Marijuana legalization has been a hot topic for the past few years, with Canada and the United States both taking steps toward legalizing cannabis on a national level. The debate around marijuana legalization is still ongoing, but there are signs that attitudes are changing, and more states are likely to follow suit in the near future.
Canada has been at the forefront of marijuana legalization since 2001, with recreational use being legal since 2018. The United States has been slower to follow Canada’s lead, but some states have already taken steps toward legalizing cannabis on a state level. By 2023, we can expect further progress regarding marijuana regulation and more states likely legalizing medical or recreational use.
Latest States to Legalize Marijuana
During the 2022 midterm elections, recreational marijuana legalization initiatives were on the ballot in five states. While legalization initiatives failed in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota, Maryland and Missouri have joined 19 states and the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational marijuana.
Starting July 1, 2023, Marylanders over 21 can hold up to an ounce and a half of marijuana or two plants. Not only is this legislation groundbreaking in terms of legal cannabis use, but it also provides social justice with provisions for expungement records related to prior possession charges as well as opening opportunities previously unavailable through their Cannabis Business Assistance Fund specifically designed to break down barriers faced by minority-owned businesses entering into the industry.
Missouri residents have approved Amendment 3, legalizing recreational marijuana for adults and allowing them to possess up to three ounces and grow six flowering plants at home. In addition, a special 6% sales tax will go toward various initiatives – including helping veterans’ health care services – and creating new jobs by selecting 144 small business licensees via lottery. The result? A potentially brighter future for Missouri’s communities!
Studies reveal that most Americans support legalization. According to a Morning Consult/Politico survey conducted in October 2022, 60% of participants think the substance should be legal, while 27% disagree.
Legalization is more likely to receive support from Democrats. According to the study, 71% of Democrats and 16% of Republicans are in favor, compared to 47% and 41% of Republicans.
What Does 2023 Hold for Marijuana Legalization?
It is safe to say that by 2023, attitudes toward marijuana legalization will have shifted significantly in the US. In the upcoming year, adult-use marijuana sales will begin in Connecticut. Although Connecticut has legalized recreational cannabis since 2021, it has taken some time to launch its retail scheme.
At least three states are anticipated to begin selling medical marijuana in 2023. From September 1 through October 17, 2022, the Medical Cannabis Commission in Alabama received applications from companies wishing to market medical marijuana. Mississippi is also on schedule to start selling medical marijuana in January 2023. Kentucky will also legalize the possession of medical marijuana beginning in January. The state further limits the use of medical cannabis to people with serious medical illnesses.
While all of this is true at the time of writing, things change quickly in the world of marijuana legislation. Staying informed of the latest developments in marijuana legalization is key to understanding its implications. Visit sites like Leafly & Indo for timely updates on marijuana regulations across the US and Canada.
Understanding What’s at Stake with Marijuana Legalization
It is essential to understand the implications of marijuana legalization in North America, both for entrepreneurs and society as a whole. With the industry projected to be worth billions by 2023, we need to ensure that regulations are implemented to ensure safety and fairness for all involved. At the same time, governments must recognize the potential economic benefits of legalizing cannabis and create an environment encouraging investment and growth within this sector.