State Medical Marijuana Laws

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Medical Uses of Marijuana and Cannabis

State Medical Marijuana/Cannabis Program Laws- Table 1

Limited Access Marijuana Product Laws (low THC/high CBD)- Table 2

Karmen Hanson, program director, Denver

Cannabis policy listserv sign-up request for legislators and legislative staff ONLY

In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215, making the Golden State the firstin the union to allow for the medical use of marijuana. Since then, 29more states, theDistrict of Columbia,Guam and Puerto Ricohave enacted similar laws.As of Jan. 22, 2018, the Vermont legislature passed adult-use legalization legislation and the governor signed the bill. The measure does NOT set up a regulatory for system for sales or production. See text of measure below.

A total of 30states, theDistrict of Columbia,Guam and Puerto Riconow allow for comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs.(See Table 1 below for more info.)Approved efforts in 16states allow use of low THC, high cannabidiol (CBD) products formedical reasonsin limited situations or as a legal defense. Those programs are not counted as comprehensive medical marijuana programs but are listed in Table 2. NCSL uses criteria similar to other organizations to determine if a program is comprehensive: See Table 2 below for more information.

Protection from criminal penalties for using marijuana for a medical purpose;

Access to marijuana through home cultivation,dispensaries or some other system that is likely to be implemented;

It allows a variety of strains, including those more than low THC;and

It allows either smoking or vaporization of some kind of marijuana products,plant material or extract.

In response to Californias Prop 215, the Institute of Medicineissuedareportthat examinedpotential therapeutic uses for marijuana.The report found that: Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs, primarily THC, for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation; smoked marijuana, however, is a crude THC delivery system that also delivers harmful substances. The psychological effects of cannabinoids, such as anxiety reduction, sedation, and euphoria can influence their potential therapeutic value. Those effects are potentially undesirable for certain patients and situations and beneficial for others. In addition, psychological effects can complicate the interpretation of other aspects of the drugs effect.

Further studies have found that marijuana is effective in relieving some of the symptoms of HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis.1

In early 2017, theNational Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a reportbased on the review of over 10,000 scientific abstracts from marijuana health research. They also made100 conclusionsrelated to health and suggestways to improve cannabis research.

At the federal level, marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I substance under theControlled Substances Act, where ScheduleI substances are considered to have a high potential for dependency and no accepted medical use, making distribution of marijuana a federal offense. In October of 2009, the Obama Administration sent a memo to federal prosecutors encouraging them not to prosecute people who distribute marijuana for medical purposes in accordance with state law.

In late August 2013, theU.S. Department of Justice announced an update to their marijuana enforcement policy.The statement readthat while marijuana remains illegal federally, the USDOJ expects states like Colorado and Washington to create strong, state-based enforcement efforts…. and will defer the right to challenge their legalization laws at this time. The department also reserves the right to challenge the states at any time they feel its necessary.

More recently, in January 2018, Attorney General Sessions issued a Marijuana Enforcement Memorandum that rescinded the Cole Memorandum, and allows federal prosecutors to decide how to prioritize enforcement of federal marijuana laws. Specifically, the Sessions memorandum directs U.S. Attorneys to weigh all relevant considerations, including federal law enforcement priorities set by the Attorney General, the seriousness of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community. Text of the memo can be found here:

NCSLs policy on state cannabis laws can be found underAdditional Resources below.

Arizona and the District of Columbia voters passed initiatives to allow for medical use, only to have them overturned. In 1998, voters in the District of Columbia passedInitiative 59. However, Congress blocked the initiative from becoming law. In 2009, Congress reversed its previous decision, allowing the initiative to become law. The D.C. Council then put Initiative 59 on hold temporarily and unanimously approved modifications to the law.

Before passing Proposition 203 in 2010, Arizona voters originally passed a ballot initiative in 1996. However, the initiative stated that doctors would be allowed to write a prescription for marijuana. Since marijuana is still a Schedule I substance, federal law prohibits its prescription,making the initiative dical marijuana prescriptions are more often called recommendations or referrals because of the federal prescription prohibition.

States with medical marijuana laws generally have some form of patient registry, which may provide someprotection against arrest for possession up to a certain amount of marijuana for personal medicinal use.

Someof themost common policyquestions regarding medical marijuanainclude how to regulate its recommendation, dispensing, and registration of approved patients. Some states and localities withoutdispensaryregulation are experiencinga boom in new businesses, in hopes ofbeing approved before presumablystricterregulations are made. Medical marijuana growers or dispensaries are often called caregivers and may be limited to a certain number of plants or products per patient. This issue may also be regulated on a local level, in addition to any state regulation.

(click statename to jump to program information)

Recognizes Patients from other states

State Allows for Retail Sales/Adult Use

Measure 8(1998)SB 94(1999)Statute Title 17, Chapter 37

No, but adults over 21 may purchase at retail adult dispensaries.

Yes, for AZ-approved conditions, but not for dispensary purchases.

Approved in Nov. 2014, not yet operational.

Yes, but not for dispensary purchases.

HB 702(2003)SB 308(2011)HB 180/SB 580(2013)(2013)

Not in state law, but localities may create ordinances to allow them and regulate them.

Yes, for legal protection of posession, but not for dispensary purchases.

