In the United States, marijuana is still not a legal substance. CSA states that the use of cannabis under Schedule 1 substances carries the highest potential risk of addiction and no accepted medical use, thus restricting drug use. Nonetheless, some states legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. The Colorado Legislature approved a bill in 2012 granting recreational marijuana sales in its territory and became the first to approve a legalized product in this state in America. We see more and more states being proactive, but the question is, what states can you find legal weed in?
Furthermore, the 2018 farm bill put hemp-derived THC products on the map, making it even more confusing in the marketplace.
If you are unsure if it’s legal in your current state, keep reading as we’ll break it down in this post. Also, with the rise of hemp-derived THCs, it can quickly confuse which and what the legalities are.
The fastest way to find your state is to hit the search bar and type in your state to find the current updates.
- Recently several states have legalized the medical and recreational use of marijuana.
- In America, Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug.
- Half of the American population agrees with making Marijuana legal.
- The Cole Memo saw as a victory for proponents of the cannabis legalization bill.
- The MPP has reported that 31 states have recriminalized low-level marijuana possession offenses.
- Hemp-Derived THC is federally legal, which means you can get dispensary-grade THC edibles online, even if your state has banned the use of Marijuana.
Is Marijuana Legal in the United States?
The short and less sweet answer: No, it’s not legal. Marijuana is still a Schedule I drug under the CDC Act, meaning that the government thinks the drug is unsafe to use. State legislation to legalize marijuana for recreational or medical cannabis use creates conflicting laws between states and their respective federal governments. However, In most of these states, the DEA usually follows a hands-off approach when regulating the sale of marijuana. That way, it’s up to each state to figure out its stance.
If you live in a state where marijuana is illegal, there are other options to legally get THC… Keep reading, and we’ll show you.
Marijuana Legalization is Sweeping the United States. See Every State Where Cannabis is Legal.
Marijuana legalization for recreational and/ or medical has spread across 28 states, and more are coming fast.
A Gallup poll shows almost half of Americans have used marijuana in some sort of legal form before, with 12% smoking it. The federal government has been active and working on legalizing medical marijuana, which means more American citizens are getting the medical and recreational benefits of cannabis. Recently several states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, and more are soon to come.
In November 2020, New Jersey and Arizona were among four states in which voters were supporting marijuana. In May 2022, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee signed a state legislature bill that legalizes, regulates, and taxes cannabis in the state which means you can enjoy weed as long you’re over 21 years of age.
How Do Americans Feel About Legal Weed?
A poll by YouGov found that over half of Americans, 60%, believe that legalized marijuana would benefit the health and welfare of individuals and families.
In comparison, 27% still think marijuana should be illegal. From a political party standpoint, the Democrats are far more likely to support 72%, with only 18% opposed to keeping it illegal.
The baby boomers are less to support than the younger generation, although the majority within each age group support the legalization of cannabis.
Tell Me The Meaning Of Decriminalization?
Decriminalization refers to reducing or reforming penalties for certain criminal acts or reclassifying criminal offenses into civil crimes. The Marijuana Policy Project has reported that 31 states have recriminalized low-level marijuana possession offenses with no jail sentences and that the potential punishment for first-time offenders can, however, remain.
Some states have recently changed their classification to civil rather than a crime, and some have reduced penalties.
Does Biden Support Legalizing Marijuana?
In his 2020 presidential run, Biden said he would work with Congress to reform federal sentencing to incentivize states and their local authorities to do the same. Also, it was said to decriminalize the use of cannabis as a whole and automatically expunge all prior convictions. So it all comes to fruition; we are sure in for some exciting times ahead of us.
Hemp-Derived THC: An Alternative For States Where Marijuana is Illegal
The Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, is a United States federal law that reauthorizes programs of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The goals of this bill are to:
- Promote agriculture and enhance the food supply
- Strengthen conservation
- Support rural economies and infrastructure
- Expand access to credit
- Reduce crop insurance premiums
The Farm Bill makes several changes to US cannabis laws. Most notably, it deschedules hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that hemp and hemp-derived products are no longer illegal under law federally.
The bill also gives states the choice to legalize recreational cannabis. While some states have already passed laws to do this, others are still considering it. This is an essential step in cannabis legalization in the United States.
The bill contains a provision that allows for medical cannabis use. This is a remarkable change from previous law, which did not allow for any medical use of cannabis.
There is good news! THC from hemp is federally legal.
What Does Federal Law Say About Marijuana?
Under the CSA, the Drug Enforcement Agency classified Marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Other Schedule I drug includes opiates and LSD, while cocaine is listed as a controlled substance.
