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Know Your Regs: 10 States Cannabis Regulations

US States (2)

 

While it may not seem like it to the untrained eye of the casual marijuana user, the legal framework surrounding cannabis is in continuous flux all around the world. Across the US in particular, hardly an election season goes by without marijuana legislation appearing on the ballot in at least a couple of states. With some western states going from a long-established medicinally legal status to a full recreational market, while others in the East are just instituting medical programs for only a very select few medical conditions, it’s hard to keep all the regulations straight.

Lucky for you, we’ve done the hard research for you.

Colorado

The first state in the US to recreationally legalize cannabis, Colorado had already been medicinally legal since 2000. Having the longest established rec market of them all, many other states considering legalization today look to Colorado regulations and overall structure for guidance on how to set up their own state’s program. Also, with a still-developing onsite consumption methodology of a “Bring Your Own Cannabis” type marijuana bar, successful examples of how to bring cannabis lounging to the masses are arising, even if those examples are limited in number.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Recreational
Selling Since: 01/01/2014
Flower Purchase Limit: 1 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: 8 grams
Maximum Edible Dose: 800 mg / pack
On-Site Consumption? BYOC Members Only Clubs
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? Pathways to Sealing Records

 

Nevada

Despite approving medicinal cannabis use at the same time as Colorado, Nevada didn’t go fully recreational until 2016. While many people outside the state may assume that the purchase limits would be much higher than other places due to the vice-fueled reputation of the infamous Sin City, the limits are actually very in-line with other recreationally legal states. The limit for vape purchases is actually the lowest on this particular list! Additionally, at the time of this writing, there is only one approved location for on-site consumption in the state.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Recreational
Selling Since: 01/01/2017
Flower Purchase Limit: 1 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: 3.5 grams
Maximum Edible Dose: 100 mg / pack
On-Site Consumption? Illegal + Possible Fines or Arrest
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? Pathways to Sealing Records

 

Michigan

Michigan approved medical-use of cannabis in 2008, and after a decade, passed recreational-use legislation with 56% of the vote in 2018. Surprisingly, Michigan has the highest concentrate purchase limit of all the states listed in this article, with any consumer over the age of 21 being able to purchase 15 grams of vapes, dabs, or oil syringes at one time. It seems that having had such a long period of medicinal-use might be one of the reasons there is a more stable foundation for retail growth, business health, and sustainable supply chains, all while providing their citizens access to higher doses, if they should need them.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Recreational
Selling Since: 01/01/2019
Flower Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: 15 grams
Maximum Edible Dose: 100 mg / pack
On-Site Consumption? Illegal + Possible Fines 
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? Pathways to Expungement

 

Washington

Washington was another state ahead of the curve, first medicinally legalizing marijuana in 1998, and becoming the second state to pass recreational-use legislation, after Colorado, in 2012. After several years of a successful recreational market, paired with lowering cannabis criminal convictions, the state approved additional social justice reform legislation that streamlines the process of vacating previous convictions for anyone that received a cannabis sentencing prior to cannabis being fully legal. The only stipulation for the process is that anyone applying for the expungement would need to have been over the age of 21 at the time of their conviction, other than that, no questions asked.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Recreational
Selling Since: 07/08/2014
Flower Purchase Limit: 1 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: 7 grams
Maximum Edible Dose: 100 mg / pack
On-Site Consumption? Illegal + Possible Fines  or Arrest
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? Pathways to Expungement

 

Illinois

Going medicinally legal in 2013, followed by decriminalization in 2016, and full recreationally legal status in 2019, Illinois was the first state to approve its rec market through state-produced legislature, rather than a petition-generated ballot measure. When first opening at the start of 2020, the demand from the public far exceeded the capacity of the state’s newly formed supply chain, leading to many stores having to temporarily close due to running out of product. With those initial hurdles now behind them, Illinois’s cannabis industry is booming, and it has one of the more advanced social justice programs, providing expungement availability to individuals charged with illegal possession or distribution of up to 500 grams.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Recreational
Selling Since: 01/01/2020
Flower Purchase Limit: 1 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: 5 grams
Maximum Edible Dose: 500 mg / pack
On-Site Consumption? Legal, but no businesses yet
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? Pathways to Expungement

 