Yes, limited, liquid extract products only

Yes, if the other states program are substantially similar. Patients must fill out Nevada paperwork. Adults over 21 may also purchase at adult retail dispensaries.

Yes, with a note from their home state, but they cannot purchase through dispensaries.

A6357(2014) Signed by governor 7/5/14

Ingested doses may not contain more than 10 mg of THC, product may not be combusted (smoked).

Measure 5(2016) Final details pending

HB 523(2016) Approved by legislature, signed by governor 6/8/16, not yet operational

No, but adults over 21 may purchase at adult retail dispensaries.

SB 3(2016) Signed by governor 4/17/16 Not yet operational

Public Health DepartmentRegulation 155(2016)Not yet operational

H.511approved by legislature, signed bygovernor 1/22/18.

Does NOT provide for legal production or sales.

Allows adults 21 years or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana.

Selling marijuana in Vermont remains illegal.

Allows adults to grow two mature plants.

Public consumption of marijuana is also not allowed.

Yes, approved as of Nov. 2012, stores opened in July, 2014.

No, but adults over 21 may purchase at an adult retail dispensary.

WAC Marijuana rules: Chapter 314-55 WAC

FAQ about WA cannabis lawsby the Seattle Times.

Yes. No whole flower/cannot be smoked but can be vaporized.

No, but may allow terminally ill to buy in other states.

*The linksand resources are provided for information purposes only. NCSL does not endorse the views expressed in any of the articles linked from this page.

**While Montanas revised medical marijuana law limits caregivers to three patients, caregivers may serve an unlimitednumber of patients due to an injunction issued on January 16, 2013.

Table 2. Limited Access Marijuana Product Laws (low THC/high CBD- cannabidiol)

Program Name andStatutory Language (year)

Dispensaries or Source of Product(s)

Recognizes Patients from other states

SB 174 Carlys Law(Act 2014-277) Allows University of Alabama Birmingham to conduct effectivenessresearch usinglow-THC products fortreating seizure disorders for up to 5 years.

HB 61(2016) Lenis Law allows more physicians to refer patients to use CBD for more conditions.

Provides legal defense for posession and/or use of CBD oil. Does not create an in-stateproduction method.

Yes, debilitating epileptic conditions,life-threatening seizures, wasting syndrome, chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, any other sever condition resistant to conventional medicine.

(NEW comprehensive program approved in 2016, included in table above)

Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014CS for SB 1030 (2014)

Patient treatment information and outcomes will be collected and used for intractable childhood epilepsy research

Yes, 5 registered nurseries across the state by region, which have been in business at least 30 years in Florida.

Yes, cancer, medical condition or seizure disorders that chronically produces symptoms that can be alleviated by low-THC products

Cannabis with low THC= below .8% THC and above 10% CBD by weight

HB 1 (2015)(signed bygovernor4/16/15)

Law allows University System of Georgia to develop a lot THC oil clinical research program that meets FDA trial compliance.

Yes, end stage cancer, ALS, MS, seizure disorders, Crohns, mitochondrial disease, Parkinsons, Sickle Cell disease

Cannabis oils with low THC= below 5% THC and at least an equal amount of CDB.

SF 2360, Medical Cannabidiol Act of 2014(Effective 7/1/14)

Doesnt define or provide in-state methods of access or production.

Cannabidiol- a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that contains below 3% THC, no more than 32 oz, and essentially free from plant material.

The possessor has, or is a parent or guardian of a person thathas, cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, seizure disorders,multiple sclerosis, Crohns disease, mitochondrial disease, fibroymyalgia, Parkinsons disease or sickle cell disease;

Is composed of no more than three-tenths percent (0.3%)tetrahydrocannabidiol by weight; is composed of at least fifteen (15) times more cannabidiolthan tetrahydrocannabidiol by weight; andcontains no other psychoactive substance.

At least 5 percent CBD by weight. No more than .3 percent THC by weight.

SB 124(2014)Clara Madeline Gilliam Act

Exempt cannabidiol from the definition of marijuana and allows it to be administerd by a public university or school of medicine in Kentucky for clinical trial or expanded access program approved by the FDA.

Universities in Kentucky with medical schools that are able to get a research trial. Doesnt allow for in-state production of CBD product.

HB 1231Harper Graces Law 2014

All provided through National Center for Natural Products Research at the Univ. of Mississippi and dispensed by the Dept. of Pharmacy Services at the Univ. of Mississippi Medical Center

Yes, debilitating epileptic condition or related illness

CBD oil – processed cannabis plantextract, oil or resin that contains more than 15% cannabidiol, or a dilution of the resin that contains at least 50 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) per milliliter, but not more than one-half of one percent (0.5%) of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Yes, if an an authorized patient or guardian

Yes, createscannabidiol oil care centers and cultivation and production facilities/laboratories.

Yes, intractable epilepsy that has not responded to three or more other treatment options.

Hemp extracts equal or less than .3% THC and at least 5% CBD by weight.

HB 1220(2014) Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act- Pilot Study

HB 766(2015) Removes Pilot Study designation

University research studies with a hemp extract registration card from the state DHHS or obtained from another jurisdiction that allows removal of the products from the state.

Hemp extracts with less than nine-tenths of one percent (0.9%) tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by weight.

Is composed of at least fivepercent (5%) cannabidiol by weight.

Contains no other psychoactive substance.

