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10 states may legalize marijuana in 2020; this will happen if the ongoing conversations remain as positive as they have been in the last couple of months.
Currently, 11 states plus the District of Colombia have legalized adult-use marijuana while 33 states plus D.C have legalized medical marijuana. It will come as no surprise if these figures shoot to 21 and 35 respectively by the end of 2020.
Marijuana legalization in 2020 may take a different tangent than has been witnessed in the past. For starters, the new states coming on board will have picked a few learning points that will reduce teething problems in crafting marijuana laws. We expect to see better laws right from the start and simpler execution of marijuana programs in these states.
Secondly, some states may take a different approach to pass marijuana legalization bills. For example, the state of Illinois was the first to use the legislature to legalize their adult-use marijuana program. Other states in the past have done this using the ballot process.
Lastly, conversations surrounding legalizing marijuana are likely to be more in-depth in 2020. We expect to see greater discussions around marijuana taxation, THC potency in products, business licensing and other similar issues coming up.
To come up with this list, we carefully scrutinized ongoing marijuana legalization efforts and conversations in all the states and from these 10 stood out as most likely states to budge in 2020. Should this happen we expect to witness many positive things including more tax revenues from marijuana sales.
Here are the 10 states to watch in 2020.
Recreational Marijuana in New Jersey – March 2020
In December 2019, New Jersey lawmakers voted to take marijuana legalization to the ballot come 2020. Voters in New Jersey will be given the power to decide if they want the law on marijuana to be amended so that it can allow for the possession and sale of recreational marijuana in the state.
Almost two-thirds of adults in New Jersey are in full support of legalizing pot for adult-use. However, we have to wait to see the actual results of the ballot to know for sure that marijuana is welcome in the Garden State.
Recreational Marijuana in New Mexico- March 2020
2019 was a promising year for marijuana enthusiasts in New Mexico. A lot of effort was made to legalize weed including passing a bill in the Senate to this effect. The bill unfortunately stalled in the house and did not make it to the discussion table as the legislative session ended before this happening.
In January this year, the bill was tabled again and failed after two Democratic senators teamed up with Republicans to halt the marijuana legalization bill. Pot enthusiasts are banking on Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham who is a marijuana supporter to keep pushing for a reconsideration of this agenda. This is another state that has attempted to pass a marijuana bill through legislative action. Perhaps going through the ballot will be the saving grace for New Mexico.
Recreational Marijuana in New York- March 2020
New York seems to be edging closer to marijuana legalization by the day. As it is, the legalization bill is on the discussion table and the only stalemate is on the allocation of marijuana sales revenues. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers appear not to be seeing eye to eye on this. If this can be sorted nothing else will be standing between the Empire State and adult-use marijuana.
Recreational Marijuana in Vermont- March 2020
Things have been a bit complicated in Vermont; despite rec weed being legal, it has been technically illegal to possess it. Confusing right?
This is what it means.
Vermont legalized adult-use marijuana back in 2018. However, it has been illegal to buy or sell weed in the state. Two weeks ago the Vermont House approved a bill to legalize buying and selling of weed in the state. So as it is, rec weed is legal in Vermont. However, it will not be until 2022 that marijuana dispensaries will be allowed to set up shop in the state.
Recreational Marijuana in Arizona- March 2020
We will have to wait until November 3rd before we can know the fate of adult-use marijuana in Arizona. The Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative will appear on the ballot when this date comes. This initiative will allow for the possession and consumption of recreational marijuana in the state by adults above 21 years.
Recreational Marijuana in Florida – March 2020
Florida will not see marijuana on the ballot this year as the “make it legal” campaign that was pushing for the legalization of recreational weed fell short of the required signatures. That said, we do not expect the marijuana momentum to wane in this province. More pro-marijuana campaigns are likely to come up this year and build momentum for marijuana legalization in the Sunshine state.
Recreational Marijuana in Connecticut – March 2020
Connecticut has decriminalized recreational marijuana. Efforts geared towards full legalization are in place. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont is backing this move and admits that times for cannabis prohibition-ism are in the past. State legislators will debate on the issue again this year and hopefully come to a consensus on legalizing adult-use marijuana.
Recreational Marijuana in Pennsylvania – March 2020
Pennsylvania is warming up to the idea of recreational marijuana. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is in full support of this push and has joined hands with other New England states to see to create a framework to make this possible.
Medical Marijuana in Alabama – March 2020
Alabama is known for being cannabis shy. However, things are likely to change in 2020. Recently they approved a bill that would allow medical marijuana use for some medical conditions. It is highly likely that medical marijuana will be legalized in Alabama this year.
Medical Marijuana in Mississippi – March 2020
Mississippi has also been conservative about marijuana use. However, things are likely to change in November this year.
The Mississippi Medical Marijuana Amendment will be on the ballot come Nov 3rd, a yes vote will mean that a medical marijuana program will be established in the states for patients with debilitating medical conditions.
These are the 10 states that are most likely to legalize marijuana in 2020.