The marijuana industry has benefitted greatly from the federal governments ‘hands-off’ approach to individual state laws regarding cannabis. Despite this, however, there are still twenty or so states that have not done anything to legalize the use of cannabis. In the near future though, we could see these legislations change as more and more states continue to see the benefit of legalizing cannabis.
Arizona currently has quite harsh marijuana laws including a $150,000 max fine for those with less than two pounds of cannabis. Currently, however, studies show that as much as 12.7% of the population uses cannabis, which ranks them as 19th on the list in the U.S.
Arizona voters back in November of 2016, voted no on an initiative that would effectively allow adults to possess as much as one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants. Despite the ballot not passing, it did almost pass with a 52 to 48% margin. Currently, there are a large number of potential patients in the state that could benefit greatly from the legalization of cannabis which means that Arizona could be next on the list to legalize the substance.
Connecticut is another interesting state as far as marijuana is concerned. The state currently decriminalized cannabis for less than 1/2 ounce of possession. The max fine for any of those caught with that amount is around $150 which is chump change considering Arizona’s laws. Their annual usage of around 15.4% ranks them as the tenth highest annual adult usage. This makes Connecticut an interesting prospect for the future of cannabis legalization in the U.S. The state recently announced one of the first legal marijuana bills which could potentially see passing in the near future.
Florida comes in at the 24th lowest cannabis use reported at around 12.1% of the population. Currently, cannabis is not decriminalized which makes it illegal in the state. The max fine, however, is quite low at around $1,000 for those carrying less than 20 grams. Back in November of 2016, the state voted by an incredibly large margin of over 70% to allow the use of medical marijuana. Much of this is due to the aging population of the state who could benefit from its use, but in recent times they have been working to get an up and running recreationally legal cannabis market.
Michigan is considered to have one of the higher usage rates in the nation currently at around 15%. This makes them the 13th largest state in terms of marijuana usage. Recently, the state legalized the use of recreational cannabis which has helped to make them the first in the midwest to do so. Michigan has been subject to become one of the larger markets in the area, which should be exciting to watch in the near future.
The hopes are high that these states can continue to work on building out their industries and not criminalizing those who choose to use marijuana.