No in-state production allowed, so products would have to be brought in. Any formal distribution system would require federal approval.

People under 18 (minors)Minors with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, or other severe epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies

A preparation of cannabis with no more than .3% THC in liquid form.

SB 1035(2014) Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Treatment Act- Julians Law

Must use CBD product from an approved source; and

(2) approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to be used for treatment of a condition specified in an investigational new drug application.

-The principal investigator and any subinvestigator may receive cannabidiol directly from an approved source or authorized distributor for an approved source for use in the expanded access clinical trials.

Some have interpreted the law to allow patients and caregivers to produce their own products.

Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome, also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy, or any other form of refractory epilepsy that is not adequately treated by traditional medical therapies.

Cannabidiol or derivative of marijuana that contains 0.9% THC and over 15% CBD, orleast 98 percent cannabidiol (CBD) and not more than 0.90%tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)by volume that has been extracted from marijuana or synthesized in a laboratory

Creates a four-year study of high CBD/low THC marijuana at TN Tech Univ.______HB 197(2015)Researchers need to track patient information and outcomes

______NoOnly products produced by Tennessee Tech University.

Patients may possess low THC oils only if they are purchased legally in the United States and outside of Tennessee, from an assumed medical cannabis state, howevermost states do not allow products to leave the state.

Allows for legal defense for having the product as long as it was obtained legally in the US or other medical marijuana state.

Yes, intractable seizure conditions.

Yes, intractable seizure conditions.

Cannabis oil withless than .9% THC as part of a clinical research study

Low-THC Cannabis with not more than 0.5 percent by weight of tetrahydrocannabinols; and not less than 10 percent by weight of cannabidiol

HB 105(2014) Hemp Extract Registration Act

Not completely clear, however it may allowhigher education institution to grow or cultivate industrial hemp.

Yes, intractable epilepsy that hasnt responded to three or more treatment options suggested by neurologist.

Hemp extracts with less than .3% THC by weight and at least 15% CBD by weight and contains no other psychoactive substances

No in-state means of acquiring cannabis products.

Cannabis oils with at least 15% CBD or THC-A and no more than 5% THC.

Physicians and pharmacies with an investigational drug permit by the FDA could dispense cannabidiol. Qualified patients would also be allowed to access CBD from an out-of-state medical marijuana dispensary that allows for out-of-state patients to use their dispensaries as well as remove the products from the state.

No in-state production/manufacturing mechanism provided.

Exception tothe definition of prohibited THC by state law, allows for possession of cannabidiol in a form without a psychoactive effect. THC or CBD levels are not defined.

Supervised medical use of hemp extracts. Effective 7/1/2015

No in-state production or purchase method defined.

Intractable epilepsy or seizure disorders

Hemp extracts with less than 0.3% THC and at least 5% CBD by weight.

*The linksand resources are provided for information purposes only. NCSL does not endorse the views expressed in any of the articles linked from this page.

NCSLs Marijuana Deep Dive pagefeaturing marijuana and cannabis laws on criminal justice, health and other resources.

NCSL FY 2018 letter the LCJPS Committee sent to the Hill opposing the withholding of funding for state with medical marijuana laws:

NCSL FY 2018 CJS Appropriations Support Letter.(May 16, 2017)

State Marijuana Policy covered in Episode 4 of NCSLs podcast,Our American States.

You can find iton our websiteor subscribe to the podcast inor your favorite podcast app.

Comparison of all state medical marijuana programs with contact information. Prepared by the Network for Public Health Law as of June 2014

State-by-State Medical Marijuana LawsMarijuana Policy Project, 2015

25 Legal Medical Marijuana States and DC: Laws, Fees, and Possession Limits,by

Regulating Marijuana: Taxes, Banking and Federal Laws, November 2015

State Medical Marijuana Programs Financial Information, Marijuana Policy Project, July 2013

Medical Marijuana Dispensary Laws: Fees and Taxes, Marijuana Policy Project, February 2015

Colorado Marijuana Sales andTax Reports(updated monthly)

Washington State Sales and Tax Information (updated weekly)

Taxing Marijuana: The Washington and Colorado Experience, Tax Foundation, August 2014

What Law Enforcement Can Learn from Marijuana Legalization in Colorado, Prepared by American Military University, March, 2015

Statement by ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske regarding Federal guidelines for medical marijuana prosecution

Medical marijuana research and reports

The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research, 2017

Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base, Institute of Medicine, 1999

Treatment Research Institutes (TRI) policy position statement regarding medical marijuana

ProCon.orgs resources on medical marijuana. Medical Marijuana presents laws, studies, statistics, surveys, government reports, and pro and con statements on questions related to marijuana as medicine.