Alaska

Despite decriminalizing cannabis back in the 1970’s, generations of back-and-forth opinions about the plant prevented it from becoming fully recreationally legal until 2015, making it the third US state to step into the new cannabis future. Though Alaska did enact medicinal legislation for a couple of years before making the full leap into the rec market, the infrastructure of the industry didn’t really form until going rec. Due to this, there is a real lack of efforts towards social cannabis reform or public education initiatives in the state, compared to states that were early advocates for the possible medical benefits of cannabis. However, Alaska does have one of the nation’s few fully operational and licensed on-site consumption lounge and retail, located in Fairbanks.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Recreational
Selling Since: 10/29/2016
Flower Purchase Limit: 1 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: 7 grams
Maximum Edible Dose: 100 mg / pack
On-Site Consumption? Legal for small amounts of flower and edibles at approved retails
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? None

 

Oregon

Decriminalizing in the 1970’s, and legalizing for medical use in 1998, Oregon finally went all in on recreational cannabis in 2014. Home to the ever-weird Portland, it’s not hard to believe that Oregon has become the first state to go even another step further and legalize psilocybin mushrooms as of last year. They still do not allow for public consumption of cannabis in any capacity, though pop-up events on private property are known to happen throughout the state for certain events.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Recreational
Selling Since: 10/01/2015
Flower Purchase Limit: 1 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: 5 grams
Maximum Edible Dose: 50 mg / pack
On-Site Consumption? Illegal + Possible Fines  or Arrest
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? Pathways to Expungement

 

Florida

Still only a medicinally legal state, Florida has one of the strictest medical card patient applications. The state only deems patients suffering from approximately 15-20 terminal or debilitating illnesses as eligible for access to the medical marijuana program. For those who qualify, many of the dosing choices for a patient are decided by the prescribing doctor. While there is a higher than usual legal limit for cannabis flower purchases, it is also worth noting that the vast majority of the cannabis available in the state is cultivated to specifically be intentionally higher in CBD and lower in THC, unlike all other states, who strive for the opposite.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Medicinal
Selling Since: 06/23/2017
Flower Purchase Limit: 2.5 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: Not defined
Maximum Edible Dose: Not defined
On-Site Consumption? Illegal + Possible Fines  or Arrest
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? Limited to Offenses Under 20 grams

 

Massachusetts

Not every state contemplating cannabis legalization goes through the same path, and with Massachusetts, they followed the unique one of first decriminalizing cannabis in 2008, followed by medicinal legalization in 2012, and finally recreationally legal status as of 2016. While the first year of the state’s rec market was slow to get businesses online, it is already over a billion dollar industry as of today. Boston, in particular, is proving to be an invaluable industry case study as it pushes for large scale availability of social equity licensing within the borders of its municipality.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Recreational
Selling Since: 11/20/2018
Flower Purchase Limit: 1 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: 5 grams
Maximum Edible Dose: 100 mg / pack
On-Site Consumption? Legal, but no businesses yet
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? Pathways to Expungement

 

California

A lifetime ago, in 1996, California became the first US state to medicinally legalize cannabis, following initiatives enacted in some of its most natural-health-minded municipalities, such as San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara. By the time the state got around to legalizing recreational use with its vote in 2016, it was already so easy as a consumer to gain access to a medical card, that it hardly seemed like much of a change took place at all. The infrastructure of cannabis brands within California’s industry are some of the best-funded, most diverse (in terms of available product lines and ownership demographics), and most well-established within the country. As Federal legalization continues to loom closer, California cannabis companies will, in many ways, have a head start to nationalizing their long-standing brand identities.

Evaluation Metric: Stats:
Legal Status: Recreational
Selling Since: 01/01/2018
Flower Purchase Limit: 1 oz.
Concentrate Purchase Limit: 8 grams
Maximum Edible Dose: 100 mg / pack
On-Site Consumption? Legal, but more common as pop-up permits
Social Justice Reform Initiatives? Pathways to Expungement

 

 


Only the future knows what’s in store for cannabis consumption laws, social justice initiatives, and federal legalization, but considering how normalized marijuana is becoming in the US today, I’d say we’re surely on the right path towards a destigmatized tomorrow. It is up to each and every cannabis consumer to help shape the way the world perceives the use of marijuana, by striving to educate ourselves while enjoying our heavenly highs as responsibly as possible.

 

P.S. - If you know the rules and regulations of one of these states intimately and spot something here that is inaccurate, please let us know! 

 

Keep blazing those trails (and blunts), my people!

 

Dara Cameron

@chiral_consultants




Sources

 

https://www.illinoispolicy.org/what-you-need-to-know-about-marijuana-legalization-in-illinois/

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