Several weed laws were approved during the past election season, and many are set to go into effect this year. Read on to learn about which states are updating their cannabis laws and when.
Industry Insights- Recreational & Medical Cannabis
The global cannabis market is currently valued at approximately 27.7 billion USD and is projected to reach 82.3 billion USD by 2027. An increase in recreational and medical cannabis use has influenced the market rise. Recreational marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), although it has been legalized to some degree in over half of the states. That is slowly changing.
Globally, the cannabis industry is witnessing exponential growth. The demand for recreational marijuana is continuously increasing, predominately driven by Gen Z users. Legalization has also led to more locations offering travel bookings to cannabis-friendly destinations.
Many studies suggest that medical cannabis has positively treated various medical conditions. The cannabis industry’s growing research is also likely to drive demand upwards.
Medical marijuana growth factors include:
- A rise in disposable income
- Destigmatization and an increase in the social acceptance of cannabis
- Growth in awareness about the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis products
- Improvements in intellectual property rights of medical marijuana by investors and other cannabis-related businesses
- The FDA has approved one cannabis-derived drug product: Epidiolex (cannabidiol), and three synthetic cannabis-related drug products: Marinol (dronabinol), Syndros (dronabinol), and Cesamet (nabilone).
State-by-State 2023 Weed Rundown
Below, we offer a summary of the cannabis-related laws going into effect in 2023.
California continues to lead the way with several new laws this year. Notably, medium and large growing licenses were officially legalized on January 1 to increase cannabis supply production and bring prices down.
California lawmakers also made adjustments to canna-business regulations, including:
- Bars can now host (approved) cannabis events.
- Cannabusinesses will find it easier to get insurance as there has been clarification from lawmakers that insurers aren’t breaking any laws by working with them.
- Vets are now allowed to recommend cannabis products for pets.
Due to the passage of Proposition 122 by Colorado voters, once licensed facilities to open in fall 2023, approved treatment facilitators can administer psilocybin. This service will be available to adults 21 years or older. Lawmakers will also decriminalize the personal possession of mushrooms at that time. Most people who have served their completed sentence for a conviction related to an offense made legal will be able to petition for record expungement.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) has notified medical cannabis dispensaries with a hybrid license that they could begin to sell recreational marijuana products on January 10, 2023.
Up to forty retailers and various other marijuana-related businesses are expected to open by the end of 2023. Initial cannabis sales will be up to one-quarter of an ounce of flower to ensure enough support for medical marijuana patients. Customers can purchase various products to reach the purchasing limit, which “will be reviewed over time and are in place to ensure businesses can maintain an adequate supply for both adult-use consumers and medical marijuana patients.”
MMJ patients in Kentucky who possess eight ounces or less of out-of-state cannabis products can get a pardon starting January 1, 2023.
Question 4 was a ballot initiative in Maryland to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana. The ballot question showed the following, “Do you favor the legalization of the use of cannabis by an individual who is at least 21 years of age on or after July 1, 2023, in the State of Maryland?”
State lawmakers have approved HB 837, setting regulations in place now that the ballot measure has passed. The House Bill also defines possession limits and sets forth a review and expungement process for past criminal records. Maryland will potentially see dispensaries opening in mid to late 2023.
Legal Missouri 2022 sponsored Amendment 3, a ballot initiative allowing adults 21 and older to possess legally, purchase, and privately grow cannabis. The ballot measure also ensures the expungement of non-violent cannabis-related offenses and adds a six percent tax on cannabis sales to help fund court costs and legal fees for those needing it. Missouri will likely see recreational sales begin in the spring.
New York’s dispensary sales started at the end of 2022, with more scheduled to be opening this month and throughout the year all over the state, especially in NYC.
Oklahoma will hold a special election in March on recreational weed legalization. If voters approve adult use, a fifteen percent excise and a standard sales tax will be levied on marijuana sales. According to the Associated Press, the proceeds will go toward local governments, court systems, public schools, substance abuse treatment, and the state’s general revenue fund.
Oregon has several new cannabis laws taking effect on January 1, 2023, including:
- Retailers can offer specific discounts on brands or products.
- Cannabis deliveries can cross county lines.
- Walk-up and drive-through options at dispensaries are legalized
The Rhode Island Cannabis Act was passed on May 24, 2022, and signed into law by Governor McKee the next day. It allows for the legal sale and possession of up to one ounce of cannabis for adults 21 or older. It also will enable residents to grow small amounts of weed at home.
Five medical marijuana compassion centers were approved for retail licenses, allowing them to sell medical and recreational marijuana products to adults in the state. The opening day of Rhode Island’s retail marijuana industry launched on Thursday, December 1, 2022. For participants in the state’s medical marijuana program, the new law eliminates patient fees. March 1, 2023, is the deadline for out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders to provide identification to have those fees waived or reimbursed.
Millions of cannabis users will have easier access to weed thanks to various new marijuana laws and regulations taking effect this year in at least ten states. Check back with Leafy Mate for the latest updates on weed laws in your state throughout the year.