Exposing the Myth of Smoked Medical Marijuana, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

State-by-State Medical Marijuana LawsMarijuana Policy Project, 2014

Becoming a State-Authorized Patient, Americans for Safe Access

DEA: Pharmaceutical products already exist; they are called Marinol and Cesamet

Retail/Adult Use information and news

Regulating Marijuana: Taxes, Banking and Federal Laws, November 2015

Regulating Marijuana: A Year and a Half In, NCSL, October 2015

Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues. Congressional Research Service, April 2013

Analysis of CO Amendment 64 (rec use initiative)by Colorado State University, April 2013

Colorado Marijuana Sales andTax Reports

Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division Annual Update, February 2015

Public Health Law Research Law Atlas: Recreational Marijuana Laws – Interactive Map

Brookings Institution:Colorados Rollout of Legal Marijuana Is Succeeding

Public health and youth information

Regulating Recreational Use of Marijuana and the Role of Public Health LawPrepared by the Network for Public Health Law

Marijuana Impact on Public Health and Safety in Colorado: conference by CO Association of Chiefs of Police, January 14-16, 2015

Smart Colorado: Protecting youth from marijuana

Interest groups and position statements

Smart Colorado: Protecting youth from marijuana

Treatment Research Institutes (TRI) policy position statement regarding medical marijuana

National Families in Action: Marijuana Studies Program Marijuana Report

State-by-State Medical Marijuana LawsMarijuana Policy Project, 2016

Key Aspects of State and DC Medical Marijuana Laws,Marijuana Policy Project,2016

Becoming a State-Authorized Patient, Americans for Safe Access

Federal Issues Health and Human Services

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Marijuana Legalization 2018 Which States Might Consider Cannabis LawThiYear?

UPDATED The legal marijuana market could blaze across the United States in 2018.

At least 12 states are poised to consider marijuana legalization this year, with more possibly joining as legislative sessions continue, making 2018 a potentially pivotal year in the burgeoning bud movement. Some states are even preparing to take unprecedented legislative steps to make marijuanaeither recreational or medicallegal and more easily accessible.

With over 60 percent of Americans now supporting the full legalization of marijuana for adults, the momentum behind marijuana law reform will not only continue but increase as we head into 2018, Erik Altieri, executive director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, toldNewsweek.

This is whats in the legislative pipeline for 2018:

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Vermont lawmakers accomplished a landmark move for marijuana advocates in early 2018. The state boasts the first Legislature and governor to approve recreational weed, as opposed to waiting for a citizen-driven ballot initiative. Republican Governor Phil Scott privately signed the recreational marijuana law on January 22 withmixed emotions.

Keep up with this story and moreby subscribing now

The Democrat-controlled Legislature had approved recreational marijuana in May 2017, but Scottvetoedthe measure. He insteadorderedthe creation of abipartisan commissionto study public health issues surrounding the proposed marijuana legalization, such as how to measure driving impairment and the impact on existing substance abuse problems like the opioid crisis.

A number of states have already legalized it surrounding us,Scott saidin December. Whether we like it or not, its here and its being utilized, so we have to take steps to promote the general public.

Once enacted on July 1, Vermont proposal will legalize the possession of 1 ounce of marijuana and the cultivation of two mature marijuana plants for adults 21 and older. The punishment for exceeding those legalized limits would be a prison sentence of fewer than three years or a fine.

Vermont is positioned to be the first domino of several that could fall in 2018, Marijuana Policy Project legislative analyst Matt Simon toldNewsweek. I think it always affects legislators thinking to see that somebody else has already done this. Getting a legislature to go first has been quite a challenge.

New Jersey Governor-elect Phil Murphy has pledged to signed adult use regulation legislation within his first 100 days in office. Murphy, a Democrat, defeated incumbent Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno in part by championing a recreational marijuanalaw opposedby then-Governor Chris Christie and his administration.

That promise depends on a Democrat-led Legislature agreeing to send Murphy a bill to sign. Under apreviously proposedplan from Democratic state Senator Nicholas Scutari, recreational marijuana would be legalized for adults 21 and older, and a system would be created for marijuana distribution.

Murphy pointed to marijuana legalization as a way to correct social justice imbalances in New Jersey, where police set an in-state record for marijuana possession arrests in 2015. The American Civil Liberties Union said thetens of thousandsof marijuana arrests exacerbate deep racial disparities in the state.

Through the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, advocates are aiming to put a question about recreational marijuana legalization on the Michigan ballot in 2018. Marijuana advocates submitted 360,000 signatures in November 2017 in favor of the proposal.

Organizers needed to gather 252,000 valid signatures to get the initiative on the ballot, and the group toldNewsweekit is awaiting confirmation from the secretary of states office about whether it met that goal.

Related: When will marijuana be legal like alcohol?

Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Morgan Fox toldNewsweekthat Michigan would likely create a system in which licensed businesses could grow and sell marijuana-infused products to adults, with a sales tax. If approved by a statewide vote, Michigan would join eight other states, plus Washington, D.C., that permit recreational marijuana consumption at 21.

There are proposals in a dozen states to legalize marijuana in 2018.

A legislative task force assigned to evaluate the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana is expected to release a report in February 2018, according tothe DelawareNews Journal. The 25-member panel, called the Adult Use Cannabis Task Force, was created after a 2017 effort to legalize marijuana failed to clear the House of Representatives. Members were expected to evaluate the impact of a legal cannabis industry in the state.

The Delaware constitution does not allow ballot initiatives, so if the state was to legalize marijuana, it would be forced to act through the statehouse.

Lawmakers in Rhode Island are racing to hammer out recommendations for recreational marijuana as nearby states like Maine and Massachusetts implement their own policies, according toRhode Island Public Radio. The state formed a legislative commission in 2017 to evaluate the impacts of legalizing the drug recreationally. The board is expected to issue recommendations in January 2018 for creating a market.

