment for first-time possession can be up to 1 year in prison or $2,000 in fines.
In 2015, an Indian tribe was planning to open a marijuana resort, but these plans have been suspended.
The state is pushing for a medical marijuana program as well as a decriminalization measure. However, no new measures will be passed this year. Enough signatures were collected for a bill, but some were deemed invalid.
Since the state will not even allow CBD oil for patients with epilepsy, anyone looking for cannabis will have to leave the state. Cultivators in the state of South Dakota are raided regularly.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
Starting in 2014, Tennessee passed laws that allowed for testing of cannabis oil treatment. Perhaps this research eased the state into allowing epilepsy treatment.
As of May 4, 2015, Tennessee allowed for epilepsy patients to have medicinal CBD oil with THC content below 0.9%. Other than this, cannabis is illegal with first time offenders getting a year of probation.
Throughout 2015, a State Senator admitted that the state would continue to look into the potential benefits and setbacks from medical and recreational cannabis.
Currently, possessing a single gram of marijuana could give you a year in prison with fines up to $2,500. While the state has considered making the penalties less harsh, even if this new bill passed, it wouldn’t change too much.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
As of June 1, 2015, Texas has legalized CBD oil for medicinal purposes. With licenses currently being handed out, expect medicinal cannabis to be up and running in Texas by 2017. Patients must be approved by two specialists.
Currently, five bills are being presented to try to decrease the penalties for cannabis possession. Four additional bills are proposed for medical marijuana plans. While Texas may be ready for change, it appears that legislation will reconvene in 2017.
As the newly signed bill barely does much, dispensaries are expected to open in June 2017, which will administer CBD oil for epileptic patients.
It seems that the next course of action will be to revisit extending the Compassionate Use Program sometime next year. While medical treatment will be available to some next year, many will not be qualified to receive medication.
Status: Medical (CBD oil)
Utah currently treats a first possession charge as a misdemeanor, which can lead to 6 months in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.
Charlee’s Law was passed in on March 21, 2014, which allows for high CBD extracts with THC content below 0.3% for qualified medical patients.
In 2015, the Governor said he would be open to legalization.
Unfortunately, funds to support one of the bills seems to have gone dry. Don’t expect any laws to change soon in Utah.
Vermont has allowed for medical marijuana treatment since July 1, 2004. Two dispensaries were approved on Sept 12, 2012. By June 6, 2013, cannabis had been decriminalized for possession of less than one ounce.
A bill was passed by the Senate to legalize cannabis on February 25, 2016. While many were excited for legalization opportunities, the House of Representatives voted against legalization by April 2016.
Lawmakers still plan to discuss potential legalization opportunities over the summer and fall of 2016.
On the bright side of things, the state also expanded their medical treatment by allowing patients with glaucoma or chronic pain to use medical marijuana. More patients will continue to be served throughout 2016.
The Governor stated that enlightened states legalize cannabis. While this may be true, nothing will change in Vermont for a while, as legislators are starting over from scratch.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
While most don’t consider Virginia to have medical marijuana, a bill was signed on February 26, 2015 that allows for epilepsy patients to be protected for possessing CBD oil, as long as the THC percentage is below 5%.
Virginia treats recreational possession as a misdemeanor, resulting in up to 30 days in prison and $500 in fines.
A bill has been introduced to allow for the production of CBD oil for epilepsy patients, but the bill will have a second look in 2017. This brings excitement to some, but many patients still remain uncovered.
Other attempts have failed at bringing the penalties for possession down this year. By 2016, all penalties for cultivating industrial hemp have been removed.
Washington’s history with medical marijuana dates back to 1998.
With recreational cannabis fully legalized in 2012, adults may buy cannabis from dispensaries, but only medical patients can grow. With nearly 300 dispensaries open, Washington’s cannabis industry is alive and thriving.
Surprisingly, statistics have shown that childhood use and traffic accident rates have stayed the same since the state legalized cannabis. With $83 million in tax revenue collected by 2015 and a 98% reduction of adult marijuana crimes, legalization seems like it has been mostly positive.
Since legalization has hit Washington, prices in marijuana have been going down fairly steadily, which is phenomenal for the consumers.
It also appears that the financing process for dispensaries in Washington is improving as well. On the other side of things, delivery is currently illegal, due to the current interpretation of the legislation.
Washington, D.C. has had legislation for medical marijuana since 1998, but it did not go into effect until 2009. Possession was decriminalized by 2014.
On November 4, 2014, recreational cannabis was legalized, which went into effect on February 26, 2015. More information about the bill itself can be found here.
With three dispensaries currently open in DC, medical patients also continue to get treatment. However, 420 celebrations remained clean of weed this year.
In the state of West Virginia, recreational and medical cannabis is illegal. While a poll from the end of 2013 shows that the people of WV are in favor of medical marijuana, no legislation has passed to date.
With West Virginia having the highest number of drug overdoses per year, many are concerned about the state’s drug policies. While legalization would lead to more tax revenue to be put into drug abuse education, it appears that West Virginia is far away from legalizing.
Two bills for medical marijuana were proposed in the beginning of 2015, but they were both shut down by April.
The state legislators are willing to make changes to their policies. In 2016, another bill was proposed, but no action was taken as of March. It appears that industrial hemp research will be initiated in the state soon.
Candidates for Governor discussed the issue recently in a debate. While one was for medical marijuana and challenged voters to think about decriminalization, another candidate was worried that marijuana caused more problems by being a gateway drug. It seems that marijuana will continue to be illegal in West Virginia throughout 2016.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
Children with uncontrollable seizures can now access medical marijuana in the state of Wisconsin. This legislation was passed on April 16, 2014.
However, the plant remains illegal in all other forms. Currently, possession results in a misdemeanor with up to 6 months in prison and a $1,000 fine.
74% of the state thinks that cannabis should be at least legal for medical patients. However, the public is still fairly split when deciding if cannabis should legal for recreational use.
Two bills were proposed in mid 2015, but they ended up not passing. They would have allowed for cannabis to become decriminalized and also would have made cultivation of up to two plants legal.
The city of Monona, Wisconsin is considering decriminalizing cannabis, but the city’s population is under 8,000 people. While these discussions were tabled in February, citizens are currently sending out postcards to increase awareness. Nine cities in Wisconsin have already decriminalized cannabis for their users.
Status: Medical (CBD only)
Possession of cannabis in Wyoming is a misdemeanor, which can result in 90 days in prison and a fine of $100. In 2016, a bill was presented to make edibles a felony, but the bill was dropped. Attempts to decriminalize the herb have also failed.
On July 1, 2015, a bill was passed that allows epilepsy patients the right to possess CBD oil, yet there is no plan for how these patients should get proper access for treatment. By the end of the year, advocates were pushing for a more extensive medical marijuana program. However, this bill will not be on the November ballot.
As of 2016, another bill was proposed to fully legalize recreational cannabis, but it will not make the ballot this November. Even if it did make the ballot, a survey showed that 60% of Wyoming is against recreational legalization.