The United States has seen a cannabis revolution over the last few years, with 18 states fully legalizing recreational cannabis consumption and a dozen more permitting medical marijuana use. Though it is unlikely that the Federal Government will change its stance on cannabis anytime soon, the coming year promises to see even more states making changes to their cannabis regulations, giving more people than ever safe and legal access to the sticky green herb. If you are wondering whether your state will legalize cannabis in 2022, read on.
Delaware is well on its way to legal weed, thanks to House Bill 150 which has already been approved by its committee. The House will debate the bill in June, but seeing as the community support for recreational cannabis is high across Delaware, there is hardly any doubt that the sticky, green herb is coming to the First State.
Though surrounded by states that have historically been staunchly anti-weed, Oklahoma has maintained one of the most unrestricted medical marijuana programs in the country. Oklahomans have the opportunity to legalize recreational use with voting initiatives on the 2022 ballot, and success is expected.
Mississippi lawmakers have repeatedly ignored the pleas of their constituents, who have loudly proclaimed their support for a medical marijuana program in the state. Fortunately, Senate and House committees are working together to produce an acceptable medical marijuana deal, which could go into effect in 2022.
Few states have tried quite as hard as Maryland to pass adult-use marijuana regulations, yet Maryland still hasn’t managed to legalize weed. That could change in 2022, with a measure available to voters on their general election ballots. Then, the divided House and Senate can respond directly to the public vote rather than arguing about the issue into eternity.
Ohio’s Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has finally succeeded in gaining an initiative on the 2022 ballot. The proposed law allows medical marijuana operators to expand their businesses into the adult-use market and places a tax on recreational cannabis purchases. Currently, the public will for legal weed in Ohio isn’t strong, so it isn’t certain that this initiative will pass.
One of the few states in the Mountain West without any cannabis regulations, Wyoming is experiencing extreme pressure from states like Montana and the Dakotas, where weed is entirely legal. Currently, signature-gathering for a medical marijuana ballot measure is underway, but it is impossible to predict whether Wyoming will even come close to shifting its cannabis laws in 2022.
Before New York and New Jersey legalized weed in 2020 and 2021, there wasn’t much appetite for recreational cannabis in Pennsylvania. Now, the third state in the area is working overtime to pass updated cannabis regulations that allow for adult use. Both House and Senate seem in favor of the current bipartisan proposal, so Pennsylvanians are likely going to gain access to cannabis in the coming year.
The Rhode Island House has had a measure for legalizing cannabis sitting on its desk since June 2021, but lawmakers chose to adjourn for the year before voting on the issue. Considering that the bill passed in the Senate, it is likely that the House will choose to update regulations — it is just a matter of when they return to their seats.
The Nebraska Supreme Court, Nebraska lawmakers and others in the Nebraskan government have struck down voters’ attempts at medical cannabis legislation for years. Once again, cannabis advocates are working toward measures for the 2022 ballot, but there is no telling whether they will get enough signatures by July — or whether the government will nix the measures, regardless.
Arkansas has a thriving medical marijuana market — which is noteworthy considering the absence of medical marijuana in much of the rest of the South. Cannabis advocates in Arkansas are accruing signatures for a state constitutional amendment to legalize the drug for adult use, which would further distance the state’s regulations from its neighbors’.
With one of the most lucrative medical marijuana industries in the country, Florida has repeatedly tried and failed to get adult-use cannabis on the books. This year, advocates are proposing a new constitutional amendment for adult-use weed, potentially giving Florida dispensary owners the opportunity to reach a new market of customers.
Cannabis laws are rapidly shifting, and it is becoming ever more difficult to keep up with which states maintain which laws. Hopefully, the Federal Government will update its cannabis regulations in the coming years to bring clarity to the country.