In 2018, several US states are planning to hold referendums and legislative amendments on adult use of marijuana. While some states have approved use of cannabis in the near recent years, most are yet to approve its adult use. This article highlights 3 states that are planning to legalize adult use of cannabis in 2018.
As reported by The ArcView Group, a San Francisco firm specializing in cannabis investment and research, the revenue generated in the legal marijuana sector has rapidly grown, with the figure rising by 34 percent from the 2015 figure to $6.7 billion in 2016.
Legalization depends on the state’s laws and could occur through a state’s legislature or referendum. Some experts argue that a regulated market depletes the existing illegal market of its cannabis supply and may be a catalyst for other states. For instance, encouraging online marijuana vending can be profitable to a state because most online businesses can be easily taxed.
In 2016, Arizona voters voted against the adult use of marijuana. But according to Bryan, Meltzer, a core partner at Feuerstein Kulick, one of New York’s top law firms dealing with litigation, marijuana law, and corporate transaction matters, the matter is likely to come up in 2018 with high chances of passing.
Melter says that Arizonian public opinion in favor of adult and medical use has grown significantly since 2016. This is good news for potential Arizona online marijuana vendors as studies in states where the adult use has already been legalized show a good proportion of marijuana users order online.
Melzer says that Rhode Island seems to have delayed the legalization of marijuana for adult use. The state has since formed a 22-people commission to investigate the process and impact cannabis legalization expected to table a report on its findings in 2018. There are high expectations the findings will be in favor.
He further says that Rhode Island is going about it slowly and might be waiting to see the outcome of legalization in Massachusetts so they can come up with a better plan. Massachusetts will act as a model for a number of Northeast states intending to formulate and implement programs with a smaller footprint.
The Rhode Island coalition tasked with legalization says that they are planning to make some changes to the current bill: making at most 1 ounce of cannabis legal for individuals aged over 21, as from July 2018 when the product becomes available to the Public via various outlets including online marijuana stores in Massachusetts. The state also plans to create an advisory to find out how to tax and regulate cannabis in future.
According to Jeffery Zucker, president of Green Lion Partners, one of Denver’s leading business strategy firms for early stage marijuana companies, Rhode Island’s medical plan is quite good and the delays are bringing more harm than good as the state is facing intense pressure from Maine and Massachusetts and losing out on revenue.
As reported by the Marijuana Policy Project, Connecticut’s representatives suggested an amendment to another cannabis bill in June. As much as the issue received no vote, prohibition may end in 2017 because the state’s Democrats in May drafted a budget which suggested that the taxation and regulation of marijuana be similar to that of liquor.
Zucker says Connecticut has good polling numbers and stands a high chance of getting its legislation pass. If the legislation passes, establishing an online marijuana store in the state could be easier and very profitable. A few other states that are planning to legalize adult use of cannabis include Delaware, Maryland and New Mexico.
In conclusion, legalization of cannabis for adult use appears to be an inter-state war, with some states making the decision to legalize the product based on the neighboring state’s decisions. The major challenge is each state has to makes legislation favorable to it. We are undoubtedly going to see each state passing unique cannabis legizlation.