Advocates for legalization in the statehouse are expected to introduce a bill to decriminalize possession of small quantities of pot in 2018, according toThe Providence Journal. Representative Scott Slater, a key sponsor of the bill, said it should be approved before Massachusetts opens its recreational pot shops in July 2018, but leaders in the Democrat-controlled Legislatureremain uncertainabout legalization.

The Hartford City Council approved a resolution in 2017 to legalize recreational marijuana. The symbolic move might jolt talk of legalizing marijuana in the statehouse, where previous legislation has died. Altieri toldNewsweekthat advocates hope momentum in other parts of the U.S. will encourage lawmakers to give legalization bills serious consideration.

The Marijuana Policy Project said in November 2017 that it plans to continue the fight in Connecticut to legalize recreational marijuana in the 2018 session.

A campaign to legalize recreational marijuana is underway in this state, with signature collection expected to begin in January. A similar effort failed in 2015 after the question of legalizing recreational marijuana made it onto the ballot. The groupResponsible Ohiois planning a second ballot proposal for 2018.

Voters will decide whether to legalize medical marijuana during the states June primary or November election, depending on when Republican Governor Mary Fallin sets the date. If Oklahoma voters approveQuestion 788on the ballot, the state will join the29 other statesthat have already legalized marijuana for medicinal use.

The law would allow licensed patients who are 18 or older to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana on their person and up to 8 ounces at their house, according toTulsa World. Patients would be allowed to grow and possess six mature marijuana plants. The proposal does not specify medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana; it would be the decision of an Oklahoma physician to prescribe the drug.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes is pushing the Legislature to send a bill legalizing medical marijuana to Republican Governor Matt Bevins desk in 2018. Grimes, a Democrat, created a task force to draft a bill aiding veterans and patients suffering from severe illness.

This is an issue of which I hoped the Commonwealth would have already addressed, Grimes told theLouisvilleCourier-Journal. Many of Kentuckys neighbors have already legalized medical cannabis to aid and help their citizens with pain. Kentucky is behind.

There is some doubt about whether the bill could pass, since Bevin has previously expressed worry aboutoverdosesfrom marijuana.

Signatures to support a 2018 ballot initiative for limited medical marijuana legalization were submitted in November 2017. The secretary of state is reviewing the collected signatures, and the Associated Press said results are anticipated byMarch 2018.

If medical marijuana makes it onto South Dakotas ballot and voters approve the measure, qualifying patients could possess up to 3 ounces of the plant to treat conditions that include cancer and AIDS. A separate ballot initiative for recreational marijuana in the state was thrown out due to awriting errorthat was interpreted by the state to mean only marijuana paraphernalia would be legalized.

Activists are gathering signatures for a 2018 ballot initiative to approve comprehensive medical marijuana legalization. Organizers need 113,000 signatures by April 2018 to get it on the ballot in November. The Utah Patients Coalition set a goal to collect all the signatures by January 10, according to Salt Lake CitysFox 13 News. Utah state lawmakers arealso consideringbroadening the states existing medical cannabis law, but previous proposals have failed in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

An organization called New Approach Missouri is gathering signatures for a ballot initiative to change the state constitution in favor of medical marijuana. The organization told theSt. Louis Post-Dispatchthat it has 100,000 of the 170,000 signatures necessary to put the initiative on a November 2018 ballot.

Twoother initiatives, one backed by former state lawmakers, would accomplish the same goal in 2018.

This article has been updated to include legislative progress from Vermont.

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More states could join legal marijuana wave this year

Dan Springer reports on how the states are allocating the funds.

Residents in nearly a half-dozen states could vote this fall on legalizing recreational marijuana, as the push to loosen pot laws spreads despite a tough-on-drugs message from the current Justice Department.

Michigan, Rhode Island and Connecticut are leading the conversation this election cycle on whether to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Pro-pot advocates are organizing in those states in hopes of getting a legalization measure on the ballot.

Similar efforts are underway in Illinois and Vermont, which has already legalized recreational use but could vote this year on green-lighting commercial sales. Other states are considering legislation.

If successful, theyd join the nine other states and Washington D.C., that have already legalized recreational use.

This is what the citizens want, as proven by the nine states that have approved it for adult-use and more than 30 others who have adopted medical programs and decriminalized procession and use, said Marco Hegyi, CEO of marijuana cultivation equipment company GrowLife.

In Michigan, officials are still working to validate signatures after over 360,000 were gathered in support of a legal-pot ballot measure. Roughly 250,000 are needed to qualify.

Cannabis remains illegal under federal law, but under the Obama administration states were given the leeway to make their own legislative decisions on marijuana use.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pulled back on that guidance in January, butColorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner has since said President Trump has offered assurances legal-pot states will be protected.

While tensions between the states and Washington rise and fall, pro-legalization groups continue to face opposition from critics who warn that loosening drug laws is not the right move.

Were concerned that were moving in a direction thats going to have a very negative societal impact on homes, on young people, on driving, crime — all those types of things that have a normal impact from alcohol or drug abuse is going to be accelerated with the legalization of marijuana, said Mike Griffin, public affairs director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

In addition to the states that may put legal pot to a vote, others are considering legislation, including New Jersey and Delaware.

