By Jason Tillotson, Copywriter
It feels like every other day we see another state legalize either medical or recreational cannabis. Even deep red, southern states like South Carolina are proposing medical cannabis programs for 2021 and 2022.
We just saw New York finally legalize adult use recreational cannabis, and New Mexico is awaiting a final signature. These two legalizations come after Arizona and Mississippi legalized cannabis in some form in the past month.
We took a brief snapshot of the top three up and coming cannabis markets and broke them down for you here – enjoy!
New York Cannabis
After nearly a decade of attempts, adults will finally get access to recreational cannabis in the Empire State. Starting April 1st, adults over the age of 21 in the State of New York can own up to three ounces of cannabis and grow up to six mature plants. If a person decides to exceed those limits, up to eight ounces and eight plants, will be fined a minimum of $125. Possessing over ten pounds of cannabis is still punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Some cannabis enthusiasts are wondering why it took so long for The Empire State to come to this legislative conclusion. The real reason has more to do with tax revenue than an actual political stance on cannabis.
New York Legislators have been battling for nearly a decade over how cannabis sales tax should be reallocated. Progressive New York lawmakers have been eyeing equitable redistribution of tax revenue as a key point to New York’s legal cannabis landscape for most of that decade.
In this newly passed piece of legislation, cannabis sales tax revenue will be split nearly evenly, with 40% going to rebuilding communities most impacted by the War on Drugs, 30% going to local schools and another 30% going back into the industry to assist growers and cultivators in the manufacturing process. The new law also expunges all minor cannabis-related convictions.
New Mexico Cannabis
New Mexico just joined its neighbors in passing recreational cannabis legislation to take effect in 2022. It’s just awaiting a final signature from Gov. Grisham. Arizona, Nevada and California all have established and continuously growing cannabis markets. New Mexico has the chance to join its neighbors in delivering quality cannabis programs. This includes programs that dedicate service to communities most impacted by the War on Drugs.
So far, New Mexico has proven to place reducing cannabis related crime on the forefront of their recreational rollout plan.
Upon Gov. Grisham’s signature, adults 21 years and older will be able to purchase and possess up to two ounces of cannabis and grow up to six adult plants in their homes.
Aside from the otherwise standard legislative moves (two-ounce possession limit, six plant limit and no smoking on federal grounds), New Mexico is attempting to pioneer a pathway to public consumption.
Restaurants, bars and other recreational spaces will be allowed to apply for special permits to allow adults to smoke cannabis on their property. This would let users come together and safely smoke somewhere that isn’t their own home, which is something we have not seen yet in other states.
Another interesting note on this piece of legislation is that the actual in-effect date won’t be until April 1, 2022. Adults can begin legally home-growing and applying for cultivation licenses 90 days after April 1, 2021. There are also no limits as to how many cannabis cultivation or dispensary licenses may be given out.
Florida has a tricky relationship with cannabis. You’d think, for the sunshine state, there would be a wide variety of sungrown cultivations and a bustling cannabis economy. Yeah, not so much.
While it was a huge step in the right direction to appeasing the medical patients in Florida who have been, well, patiently waiting for nearly a decade.
It is relatively simple to obtain a medical card in Florida, and recreational measures have been popping up in front of the State’s lawmakers. Recently the sunshine state’s cannabis market has been under heat for proposing THC caps for all cannabis products.
Under these proposed caps, medical cultivators like Curaleaf and Harvest Co. will be forced to keep all smokeable flower at or under 10% THC. This also includes all edible and concentrate products under 60% THC. This is a major red flag for medical patients! Florida has one of the highest populations of cancer patients in the U.S. High concentrations of THC are popular among chemotherapy patients due to their appetite-inducing properties.
Despite the potential roadblocks, Florida’s medical market has gotten some serious attention. Subsequently, has seen continuous growth in the new year.
What states could be next in the cannabis legalization movement? Will we see any progress here in the Capital? Let us know what you think on Twitter!