Which States are Set to Legalize Cannabis in 2023-2024?
As a whole, the United States is progressing significantly when it comes to legalizing cannabis. More than 40 states have heard voters…and the siren call of tax revenue. Which states will be next to legalize? “The lower-hanging fruit is increasingly picked,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at Marijuana Policy Project. “It’s going to require moving into states that are, in many respects, more challenging.” Below are our predictions for legalization in the rest of 2023 and into 2024.
When will marijuana be legal in North Carolina?
In February 2023, the N.C. Compassionate Care Act was passed into law. This allows for medical use under strict regulations. A month later, several legislators introduced Senate Bill 346, which is still pending, and would legalize recreational use in small amounts for adults. If passed, enacted 20% state tax on the sale of cannabis with an additional three percent on municipalities would be divided up into various educational, research and community programs. The bill passed its first hurdle in the House on March 22, 2023, and could potentially be active by the end of the year.
Is marijuana legal in North Dakota?
Medical marijuana is legal here and by no small feat. Several rounds of voting were needed to legalize it. Therefore, this may be the trend to get recreational cannabis into the state.
In 2022, North Dakota’s citizens voted against the recreational use of marijuana for adults. This bill aimed to legalize up to one ounce of recreational possession. Despite this loss, many advocates in the state are hopeful legislators will consider the issue again in late 2023.
Is marijuana legal in Pennsylvania?
As the state is surrounded by established recreational markets, “is marijuana legal in Pennsylvania?” is an increasingly popular question. Three separate lawmaker proposals are active for cannabis legalization.
In March 2023, new Governor Josh Shapiro (D) reignited the call for legalization in his annual budget request and Senator John Fetterman has become a vocal advocate for recreational cannabis.
Is marijuana legal in Texas?
HB 1805 is an active bill, currently with the Senate Committee of Water, Agriculture & Rural Affairs. If approved, chronic pain would be added to the restrictive list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use and THC caps would be replaced by a 10 mg dosage.
Today, Texas creeps toward future full legalization, as its Compassionate Use Program passed in 2023 and previous years have seen progressive changes to policy. Is marijuana legal in Texas? Only for a slim few, but each session brings residents closer.
Is marijuana legal in Florida?
Not yet, but the Sunshine State is closer to putting a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2024 ballot that would allow it. Further, Democrats are pushing a bill to legalize recreational use, although it’s yet to make it onto any committee agendas. The future is bright, however, as Florida already has the largest medical program in the country, with more than 830,000 patients enrolled and nearly 600 dispensaries statewide.
Is marijuana legal in Nebraska?
Although both medical and recreational use remains illegal in Nebraska, the state has made progress toward decriminalizing cannabis. Advocates in the state are hoping to see a new ballot in 2024 to decide on legalizing. In fact, the Nebraska Cannabis Legalization Initiative may appear on the 2024 ballot as an initiated constitutional amendment to legalize if enough signatures are collected.
Is marijuana recreational in Ohio?
Is marijuana recreational in Ohio? Well, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol currently has a proposal that seeks to establish a system to regulate and tax cannabis similarly to alcohol. Currently, the Buckeye State has two potential avenues to legalization:
- Voters could weigh in on a ballot initiative in November 2023
- The state legislature could pass the above bill introduced by a bipartisan pair of lawmakers
South Dakota residents want recreational!
In the recent past, South Dakota residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana. However, Governor Noem remains a staunch critic of legalization. The November 2020 amendment received 54 percent approval from voters in the general election, but it was overturned by the state Supreme Court in 2022 due to a lawsuit. South Dakota voters are already prepared to see the topic on the 2024 ballot and perhaps finally answer “Yes!” to this question: is marijuana recreational in South Dakota?
Is marijuana legal in Tennessee in 2024?
Two senators introduced the Free All Cannabis for Tennesseans Act. If passed, the Department of Agriculture would cultivate, process and sell cannabis for recreational use. Also, Representative Jesse Chism introduced a bill to add cannabis-related questions to the 2024 election ballot. These questions aim to assess public interest and may lead to a voter initiative.
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This article was originally published in May 2022. It was updated on Aug. 21, 2023.