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Legalization of cannabis in the United States in 2022

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At present, the United States has not yet legalized federal marijuana, which is limited to states. There are three degrees of legalization in American States. This includes four United States territories in the Atlantic (Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI)) and the Pacific (Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)).

屏幕快照 2022-04-02 10.10.16

Legalization map

The first tier states are represented in green on the legalization map above.

Secondary states are shown in blue on the legalization map above.

The third tier states include states where the state legislature allows strict restrictions by law (usually with low or negligible THC content), which are marked in yellow on the legalization map.

Georgia passed a strict access restriction (SLA) law in 2015, called the Haley hope act, named after Hayleigh's hope act, a young child with debilitating epilepsy.

South Carolina's SLA law was passed in 2014, named "Julian law" after a brain damaged South Carolina baby who had epilepsy and had to leave the state for a legal state (Colorado) to treat epilepsy that afflicted the child's body.

Other three-tier SLA countries restrict not only the ingredients of products and their medical uses, but also the way of intake, the management or place of acquisition of products, and sometimes only research institutions.

Mississippi upgraded to a secondary medical state

This month, Mississippi witnessed the latest evolution from a level III restricted state to a level II medical use state.

On February 2, 2022, Tate Reeves, the Republican elected in 2019 and governor of Mississippi, signed the medical use (secondary) legislation into law. This ended a 15 month stalemate between Mississippi voters and their lawmakers.

Mississippi's new medical marijuana law gives the Mississippi Department of health the power to increase medical conditions and issue medical marijuana licenses and registrations. Health conditions for medical marijuana listed on the website of the US Department of health include cancer, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, AIDS / HIV and autism, and other conditions related to terminal or debilitating diseases, such as wasting disease at the end of life.

The Mississippi Department of health is expected to issue licenses to planting facilities, processing facilities, testing facilities, waste treatment and transportation entities within 120 days. The Department reported that it expected to issue licenses to medical marijuana pharmacies in Mississippi within 150 days.

Other SLA states are considering changing legalization

Other severely restricted tertiary states are considering legalizing medical marijuana. These include South Carolina and Kentucky.

South Carolina

In February 2022, the South Carolina Senate passed a medical marijuana bill by 28 votes to 15. The approval submitted the South Carolina compassionate care act to the South Carolina house of representatives for consideration. If approved (and then signed by the governor of South Carolina), the current legislation will make medical marijuana legalized only in oils, creams, chewing gum and food products, and will be prohibited from being used in any atomized or dry form.


Kentucky is a state with strict access restrictions, allowing CBD products to be used for research. The state is taking some measures to get rid of the state's access restrictions.

In February 2022, state legislators introduced a series of marijuana bills to legalize adult use and medical marijuana. The proposal announced by Kentucky Democrats in both houses on February 17, 2022 is called "let's grow bill".

Even States specializing in health care are "taking action" to legalize adult use

In Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota and Oklahoma, pro reform forces have been taking action to ensure that adult voting initiatives are included in each state's November 2022 vote.

On February 14, 2022, during a stopover in Southern California, U.S. congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio said that Ohio, which has been a legal state for health care since 2016, is expected to legalize adult use in the November 2022 vote. He speculated that this may interest college age voters.

Other medical law states, including Delaware, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Hawaii and Rhode Island, currently have members of their legislatures proposing and promoting the legalization of cannabis use by adults.

For Maryland and other states that use the referendum process (the legislature will also ask questions on the ballot to allow voters to vote), legislators will arrange for adults to use the referendum in November 2022.

99% of Americans live in areas that are somehow legalized

The United States has about 330 million residents. Almost 99% of U.S. residents live in places that are legalized to some extent. The legalization pyramid shows that less than 7 million of these 330 million people live in places where marijuana is illegal under state law.

Therefore, those seeking to start, diversify or invest in cannabis should consider the laws, regulations and practices of states (and U.S. territories). It is believed that more states will join the legalization process by 2022.

Source: Tencent News


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