The November mid-term elections were not just politically consequential. They also ushered in cannabis legalization in Maryland and Missouri. Earlier this year, Rhode Island’s legislature and governor enacted legislation legalizing recreational cannabis, as well. These latest three states bring the number of states with legalized recreational cannabis to 21, plus Washington, D.C. and Guam. That doesn’t include states with legalized medical marijuana. The addition of three states this year will further expand the LED grow light market. Here are additional details:
Rhode Island – legalization measure approved May 2022
Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee signed into law on May 25, 2022, a state legislature bill that legalizes, regulates and taxes cannabis in the state. The law legalizes possession of up to an ounce of cannabis and cultivation of up to three cannabis plants in a private residence for adults 21 and older, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. It establishes a timeline to create a market to be overseen by a new regulatory commission, and as of May, sales are expected to begin by December 2022.
Maryland – legalization measure approved November 2022
Voters’ Election Day ballot approval of Question 4 paved the way for Maryland adults to possess and use cannabis as early as July 2023. Companion legislation passed in the Maryland General Assembly stipulates that citizens would be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces, repeals the term “marijuana” and replaces it with cannabis, and offers a pathway toward expungement and resentencing for people convicted of certain cannabis offenses.
Missouri – legalization measure approved November 2022
Voters in Missouri also approved recreational marijuana legalization on Election Day 2022 through a ballot measure, which will limit possession to up to 3 ounces. The result cleared the path for legalized cannabis use in a state that was among the 10 with the most marijuana possession arrests reported by state and local agencies between 2017 and 2021, according to a U.S. News analysis of data available through the FBI. A registration card will be required for “personal cultivation,” there will be a 6% tax on the retail price of cannabis and citizens with certain non-violent marijuana-related offenses can petition to have their records expunged.
Read more about the status of cannabis legalization across the US here.