A stronger and fairer New Jersey embraces comprehensive criminal justice reform — including a process to legalize marijuana, tweeted New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

A stronger and fairer New Jersey embraces comprehensive criminal justice reform — including a process to legalize marijuana — and focuses on creating housing that is affordable and safe from the danger of lead.NewDayNJ

Gubernatorial candidates from around the country, including Democrats Jeff Apodaca of New Mexico and Andrew Gillum of Florida, also are making legalization part of their platform.

Legalization of marijuana is a civil rights & economic issue and Florida deserves a Governor who isnt afraid to say so, Gillum tweeted.

Legalization of marijuana is a civil rights & economic issue and Florida deserves a Governor who isnt afraid to say /ZjJ4d2M3Uq

While critics still see marijuana as a gateway drug with negative health and societal impacts, others are swayed by the potential for more tax revenue.

In 2014, the first full year that recreational marijuana was legal in Colorado, $63 million was collected from medical and recreational marijuana together in tax revenue, according to The Washington Post.

We believe that expanding access to cannabis is a boon for local economies and also provides people with a safer alternative to other substances, such as alcohol or opioids, said Carlos Gutierrez, director of business development at Prime Harvest.

At the start of 2018, all but four states — Idaho, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas — have legalized at least one form of marijuana use.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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State Marijuana Laws in 2018 Map

Thirty states and the District of Columbia currently have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form.

Eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted the most expansive laws legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Most recently, sales of recreational-use marijuana in California kicked off on Jan. 1. In Massachusetts, retail sales of cannabis are expected to start later this year in July.Voters in Maine similarly approved a ballot measure legalizing marijuana in 2016. The state, however, has not yet adopted rules for licensed marijuana growers or retailers, nor has it begun accepting licenses. Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill that would have established a legal framework for sales of the drug.

The vast majority of states allow for limited use of medical marijuana under certain circumstances. Some medical marijuana laws are broader than others, with types of medical conditions that allow for treatment varying from state to state. Louisiana, West Virginia and a few other states allow only forcannabis-infused products, such as oils or pills. Other stateshave passed narrow laws allowing residents to possess cannabis only if they suffer from select rare medical illnesses.

A number of states have also decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Our map shows current state laws and recently-approved ballot measures legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Final rules for recently-passed medical marijuana laws are pending in some states.

Information is current as of March 30, 2018.

NOTE: Although Louisiana is considered to have legalized marijuana on our map, it cannot be used in a form that can be smoked — only oils, topical applications and other types. Some states shown above with no laws broadly legalizing medical marijuana provide limited access under certain circumstances. States like Alabama and Mississippi, for instance, maintain laws permitting medical marijuana for severe epileptic conditions.

Other states, such as Virginia, enacted laws decades ago allowing for the possession of marijuana if individuals received prescriptions from doctors. Federal law, however, prohibits doctors from prescribing marijuana, rendering those laws invalid. Doctors can only write a recommendation for medical marijuana, which is different than a prescription.

State taxes on legal marijuana sales in California are coming in far short of projections — $34 million in the first quarter of 2018, about a third of the revenue that officials anticipated, according to data released Wednesday by the Legislative Analysts Office.

Jeff Sessions announcement attracted bipartisan criticism. But some legal experts are skeptical of its impact, and several states have vowed to continue their marijuana markets or plans for one.

Taxes on marijuana would hit to 28 percent under the bill Massachusetts House lawmakers plan to propose and take up this week. A legalization advocacy group called the tax hike irrational and a boost to the black market.

The recount of votes on Maines contentious marijuana legalization initiative began Monday in Augusta with volunteers slowly hand-sorting through thousands of Yes and No votes, one by one.

Memphis and Nashville cannot legally enforce new civil fines for small amounts of marijuana, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slattery III said in an opinion issued Wednesday.

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Marijuana Tax Revenue Falls Short in California

State taxes on legal marijuana sales in California are coming in far short of projections — $34 million in the first quarter of 2018, about a third of the revenue that officials anticipated, according to data released Wednesday by the Legislative Analysts Office.READ MORE

The 15 States That Will Have Legal Marijuana by 2020 Revealed

Legal marijuana is a reality. Even though President Donald Trump and Jeff Session want tokill legal marijuana, more and more states are writingloose lawsto the point where its decriminalized or totally legal. Sure, some states still have extremelyharshmarijuana laws, but were guessing even more states that will have legal marijuana by 2020. After all, 60% of Americans support legal recreational marijuana and 94% favor medical marijuana use, according to aQuinnipiac poll.

Lets take a look at the next wave of states that will have legal marijuana, including two surprising neighboring states (pages 8 and 13).


Marijuana laws in Arkansas are strict, but the tide may be turning. wellesenterprises/iStock/Getty Images

Yes, Arkansas is one of the states with strict marijuana laws, but the tide is turning. Voters approved medical marijuana in 2016, and just two years later (a blur in legislative terms) the states Medical Marijuana Commission approvedfive companiesto grow and sell marijuana at 32 dispensaries. Arkansas is rapidly moving toward having legal marijuana.


Legal marijuana could be a reality in Connecticut in the near future. SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

The Nutmeg State is so close to having legal marijuana that it might happen before 2020. Connecticut expanded its medical marijuana program in 2016. A legislative committee voted to sendbill 5394to the floor in 2018. With close to71% of votersapproving, it wont be long until residents can light up legally.

Next:Some roadblocks, but this state is on its way.


