A number of states are working feverishly to advance cannabis in the country
2022 has also been a spectacular year for state legalization and the marijuana industry. Since the year began, marijuana legalization advocates have had mixed success in statehouses across the country. States such as Rhode Island, Mississippi, and Maryland have been able to win victorious days in their legislative sessions, setting the stage for hundreds of millions of dollars in sales in both the medical and recreational sectors. There is no doubt that moves like these help give the US cannabis industry tremendous momentum.
Not everything has been as green as the plant itself, as other states, such as Kansas, North Carolina and South Carolina, have suffered several defeats. This can be seen as a clear indication of the different obstacles faced by cannabis industry advocates where one or both houses of the legislature are dominated by Republicans.
But gray days aside, it is best to focus on the state legislatures that have actually been making incredible efforts in the first half of 2022. For example, Little Rhody moved to become the 19th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Plans call for December 1 as the official launch date, with existing medical cannabis operators being part of the sales.
Separately, the Magnolia State became the 39th state to give medical marijuana the go-ahead, a year after the state supreme court overturned a voter-approved referendum. With the licensing application window now underway, sales are expected to begin in late 2022 or early 2023.
And finally, it should be noted the efforts made by the Old Line State legislators, who referred the issue of recreational marijuana to the voters. Should the initiative put before the voters in November be successful, lawmakers will need to agree on a regulatory and licensing structure. Sales are expected to begin in 2024 or 2025.