The Cole Memorandum was repealed in 2018. Since then, there has been increased enforcement of the law federally in states where adult use of marijuana is legal, which has caused confusion and uncertainty in the industry.
The government lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. This means that it is illegal on a federal level. However, some states have legalized recreational and medicinal marijuana. See the below list for full details.
In January 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum. This memo had directed federal prosecutors to take a hands-off approach to states that had legalized marijuana. Since then, there have been increased raids and prosecutions of marijuana businesses in states where it is legal.
What is the Cole Memorandum? Let’s Break It Down!
The Cole Memorandum is a guide that sets out the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) enforcement priorities concerning federal marijuana laws. The memo was issued in 2013 by then-Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole and guided DOJ prosecutors and law enforcement officials on prioritizing resources concerning marijuana-related offenses.
The Cole Memo was issued in response to the growing number of states enacting laws to legalize or decriminalize the possession and use of marijuana, as well as to manage the distribution, production, and sale of medical cannabis or recreational purposes. While the federal government still considers marijuana a controlled substance and illegal under federal law, the Cole Memo outlined a policy of non-interference with state laws that had been enacted concerning marijuana.
However, in January of 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo that rescinded the Cole Memo and directed federal prosecutors to prioritize the enforcement of federal marijuana laws once again. This decision has created a great deal of uncertainty for the marijuana industry and for state and local governments that have enacted laws to regulate the production and sale of marijuana.
The Cole Memo was seen as a victory for proponents of marijuana legalization, as it effectively allowed some states to experiment with different approaches to regulating the drug without fear of federal interference. However, the Sessions Memo has put that experiment in jeopardy, and it remains unseen how the federal government will now proceed concerning marijuana enforcement.
Let’s Break Down Each State That Has Approved Marijuana for Recreational- Or Medical Use.
On a state level, marijuana is legal in some form in 28 states. The most common legal distinction is between medical and recreational use. Let’s see where legal weed is available.
The Unlawful States Where Marijuana Legalization is Prohibited:
- Nebraska (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- North Carolina (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
States Where Hemp-Derived CBD- and THC Are Restricted:
The use of CBD has become more and more popular as people find ways to utilize its benefits. This non-psychoactive compound can be found in the cannabis plant and is known not to cause any “high” effects like those similar to THC.
On the other hand, in recent years, hemp-derived THC has quickly become a new favorite among connoisseurs, such as Delta 8, Delta 10, and, recently Delta 9 THC gummies. So even though CBD is legal across the nation and hemp-derived THC is too, a handful of states have put some restrictions on it. Either as a total THC in each product, specific manufacturing rules, or limit to what stores can sell it.
Check your state law for full details, and remember that the hemp and marijuana laws are very different.
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
The Lawful States That Legalize Medical Marijuana Only:
Medical marijuana is a hot topic in America. Mississippi and Alabama are recent additions to the marijuana legalization list, limiting their availability at best for now as they establish regulations on how exactly these plants should be used or grown within each state’s borders.
- Alabama- Legalized 2021
- Arkansas – Legalized 2016
- Delaware – Legalized 2011 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- Florida – Legalized 2016
- Georgia- Legalized 2015 (very restrictive regulation)
- Hawaii- Legalized 2000
- Iowa – Legalized 2017
- Louisiana – Legalized 2015 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- Mississippi – Legalized 2022 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- Minnesota – Legalized 2014 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- Maryland- Legalized 2013 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- Missouri – Legalized 2018 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- New Hampshire – Legalized 2013 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- North Dakota – Legalized 2016 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- Oklahoma – Legalized 2018
- Ohio – Legalized 2016 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- Pennsylvania – Legalized 2016
- Rhode Island- Legalized 2006
- South Dakota – Legalized 2020
- Utah – Legalized 2018
- Virginia – Legalized 2017 (decriminalized for low-level marijuana possession)
- West Virginia – Legalized 2017
The Lawful States That Have Legalized Recreational Marijuana Too:
Arizona: Legalized in 2020
Arizona will allow recreational use of cannabis by anyone who is 21. It was supported in Arizona by almost 60 percent. It is supported primarily by cannabis companies Curaleaf Cresco and Harvest Enterprises. In February 2019, Arizona Health Services began accepting applications for adult usage licenses, and approval is expected to be issued within three business days. Sales started instantly. In November 2019, Arizona passed its first cannabis-related legislation faster than all other states which legalized recreational products. Companies already active in the state medical market are now targeting recreational users.
Alaska: Legalized 2015
In Alaska, adults ages 18+ may enjoy recreational MJ. A weed shop was opened in 2016, and Alaska seized a new opportunity to turn its retail outlets into tourist destinations. About 2 million visitors visit Alaska annually, with spending exceeding $1 billion, and the market has blown up ever since.