Delaware could gain $26 million in tax revenue by legalizing marijuana. Prosiaczeq/iStock/Getty Images

Its not a good look when the tax force studying legal marijuana cant garner the votes to pass its findings on to legislators. Thats whathappened in Delaware, but since the state is already discussing it, wed say it is well on the way to having legal marijuana by 2020.

Next:With all that revenue, this state would be foolish to hold out much longer.


Florida is missing out on a lot of tax revenue by not legalizing marijuana. Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images

A group fighting for recreational weed in Floridamissed its chanceto get it on the ballot for 2018, but lawmakers would be foolish to hold out for much longer. Florida ismissing outon a substantial source of revenue by not legalizing it. If the state makes it legal, it helps make up for all the reasons why Florida is themost hated state.


Illinois could definitely use the revenue from legal marijuana sales. Benkrut/iStock/Getty Images

The arguments against legalization in Illinois are pretty familiar: Harmfulside effects, more traffic deaths from intoxicated driving, and kids getting addicted. The pros for legalization are stronger:

. It needs money in the worst way, and the $354 million in tax revenue is a nice start.

Legalizing marijuana actually leads to fewer

that come along with marijuana use.

Voters get tovote on itin 2018, and with the financial benefits alone, we wouldnt be surprised if Illinois has legal marijuana by 2020.

Next:This state with a back and forth debated about legal marijuana.


Voters want legal weed in Maine, but the governor disagrees. EJJohnsonPhotography/iStock/Getty Images

Voters approved growing and selling marijuana in 2016, but its been chaos ever since in Maine. Voters favor legal weed, but the back and forth among lawmakers and anti-drughatedgovernor Paul LePage keepdelaying things. There is a ray of hope, though: LePage is up for re-election in 2018 and has a chance to be voted out. If voters, legislators, and governor get on the same page, Maine could have legal marijuana by 2020.

Next:Not if marijuana will be legal, but when


More than 60% of people in Maryland support legal mariijuana. Mj0007/iStock/Getty Images

When it comes to legal marijuana in Maryland its when not if but when, at least according to theBaltimore Sun. Considering nearby Washington, D.C., already has very relaxed laws and Delaware is on the road toward legalization, and considering 61% of residents support it, wed expect Maryland to have legal marijuana by 2020. Otherwise, it will be missing out on a pretty big source of revenue.

Next:The state could flip from tough on weed to legal marijuana quickly.


Is Michigan about to reverse its strict stance on marijuana? Benkrut/iStock/Getty Images

Michigan has some of the strictest pot laws in the country, but it could soon do a 180. The statesCoalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcoholgot enough petition signatures to get a marijuana legalization measure on the 2018 ballot. Not only that, but the two main groups opposed to legalizationdidnt challengethe coalitions petition by the deadline.


Half of Minnesotans favor legal weed. Studiodr/iStock/Getty Images

Legal marijuana seemed like a far-off reality for Minnesotans in 2014, whenjust 30% of votersapproved. Fast forward to 2017, and just over 50% of people in aninformal pollsaid they favor legal weed. The change follows the national trend of more people favoring legalization. Governor Mark Dayton is against legalizing marijuana, but he wont run in 2018 so the door is wide open for candidates who want to let Minnesota have legal weed.

Next:Legal marijuana by 2020 is almost guaranteed.


New Hampshires governor is anti-legalization. SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Forget 2020. The future is now in New Hampshire. In early 2018, the house voted against killing off a legalization bill and thenswiftly approvedan amended bill for legal marijuana. The only thing standing in the way is anti-legalization governor Chris Sununu. Hes running for re-election in 2018, so if voters favor legalization they can vote out the one person standing in the way.

Next:It helps that the man in charge is pro-pot.


New Jersey could soon join the ranks of states that have legalized marijuana. SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Governor Phil Murphy is definitely pro-pot and sees legalization as a way to boost revenue. It was one of Murphysmain campaign platforms. Yet having a legal marijuana proponent in charge isnt a slam dunk, andplans to make it legalare moving slowly. However, we wont be surprised if New Jersey has legal marijuana by 2020, especially since a lot its neighbors already do or will soon.

Next:Things are happening quickly in the Empire State.


Half-a-billion in tax revenue could come New Yorks way if weed is made legal. Spyarm/iStock/Getty Images

Just like in Michigan, it looks like New York is on the road to having legal marijuana by 2020 or soon after. Governor Andrew Cuomo isnt a huge pot proponent, but in 2014 he signed legislation approving medical marijuana. Morerecently, hes budgeted for legalization research, but he might not be around long enough to see it through since he might not even win his 2018 gubernatorial primary againstSex and the CityactressCynthia Nixon.

Next:Legal marijuana might make the 2018 ballot.


Activists want to put legal marijuana on the 2018 ballot. Mike Munden/Getty Images

The Buckeye State fast-tracked its medical marijuana program and its set todebut in 2018. Recreational use wont be far behind. The activists leading Responsible Ohio group are pushing forlegal marijuana on 2018 ballots. As it is now, marijuana is illegal but hardly enforced. If youre caught withless than 100 grams, all you get is a $150 fine.

Next:This state moves quickly on hot-button issues, including marijuana.


