It's a common question to ask these days, “Where is marijuana legal?" Whether you're planning your next vacation, wondering where your home state stands, or anywhere in between, we hope this will provide some insight to medical marijuana states, recreational marijuana states, and states where both forms of marijuana are legal.
Check back to Leafbuyer.com regularly! We will update this article as legislation evolves.
States Where Marijuana Is Legal
Marijuana is legal in Alaska, and has been among US medical marijuana states since November 1998. They have been a recreational marijuana state since November 2014. The state of Alaska has a law built into its constitution concerning the resident's’ right to privacy, and cannabis use has always been somewhat protected under this law.
In 1975, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in Ravin v. State that Ravin had the right to possess, cultivate, and consume small amounts of marijuana in the home. While Alaska has perhaps the most liberal marijuana laws in the country, they are extremely complex and very confusing. Current law allows adults to possess four ounces of marijuana or less in their residence.
Arizona is a medical marijuana state. Residents of the state voted on legalizing recreational marijuana in November 2016, however, the measure failed to pass. Arizona has been providing medical marijuana to select patients since 2010. Under medical marijuana laws in Arizona, patients are allowed to possess up to 2.5 oz. usable marijuana, and may grow up to 12 plants.
In November 2016, Arkansas voters opted to make marijuana legal under limited circumstances, passing ballot Measure 6 for medical marijuana. Possession laws for the new medical marijuana program is 3 ounces of usable marijuana per 2-week period.
California has been a medical marijuana state since 1996. Twenty years later, voters once more rallied support for marijuana, passing recreational marijuana in November 2016. California hopes to emulate Colorado and Alaskan laws, giving more freedom to the people. Possession laws for medical marijuana patients in California include an eight ounce limit of usable marijuana. Patients may grow as many as 12 immature marijuana plants OR 6 mature plants. Consumers may buy up to an ounce of marijuana flower.
The recreational marijuana program in California went live January 2018, and the industry is expected to be worth several billion in the coming years.
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Colorado: Medical and Recreational
Colorado has been a medical marijuana state since 2000 and was the first state to fully implement recreational marijuana laws. Adults 21 or older can grow up to three immature and three mature marijuana plants privately in a locked space and may legally possess all marijuana from the plants if it stays where it was grown. Adults may legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana while traveling, and give as a gift up to one ounce to other citizens 21 years of age or older.
Consumption is permitted in a manner like alcohol, with equivalent offenses prescribed for driving under the influence.
Connecticut has been a medical marijuana state since 2012. It is unclear whether lawmakers have proposed marijuana legalization. Possession laws for medical marijuana patients in Connecticut put a 2.5 ounce limit on usable marijuana.
Delaware has been one of the medical marijuana states since 2011. Recreational marijuana is not yet available in Delaware, but could very well be one of the next states to legalize rec. Delaware's possession laws include 6 oz. of usable marijuana.
DC has allowed medical marijuana use for almost 20 years. Voters in 2014 successfully passed recreational use but not sales. Under Initiative 71, an individual 21 or older can possess up to two ounces of marijuana for personal use and can grow no more than six cannabis plants with 3 or fewer being mature, within the person’s principal residence. The Initiative also allows an individual to transfer without payment (but not sell) up to one ounce of marijuana to another person 21 years of age or older.
The law also allows adults to use or sell drug paraphernalia related to the use, growing, or processing of marijuana or cannabis.
Florida has been a medical state since early 2016, operating first a highly limited CBD-only medical marijuana program. In November 2016, voters backed Amendment 2, allowing a larger group of patients access to cannabis use. Under Amendment 2, cannabis treatment is not limited to CBD-only.
Hawaii has been a medical marijuana state since 2000. It's not apparent when Hawaii will be voting on recreational marijuana. Hawaii never decriminalized marijuana, despite medical marijuana being approved in 2000. The law allows registered patients to grow up to seven of their own plants, but initially did not allow any medical marijuana dispensaries to be opened. Thankfully, this has finally changed.
Possession laws include 4 oz. of usable marijuana and 7 plants.
Illinois has been a medical marijuana states since 2013. While recreational marijuana isn't legal, Illinois has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana and could be voting on recreational marijuana soon. Possession laws include 2.5 ounces of usable cannabis during a period of 14 days
Louisiana: Medical Only
Louisiana has been one of the medical marijuana states since earlier this year. It's the first state in the south to accept marijuana, although there are no places to buy marijuana or receive marijuana as medicine now. It's still illegal for recreational purposes. Things are changing though, and Louisiana will be expanding and amending its laws as time passes. It's a very new thing and they're working on it!
Maine has been a medical marijuana states since 1999. Voters in 2016 passed recreational marijuana laws, though the program has yet to be fully implemented. Maine has seen incredibly success with their medical marijuana industry, and pro-marijuana legalization groups have been pushing lawmakers to hurry up and allow recreational dispensaries to open. Possession laws include 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and 6 plants
Maryland has been a medical marijuana state since 2014. It is unclear when they will be legalizing for recreational purposes as this time. For medical marijuana patients, possession laws include a 30-day supply as determined by the recommending physician.
Massachusetts has been a medical marijuana state since 2012. Voters passed Question 4 in 2016, setting up the state to become the largest legal marijuana state the East Coast. Possession laws include a 60-day (10 ounces) supply. Recreational dispensaries opened in November 2018 and sales are booming.
