These US States are Poised to Legalize Cannabis Next!

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The cannabis industry has seen significant growth in recent years with an increasing number of states legalizing marijuana for medicinal and adult-use purposes. In 2023, we expect several states to continue this trend and legalize cannabis either through legislation or by sending measures to voters. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the states that are likely to legalize marijuana and what measures are being proposed.


In Delaware, lawmakers have introduced new bills to legalize cannabis this year. The bills, HB 1 and HB 2, have already passed out of committee and could get a full House vote as early as March. Unlike last year’s effort, the possession legalization bill does not permit gifting.


Hawaii lawmakers are optimistic about passing adult-use legalization this year with the support of the state’s new pro-reform governor, Josh Green. State Representative Jeanné Kapela has announced her intention to file a legalization bill with a focus on uplifting the needs of Hawaii’s people and using sustainable and indigenous cultivation methods.


Residents in Maryland voted in favor of legalization in November 2022, and legal possession is set to go into effect on July 1, 2023. However, the Maryland legislature is expected to pass a bill in the coming months to establish the framework for a legal and regulated cannabis industry. Until then, residents will be able to possess cannabis legally but not purchase it.


In Minnesota, legalization looks promising with Governor Tim Walz including allocations for an adult-use cannabis program in his proposed biennial budget. A 200+ page bill is making its way through legislative committees with an estimated 15% tax on sales and a prohibition on counties fully banning licensed stores.


Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has re-introduced a bill to legalize adult-use marijuana with a 10% tax on retail sales. If the bill does not pass the Republican-held statehouse, the measure could go to voters in November 2023. While the outcome is uncertain, there is growing support for legalization in Ohio.


Oklahoma will vote to legalize adult-use marijuana in a special election on March 7, 2023. A poll showed that 49% of adults support the measure, 38% oppose it, and 13% were undecided.


With Democrats winning back some seats in the November 2022 election and three special elections in February 2023, Pennsylvania is poised to legalize marijuana. If a legalization bill clears the state House and Senate, Pennsylvania’s pro-reform Governor Josh Shapiro is likely to support it.


Two medical marijuana bills have been pre-filed in South Carolina with one bill allowing for the use of medical marijuana and the opening of dispensaries and the other bill laying the framework for a medical marijuana program.

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