There are already 18,000 people enrolled in Rhode Islands medical marijuana program. SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Rhode Island worked quickly to enact a red flag gun law that willlet police take gunsfrom certain people. Well, the state is doing the same with legal marijuana. The state has18,000 people enrolledin its medical marijuana program, which is roughly 1.7% of the states 1.06 million people.

Voters willvote for full legalizationin 2018, and considering how quickly the state moves on hot-button topics we wont be shocked if Rhode Island has legal marijuana by 2020.


Legalization could be on the horizon in Virginia.  /feixianhu

Decriminalizing marijuana was one of Governor Ralph Northams campaign promises. The potential health benefits and racial injustice of possession arrests are two reasons he wants it decriminalized. Well, it didnt take long to make it happen.

The state Senatevoted 40-0in favor of medical marijuana in early 2018. The governors strong pro-pot feelings and legislators who are willing to act give Virginia a great shot at having legal marijuana by 2020 if the state wants it.

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Read more:Need a Job? Then You Have To Go To These U.S. States

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This map shows every state that halegalized marijuana

A vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines.

* Copyright © 2018 Insider Inc. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our

This map shows every state that has legalized marijuana

Recreational marijuana is legal in nine states and medical marijuana is legal in 29 states.

A 2017 Gallup poll showed that 64% of Americans support legalization.

Marijuana enthusiasts will light up on April 20, a marijuana holiday also known as 420.

On April 20, many Americans who smokemarijuana from California to Maine to Alaska will light up legally in celebration of 420, an unofficial marijuana holiday.

Nine states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for recreational use no doctors letter required for adults over the age of 21. Medical marijuana is legal in another 29 states.

In January,Vermontbecame the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislature, rather than a ballot initiative, when the governor signed the bill into law.

Marijuana prohibition began 80 years ago when the federal government put a ban on the sale, cultivation, and use of the cannabis plant. It remains illegal on the federal level.

Despite the efforts ofAttorney General Jeff Sessions, who has been on a crusade to stamp out legal marijuana since his appointment, the industry is exploding.

Legal marijuana salesexploded to $9.7 billion in North America in 2017, according to a report from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. That represents a 33% increase over 2016, shattering previous expectations about how quickly the marijuana industry could grow in the face of federal prohibition.

The report also predicted the legal marijuana market will reach $24.5 billion in sales a 28% annual compound growth rate by 2021, as more state-legal markets come online.

Support for marijuana legalizationreached new highs in 2017. A Gallup poll showed that 64% of Americans favor legalization, anda majority of Republicansback it for the first time.

We went inside the best marijuana shop in America heres what it was like

NOW WATCH:Legal marijuana may have several health benefits

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52 people sickened by fake CBD oil in Utah

U.S. health officials are urging states to regulatemarijuanaoil extracts after investigating a rash of illnesses tied to the products in Utah. In a report released Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that synthetic products falsely labeled as, sickened as many as 52 people from October through January.

The CDC urged states to set up regulatory and control systems to minimize the risk for recurrences of this emerging public health threat.

CBD is derived from cannabis but is designed not to produce a high. Users say it provides relief from pain and can fight seizures.

This year, Utah passed a new law that supporters say will prevent the illnesses from happening again.

The oil had previously been in a legal gray area. Its been legal for people withepilepsyin Utah since 2014, but there is no regulatory system to oversee the oils safety.

Bottles labeled as CBD have edged their way into Utah smoke shops and health food stores in recent years. Sales to the general public have been technically illegal but largely ignored by authorities.

Its been a little bit of a dont ask, dont tell kind of a business, said Jack Wilbur, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

Theres been no way for consumers to know if products are what they claim to be, he said.

The CDC report this week found that more than half of the 52 possible cases either tested positive for a synthetic compound called 4-CCB or reporting using a product called Yolo CBD Oil, samples of which contained the synthetic instead of authentic CBD. Efforts to determine what company manufactures Yolo CBD Oil were not successful.

Lt. Ryan Van Fleet, head of major crimes in the State Bureau of Investigation, said no charges were filed or stores were raided based on the illnesses.

This year, the state Legislature passed reforms legalizing CBD for the general public and creating a system to register and test products for quality.

It does make it legal for people to purchase it, said state Sen. Evan Vickers, a Republican pharmacist who sponsored the new law. We just want to make sure that if they are going to purchase it that it is safe.

Vickers said the new law should prevent people from taking synthetics falsely marketed as CBD.

Utah is currently writing regulations to implement the law, Wilbur said. He expected rules to be finalized by the end of the year.

Nationally, 30 states have legalized some form of medical marijuana and 16 others have laws on CBD-specific medical treatment, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. But rules for dispensing and manufacturing CBD vary widely.

Marijuana activists have said Utahs new law is not enough. Theyre pushing a ballot initiative that will legalize medical marijuana beyond the narrow limits approved by state lawmakers this year, which allows use only for terminally ill patients.

These people having problems withCBD oilis 100 percent a side effect of prohibition, said Angela Bacca, a media strategist working with advocacy group TRUCE Utah.

Bacca says keeping most forms of cannabis illegal makes people desperate for treatment they can only find through unregulated products.

The Utah lieutenant governors office will certify by June 1 whether the initiative can reach the ballot.

Opponents including Vickers and the Republican Gov. Gay Herbert have said the proposal is full of loopholes that could make marijuana too easy to obtain.

© 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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