Michigan has been a medical marijuana states since 2008, and voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2018. As of December 6, 2018, recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan.
Minnesota has been one of the medical marijuana states since 2014. For now, there are no plans to expand into recreational marijuana, but there are a lot of calls for reform in regards to its medical program. Possession laws include a 30-day supply of non-smokable marijuana.
Amendment 2 passed in November 2018 and legalized marijuana for certain qualifying conditions. The laws went into effect December 2018, but the state will not start accepting applications for Missouri medical cards until July 2019. Applications need to start being approved by August 2019, and licenses and IDs will be sent out 150 days after they’re approved.
Montana has been one of the medical marijuana states since 2004. In 2011, Montana enacted an entirely new medical marijuana program, placing more restrictions on medical marijuana use and increasing the requirements for patients, caregivers, and physicians in the program. Many patients feel the amendment has made the process of obtaining medical marijuana even more difficult and discouraging, even though the medical support is all there.
Possession laws include 1 oz. usable; 4 plants (mature); 12 seedlings
Nevada has been one of the medical marijuana states since 2000. In November 2016, Nevada passed Question 2, allowing recreational marijuana use and possession for adults 21 and older. Recreational sales began in July 2017. Possession laws include 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and up to 12 plants. Recreational possession limits are to be determined.
New Hampshire made marijuana legal for medical purposes in 2013. Lawmakers in the state are poised to legalized recreational sales soon, though an official timeline is unavailable. Possession laws include two ounces of usable cannabis during a 10-day period.
New Jersey has made marijuana legal for medical purposes in 2010. Lawmakers in the state are planning to legalize recreational marijuana soon, however, an official vote has yet to be announced. Possession laws include two ounces of usable marijuana.
New Mexico has been a medical state since 2007. Current possession laws in New Mexico include 6 ounces of usable marijuana and up to 16 plants (4 mature, 12 immature).
New York has been a medical marijuana state since 2014, and is one of the top 3 most likely states to vote on recreational marijuana in the next few years. Current possession laws include a 30-day supply of non-smokable marijuana.
North Dakota: Medical Only
North Dakota became a medical marijuana state in 2016, with dispensaries opening in late 2018. The list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card in North Dakota is fairly typical of other medical marijuana states. The state tried to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2018, but the initiative failed. Cannabis flower, concentrates, tinctures, capsules, patches, and topicals are all allowed; edibles are not permitted at this time.
Ohio has been a medical marijuana state since earlier this year, with no plans to legalize recreational marijuana any time soon. The med program serves a small margin of people with just a few medical conditions. Possession laws include a Maximum of a 90-day supply, with the amount yet to be determined.
Oklahoma passed State Question 788 in June 2018. The initiative had a lot of holes, so emergency rules were put in place soon after. The state is accepting applications for medical marijuana cards and business licenses, but there are a lot of details that need to be clarified.
Oregon has been a medical marijuana state since 1998, and one of the recreational marijuana states since 2014. Oregon has long been a very marijuana-friendly state, and it was the first to decriminalize cannabis in 1973. On November 3rd, 1998 Oregon legalized medical marijuana.
Initiative 91, which passed in the November 2014 election, legalized recreational marijuana for anyone ages 21 and over. The implementation of recreational marijuana use began on July 1st, 2015. Current possession laws include 24 ounces of usable marijuana along with 24 plants (6 mature, 18 immature)
Pennsylvania passed a very basic medical marijuana law earlier this year. There are currently no bills or amendments planned for expanding the medical laws or adding recreational laws. Current possession laws include a 30-day supply.
Rhode Island has been a medical marijuana state since 2006. Rhode Island is considering expanding into rec, but they're not close to a vote now. Possession laws currently include 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana along with 12 plants.
Utah: Medical Only
Utah voters passed Proposition 2, which legalized medical marijuana, in November 2018, but many people were not happy about it. So, Utah lawmakers got together and passed a compromise bill in December 2018. The Utah Cannabis Act limited the acceptable qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Utah, decreased the amount of dispensaries that would be allowed in the state, and started calling dispensaries “pharmacies,” among other changes.
Vermont has made both medical and recreational marijuana legal, passing the laws in 2007 and 2018, respectively. Current possession laws for medical patients in Vermont include two ounces of usable marijuana along with 9 plants (2 mature, 7 immature).
Washington has been one of the medical marijuana states since 1998, and one of the recreational marijuana states since 2012. Initiative 502 is the law passed that allows for the cultivation and recreational use of weed for individuals 21 and up. In the years since voters made marijuana legal, several hundred recreational marijuana shops have appeared all over Washington. Marijuana possession is limited to one ounce for recreational consumers.
West Virginia: Medical Only
West Virginia’s medical marijuana laws were signed in August 2017, but the program is still not in up and running. The state is working on drafting rules for the program, so currently, no medical marijuana cards will be issued until July 2019, and no dispensaries are open.
Quick Recap On the States Where Marijuana is Legal:
Medical Marijuana States:
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.
Recreational Marijuana States:
Alaska, Colorado, California, Washington, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Vermont, and Washington D.C.
Phew, that was quite a bit of information! We hope you use and share this with other people who want to know which states have legal marijuana. Keep in mind that as the laws change, we will be updating this piece. Check back regularly!
This blog was originally posted in November of 2016 but has been updated as of 12/6/18.