Currently 18 US states have legalized marijuana for adult-use recreational consumption, and a total of 38 have legalized the sale, possession, and consumption of medical cannabis. There is obviously much work to still be done before weed is federally legal, but every year, we get one step closer to it.
Before the legislative year is up, 2022 could see even more states added to the list of those who’ve legalized either recreational adult-use or medical cannabis, with the tiny state of Rhode Island looking the most promising for the time being, though Kansas, North Carolina, and Delaware may not be too far behind.
States That May See Legalization In 2022
More and more efforts are being made to legalize marijuana across the US, as the majority of the population agrees that it should be legal for both relational and medical purposes. According to a 2021 Pew Research poll, “an overwhelming share of U.S. adults (91%) say either that marijuana should be legal for medical and recreational use (60%) or that it should be legal for medical use only (31%). Fewer than one-in-ten (8%) say marijuana should not be legal for use by adults.”
As mentioned earlier in this article, there are a few states that are likely to pass marijuana legislation this year, whether medical or recreational. Let’s take a look at them.
Rhode Island is the state that will most likely pass cannabis legislation before the year is up. Back in March, Rhode Island lawmakers introduced two bills that called for the legalization of recreational adult-use cannabis. Public hearings have been held on the bills by both the House Finance Committee as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee. Votes for the bills are expected to be taken next week.
A proposal for the bills put forward by Governor Daniel McKee would see an issuing of 25 retail licenses per year for the first three years after legalization, with a minimum of 20% of those licenses going to minority-owned businesses.
On March 11th, Senate lawmakers from the state of Kansas put forward a measure for the legalization of medical cannabis. That same month, hearings were held for the measure in both the Senate Federal as well as the State Affairs Committee. Though votes have yet to be cast for the legislation, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has said that she supports the legalization of medical marijuana in her state.
According to MJBizDaily, “The director of Alcohol and Cannabis Control would license cultivators, processors, distributors, dispensaries and testing laboratories.
The bill would require each dispensary to designate a “pharmacist consultant” who would audit medical cannabis recommendations to patients.”
Last week, the Delaware House voted on a bill legalizing the possession of cannabis, and the vote passed by a margin of 26-14. Next, the Senate will vote on the bill, though a date has yet to be set for the vote.
HB 372, a companion bill has passed one House Committee, and, according to NORML, is likely to receive a full House Vote soon. This bill would establish a regulatory structure for the legalization of recreational adult-use cannabis.
However, due to the fact that the bill includes a tax provision calling for a 15% sales tax on marijuana sales, in order to pass HB 372, a three-fifths majority vote was needed.
Last year, Senate Bill 711, called the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act – which would legalize medical marijuana – pushed through several state committees before it was ultimately tabled in favor of other state legislation deemed more critical, including redistricting and state budget issues.
However, proponents of the bill believe that it has a good chance of passing before the legislative adjournment date of June 20th.
If the bill were to pass, a total of 10 supplier licenses for medical marijuana would be issued, and each license holder would have the ability to establish up to four medical cannabis dispensaries, with at least one being opened in an area deemed “economically disadvantaged.”
Though no bills have yet to be introduced by Pennsylvania lawmakers concerning the legalization of recreational adult-use marijuana, the state Justice Committee and the Senate Law held hearings earlier this year on the potential for legalization.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe has shown his support for recreational cannabis legalization, even going so far as to tweet about it.
“Pennsylvania is ready and waiting for legalized marijuana. Let’s get it done,” a February tweet from Governor Wolfe read.
Despite the fact that there are still many states that have yet to legalize either medical or recreational-use cannabis, some are closer to it than others. While we keep an eye on those states who may have a chance of legalizing marijuana before the end of 2022, the fight for federal legalization goes on.
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