California: Legalized in 2016
California became one of the first states to decriminalize marijuana. The California legislature re-established a law allowing the consumption and possession of 0.5 lbs. of marijuana in 2015. The law provides that a person can get up to 8 grams of a marijuana leaf and grow 4-6 plant seeds per person.
Colorado: Legalized in 2012
Colorado was one of the very first states to legalize cannabis for both medical and recreational use. Possession of minimal amounts of marijuana has been decriminalized, and retail sales of cannabis are now legal.
Marijuana concentrates are also legal in Colorado, but their possession and sale are subject to several restrictions. For example, concentrated marijuana can only be sold in licensed retail stores and must be packaged and labeled according to state law.
Connecticut: Legalized in 2021
In May 2021, a Connecticut law regulating cannabis was adopted. Recreational Cannabis has been legalized, and adults can possess up to 1.5oz of the substance. States sales began in 2022.
District of Columbia: Legalized in 2014
Since 2014, District of Columbia residents have been able to legally consume and possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. In 2015, the District legalized medical marijuana, and in 2016, voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational weed use.
Sales of recreational weed began in early 2020, and now more than two dozen dispensaries are selling marijuana throughout the city. The District’s marijuana laws are some of the most permissive in the United States. Possession and cultivation of up to 2 ounces of marijuana are legal for both residents and those visiting, and there is no limit on the number of plants that can be grown for personal use.
Illinois: Legalized in 2019
State lawmakers in May 2018 approved legislation to legalize the sale of marijuana from January 1, 2020. Gov. Pritzker signed the legislation. Legalized adult-use marijuana is a crucial component of Pritzker’s campaign. Illinois is the only state where the marijuana industry has legalized it without a ballot initiative by the state legislature.
Vermont: Legalized in 2020
The Green Mountain State became the first state with marijuana legalization through the legislature; a law passed in January 2018. Adults can legally possess up to 1 oz of marijuana and grow two plants for recreational use. The state has not yet implemented a tax revenue system to regulate the sale of cannabis, but that is expected to change soon. For now, people 21 and over can give weed as a gift to others of legal age. But, it is still against the law to consume marijuana in public places.
New York: Legalized in 2021
The state passed a legalization bill for recreational cannabis sales in February 2021. As a consumer, you can legally purchase marijuana if you are 21 and older. You can possess up to three ounces of marijuana and up to 24 grams of concentrates for personal use in NY.
Rhode Island: Legalized in 2022
Rhode Island is now the smallest and 19th state to legalize adult-use weed. On May 25, 2022, Governor Dan McKee signed the Rhode Island Cannabis Act into law, legalizing recreational marijuana use in the state. This Act automatically canceled prior civil or criminal marijuana possession charges.
Under the new law, possession and cannabis are now legal for adults aged 21 and older, and in-store sales may begin as soon as December 1. The same goes for home growing.
Illinois: Legalized in 2019
State lawmakers in May 2018 approved legislation to legalize the sale of marijuana from January 1, 2020. Gov. Pritzker signed the legislation. Legalized adult-use marijuana is a crucial component of Pritzker’s campaign. Illinois is the only state where the marijuana industry has legalized it without a ballot initiative by the legislatures in the state.
New Jersey: Legalized in 2020
In 2020, New Jersey approved recreational marijuana in the state and opened up another $1bn market potential. In February 2021, Governor Phil Murphy voted to legalize marijuana after months of arguments over criminal penalties for marijuana users.
South Dakota: Legalized in 2021
South Dakota has legalized recreational cannabis for medical use, marking the first time a state has voted for both simultaneously. The state’s legal cannabis program is still facing legal difficulties.
Maine: Legalized in 2016
Maine has had a long history with marijuana, dating back to the early 1900s when the state was one of the first to outlaw the possession and use of the drug. However, in recent years, Maine has taken a more progressive stance on marijuana, becoming one of the 1st states to legalize both medical and recreational.
Cannabis was first legalized for medical use in Maine in 1999, then again in 2009 when the state legislature passed a law expanding the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use. Maine voters approved a ballot measure that legalized adult-use cannabis in 2016, and recreational pot sales began in October 2018.
Massachusetts: Legalized in 2016
Massachusetts is one of the first east coast states to approve marijuana after a 2016 voter approval. Cannabis dispensaries opened their doors on November 18, 2018. Adults ages 18 and over can purchase one kilogram of legalized marijuana but can’t use it publicly.
Montana: Legalized in 2020
Montana has approved medical and recreational cannabis use. However, there are some differences between the two laws.
