5 New States Legalized Weed: Here’s All You Need to Know

Nov 24, 2020 | Cannabis Laws & News

Rather than a red wave, or blue wave, the USA saw more of an unexpected ‘green’ wave this election cycle. As 5 new states made progress in marijuana legalization for medical and/or adult-use. Not only do these wins open new doors for the growing cannabis industry, but goes to show an increasingly positive pot viewpoint, nationwide.

So what do YOU need to know about marijuana legalization 2020 edition? We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to the new states ‘legalize marijuana’ movement.

Fresh Faces in the Cannabis Community

Whether you live in these freshly legalized states or not, any cannabis connoisseur can celebrate the news of widened legalization for medical or recreational use. It goes to show that no matter our differences politically, there’s one thing we seemingly can all agree on – legal weed is the way to be.
So which states were the latest to join the ever-expanding cannabis community? Here’s a quick breakdown of who and what made progress this 2020 election:

  • Montana – Recreational marijuana use approved.
  • South Dakota – Recreational marijuana use and medicinal marijuana use approved.
  • New Jersey – Recreational marijuana use approved.
  • Arizona – Recreational marijuana use approved.
  • Mississippi – Medical marijuana use approved.

While exact legislation varies from state to state, the legalization movement expands the nation’s overall use for adults of 21 and over, and those who suffer from debilitating conditions.
Speaking of legislation, let’s cover the fine details from each state and how quickly the progress goes into effect.

Tick, Tock on Legislation

If you’re a Michigan resident or you live in a state that has recently legalized marijuana, you know the wait can be so long to endure. For insight, Michiganders had to wait well over a year from voting for legalization until legal pot was available for purchase in limited areas.

Meaning, for new states, the proverbial clock is tick-tocking for legislation to go through its legal process. Again, each state is unique with the exact verbiage that was passed, so we made it easy by summarizing just how long marijuana legalization 2020 will actually take effect from region to region.

  • Montana – Recreational marijuana use, possession, and cultivation will be legal beginning January 1st, 2021. This is also the first day that the state will begin accepting applications for marijuana retailer licenses, so actual purchasing will be further delayed.
  • South Dakota – With top leaders in the state unsatisfied with the voter’s decision, South Dakota could be one to drag their feet in establishing regulation. What we do know so far, is for medicinal marijuana use, South Dakota’s Department of Health has until October 29th, 2021 to produce program regulations. With patient registration cards being issued by November 18th, of the same year. For adult-use, upon the formal passage of the legislation, laws will go into effect on July 1st, 2021. However, the Department of Revenue currently has until April 1, 2022, to complete the development of licensing regulations.
  • New Jersey – New Jersey’s recent voter approval, means technically recreational use of marijuana becomes legal on January 1st, 2021. But sources say, it could be quite some time before able to legally purchase weed from a retail storefront. A second bill will be necessary for the regulatory process, which current legislators are said to disagree on taxation.
  • Arizona – After a failed ballot initiative in 2016, Arizona was set to be ready for approval four years later. So, luckily for state residents that means the process is set up to streamline legalization. Upon validation of the state’s ballots and votes, the recreational use of marijuana will go into effect around November 30th. Licenses will be available to apply for beginning January 1st, 2021 with the first approvals expected just a month later on February 1st.
  • Mississippi – Mississippi’s passed proposition requires that the state’s Department of Health is to create regulations for the program by July 1st, 2021. With the requirement of issuing patient ID cards and licenses by August 15th, 2021. The delay means products won’t likely be accessible for purchase for medically approved residents until late 2021.

Changes on the Horizon

Of course, without nationwide legalization or standards to adhere to – every state with new marijuana legalization has its own set of rules or allowances. While freeing the leaf exponentially across the Nation is still thrilling for conscious cannabis users, it can be confusing to keep up with the variances as you travel from state to state.
One thing that remains consistent with regard to recreational marijuana use is the age limit of 21+. This remains true for the 4 new states legalizing marijuana for adult-use. But, keep in mind the following factors may differ depending on the area you’re lighting up with marijuana legalization:

  • How many plants residents can grow at home
  • How much cannabis each individual can legally possess
  • The limits on ‘gifting’ or giving marijuana to other residents
  • Where you can legally purchase cannabis
  • If allowances apply to non-resident visitors
  • The criminal or civil penalties assigned to regulations

As the exact legislation for each of the 5 new states to legalize marijuana is formalized, most of this information is still up in the air. To be dutiful as a conscious cannabis user, keep this list handy for whenever you’re considering legally purchasing and consuming across the Nation. That way, you can ensure you double-check important common factors for compliance.

The Green Wave of Legalization

Regardless of the subject, we can all admit it feels good to agree as a Nation. Even better is becoming unified for the progress of marijuana legalization. As the green wave sweeps the country, join in celebrating the marijuana movement that’s closing gaps and lifting stigmas, state-by-state. The closer we can come together for conscious cannabis use, the better we can elevate as one.

About The Author

<a href="https://www.cannabistherapynetwork.org/author/courtneyt/" target="_self">Courtney Trzos</a>

Courtney Trzos

To Courtney, it’s always 420 somewhere… After attending Michigan State University and working in communications for over 10 years, she took her passion for cannabis, professionally. In 2017, Courtney began freelancing as a writer for cannabis brands across the globe, promoting the therapeutic and recreational use of the plant, while helping her partner cultivate crops full-time, and learning more about the industry from a seed-to-sale perspective. Get in touch with her and follow her journey at https://www.instagram.com/thecannaspace/