Now that the Delaware and Minnesota legislatures have passed legalization, there are now 23 U.S. states with adult-use (AU) marijuana laws. Several more states might join them in 2023. Here's the 2023 breakdown:
Democratic Gov. John Carney vetoed legislation last May that would've added Delaware to the list of legal AU states, but this year he abstained when two bills were sent to his desk. Possession officially became legal in the First State on Apr. 22. Delaware is the 22nd AU state.
The Aloha State, known for famous landrace strains like Maui Wowie and Kona Gold, has lagged behind on AU legalization. Multiple bills competed in the statehouse and Democratic Gov. Josh Green favors legalization. However, the legislature failed to agree on one bill and punted it to 2024.
The state legislature approved AU legalization and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz signed the bill into law on May 30 . House Bill 100 allows adults to possess two pounds at home and two ounces in public and grow up to eight plants at home. Legal sales won't begin until 2025. Minnesota is the 23rd AU state; it's also a medical-marijuana state.
Despite a Republican legislature and governor, the Granite State is seeing some movement towards legalization. That is because potential presidential candidate, Gov. Chris Sunumu, recently reversed his long-standing opposition to ending pot prohibition. The legislature is now attempting to fashion a bill that Sununu would sign. New Hampshire is a medical-marijuana and decrim state; it's the only New England state not to enact full legalization.
On May 12, Sununu stated: "I stand ready to sign a legalization bill that puts the State of New Hampshire in the driver's seat, focusing on harm reduction – not profits."
He wants the cannabis industry to be state run, like liquor, and sold in government-operated stores. Products would not be taxed.
In 2015, Issue 3 lost by a 65%-35% margin at the polls. That failure was mostly due to lack of support from the cannabis community over monopoly concerns and an off-year election. Ohio may do the same in 2023 with another off-year cannabis vote this November. The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Inititiative would allow adults to possess 2.5 ounces and grow up to 12 plants at home. Ohio is currently a medical-marijuana and decrim state.
Oklahoma was expected to be the first of these five states to pass AU legalization on March 7 when residents voted on Question 820, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative. However, it lost by a whopping 62%-38% margin. The initiative allowed adults to possess one ounce and grow up to six plants at home.
With 38 medical-marijuana states, only the reddest states remain holdouts. Efforts are being made in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin to change medical cannabis laws.