Medical cannabis in Montana was first legalized in 2004. However, the law was not well-defined and left many patients without access to their medicine. In 2011, the state Supreme Court ruled that patients could possess and cultivate cannabis plants for their use. The law also allowed for the sale of marijuana products in dispensaries.
Montana legalized recreational cannabis in November of 2018 when voters passed a ballot measure to legalize adult-use cannabis. The law went into effect in January 2019. It allows adults 21+ to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to four marijuana plants.
Michigan: Legalized in 2018
In 2018, Michigan voters passed the first legal adult-use cannabis for people under 21 a year. Adults can have up to two ounces of pot, and residents may plant up to 12 plants independently. Unlike some state laws regulating marijuana, the state allows its citizens to possess one ounce of marijuana daily.
New Mexico: Legalized in 2021
The New Mexico legislation signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham resulted from an Assembly special session to finalize the plan. The bill was approved last June and allows state residents to buy and possess cannabis, but recreational sale is expected to start on April 1, 2020.
Nevada: Legalized in 2016
Residents and visitors 18+ can obtain 1 ounce of marijuana or eight oz: of edibles or concentrate. Nevadans can grow up to 6 marijuana plants per household.
In November 2016, voters in Nevada approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. The legislature then created regulations to oversee the retail sale of cannabis. And all sales of cannabis must take place in licensed dispensaries.
Oregon: Legalized in 2014
Oregon is one of the states that legalized marijuana for both recreational and medical use. You can grow your marijuana plants and buy marijuana from dispensaries. The state has a lot of pot-friendly laws, making it a great place to enjoy cannabis.
Washington: Legalized in 2012
Washington’s recreational and medical marijuana laws are some of the most progressive in the United States. Marijuana sales are taxed and regulated like alcohol, and possession of small amounts of cannabis is legal for adults 21 and over. The marijuana leaf is sold in various forms, including dried flowers, edibles, concentrates, and liquid.
Final Thoughts – What States Can You Find Legal Weed In
No matter how you view it, marijuana is still illegal under federal law; public opinion is slowly shifting in favor of legalizing this natural plant.
A recent Gallup poll found that 68% of Americans now support legalization, which is a record high. As additional states legalize recreational and medical marijuana, it will be interesting to see how the federal government responds.
For now, it seems that the tide has turned in favor of cannabis reform, and it’s only a matter of time before this once-taboo topic becomes mainstream.
As always, check your local laws for updated information on cannabis. And remember that you don’t always have to buy from a local dispensary, especially if you’re in a “Cannabis un-friendly” state.
Get Dispensary Grade THC Products
Buying online is an excellent option with many benefits, like discounts and free shipping for first-time customers.
Here at BiowellnessX, we treat you like family and offer premium dispensary-grade hemp-derived THC products that provide many solutions, such as relaxation, sleep aid, discomfort, recovery, focus, and energy.
Thanks for reading!
- Map of Legal States- Where marijuana is legal in the United States (mjbizdaily.com)
- Marijuana Legality State by State- https://disa.com/map-of-marijuana-legality-by-state
- Cole Memo- Nuance Communications, Inc. (justice.gov)
- Farm Bill- Hemp Production and the 2018 Farm Bill – 07/25/2019 | FDA
- Controlled Substances Act (CSA)- The Controlled Substances Act (dea.gov)
- Marijuana Policy Pro.- Marijuana Policy Project – We Change Laws! (mpp.org)
- Gallup Poll Support for Marijuana Inches Up Among Americans – Legalize Marijuana
- Gallup Poll shows nearly half of American adults has tried marijuana
By reading this legal information, you agree to release the author of any liability related to or arising from your use of this data. This post contains no legal advice. The legal status surrounding Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, and Delta 10 THC is new and constantly changing. We continuously work hard to do our best to give you the most updated information. We recommend checking your current state’s laws or federal hemp laws before purchasing any industrial hemp-derived or marijuana products (CBD, THC). Do your due diligence and seek your doctor’s advice, especially if you are in doubt or are currently taking any prescription medications. Safer than sorry is always a great idea when consuming new products.
Frequently Asked Questions
The laws are the legal system governed by the United States federal government. In the US, state law is the law in every US state as adopted by the federal legislature and affirmed in state judicial proceedings.
Twenty-seven states have legalized medical marijuana, and 18 states have decriminalized recreational marijuana for adults. It will now head to the Senate. The fate will probably be assured.
The House passed federal legislation last week that will allow marijuana nationwide, but its future has little clarity in the Senate. The House approved the bill with a vote of 230-424 to reduce the federally gap and the prohibition on recreational use of marijuana in 19 states.
Legalize marijuana in a way that does not require a ticket or arrest for consuming marijuana or having any other drugs. The drug trade may not be legal unless the state law applies if convicted of an illegal drug offense.