2019 was a historic year for the cannabis industry: hemp became federally legal, California had black market battles, Illinois made history, the vape scare, and cannabis companies had their challenges as well.
As we settle into 2020, it is expected to be a big year for cannabis legalization and the remaining states. Even though it’s up in the air where it may take them, at least the cannabis industry has seen more progress than ever.
On January 1st, Illinois greeted the new year joining Michigan as the second midwest state to become recreational. Not only did Illinois become the 11th state nationwide, but was the first to become legal through the legislature. This means, the lawmakers and governor made it happen.
Almost a dozen states could potentially legalize adult-use or medical cannabis through legislatures and ballot measures.
For legislatures, there are 5 states where politicians might sign off for legalization.
At the end of January, Vermont’s house committee voted in favor of the bill to legalize cannabis sales. After a failed attempt in 2019, the New York Governor plans to take legislative action this year. New Mexico, Connecticut and Rhode Island Governor’s also show interest in legalization through their legislatures.
For the rest, similar to most of the legal states the following will be counting on the voters.
For recreational legalization, states expected to be on the ballot are in Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. For Idaho, Mississippi, Nebraska, and South Dakota, only medical cannabis will be on their ballot. Advocates are trying but the chance of all these states winning a vote is low.
As of now, recreational cannabis is in 11 states nationwide along with the District of Columbia. Adults 21 and over are able to legally purchase cannabis in almost a dozen states and patients in 33 states can purchase medicinally. This leaves 17 states completely illegal, however, statistics have shown that the majority of Americans favor legalization.