According to recent studies, cannabis sales are expected to reach over 14 billion dollars in 2020 and counting.
States on the fence about legalizing marijuana are looking at statistics like this with new eyes. Some have bills moving quickly, while others keep a slower pace.
Below we will talk about 8 states that may legalize marijuana next, and how the dollars and cents stand to benefit each state as a whole.
Missouri: One of 8 States That May Legalize?
Missouri is known as a swing state when voting on various federal issues. Many other states look to Missouri as a frame of reference when voting themselves.
Known as the “Show Me” state, Missouri showed people their stance when they made medical marijuana legal back in 2018.
If the initiative gets at least 160,000 signatures, recreational marijuana will become legal in Missouri. St. Louis and Kansas City will likely weigh in heavily, considering their large populations.
Still, Missouri is a red state, meaning it does not always lean in favor of progressive initiatives.
Even if Missouri decides to legalize marijuana, people will have to stay aware of laws about traveling with recreational marijuana. When Colorado initially legalized marijuana, Kansas laws on possession meant felonies or worse for anyone trying to bring it back to Missouri.
North and South Dakota Looking Ahead
North Dakota attempted to legalize marijuana back in 2015. The attempt was unsuccessful, leading some residents to believe they’d be in one of the last states to legalize.
North Dakota is also a relatively low-population state, meaning they need fewer signatures to pass a bill allowing recreational use.
North Dakota quietly decriminalized marijuana in the past year. Still, decriminalizing doesn’t directly lead to legalizing marijuana.
Currently, North Dakotans are working towards passing the bill in 2020. They need around 13,000 signatures to legalize marijuana. This will need to be done by July.
South Dakota, on the other hand, currently lacks any existing marijuana infrastructure in place. Still, the Hemp Initiative continues to collect signatures on a legalization bill.
New Jersey Bill Seeking Support
The Garden State is taking its nickname a bit more seriously as they move to legalize the growth of a previously illegal plant.
Governor Phil Murphy supports legalizing adult-use of cannabis, and with a fair amount of support after past efforts to pass a bill at the legislative level fell short.
Some worry about reasonable taxation on the product or current fines and fees. Others focus on expunging previous convictions and helping those affected by marijuana laws get back on their feet.
The amendment currently in motion requires a 60% or higher approval rating from senators and representatives alike.
New Mexico Passing with Flying Colors
New Mexico is making headway as far as the cannabis industry is concerned. The state recently passed a bill legalizing marijuana for adult use. Their Democrat senator, Jacob Candelaria, introduced the bill and testified on its behalf.
According to the senator, New Mexicans across the state felt similarly on the issue. Rural and urban areas alike were largely in favor.
Many agreed with Governor Michelle Grisham and her statement that recreational cannabis would be the next frontier, so to speak. She also empowered residents to consider the tens of thousands of jobs recreational cannabis could bring to New Mexico.
Still, residents felt the weight of taking an underground market back up to the surface. Young people and people of color have many questions about both the past and future state of the cannabis industry. The state as a whole is concerned about regulations and equity.
New York Struggles with Discussion
New York may not find a straight split on the issue of marijuana laws, but the state has struggled to approach the issue. Unlike other drug laws in the past, marijuana is not a narcotic, nor is it limited to areas of poverty. Of course, there are still invisible lines drawn in the sand.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hosted several governors in the last year to discuss the next moves. He noted that the issue was uniquely controversial- whether due to stigma, tradition, or New York’s history of ups and downs.
In the meantime, the state remains one of 8 states poised to legalize marijuana in 2020. Many eyes will be on them as the debate continues.
Arizona Remains a Hard Split
Arizona faces a hard split, with a dense population in cities like Phoenix debating marijuana laws heavily. As a whole, the state has advocates working with other states to gather signatures for marijuana federal legislation.
Arizona already has some clinics that specialize in issuing certifications for medical marijuana. Chronic pain is currently the main reason patients receive a medical marijuana card.
Most common dispensary products are considered legal by the Arizona Supreme Court- but only as medical treatment.
In 2016, the ballot failed, showing the possibility of similar resistance in 2020. Still, it’s expected that Arizona will be on the front end of states legalizing marijuana. Many residents say it’s only a matter of time, even with resistance.
Minnesota Looks to Industry Future
Minnesota currently has a legalization bill on the table. If passed, the bill will allow for cannabis apprenticeships and loans that further past decriminalization attempts. Those negatively affected by marijuana laws may have a voice as to their future, according to government leaders.
House majority leader Ryan Winkler has spoken openly about the yet-to-be-drafted bill. He has echoed some of his constituents and their desire to create an inclusive, just industry.
In other words, some people are already discussing how to avoid a corporate-run industry that ignores those once punished for running a similar business.
If Minnesota gets the bill to the Republican-held Senate next year, the bill will be critiqued for its effect on taxes, intoxication rates, and ripple effects not yet out in the open.
Florida Pushes Multiple Campaigns
Florida has not one, but two campaigns pushing to change current state marijuana laws. Both campaigns are on the 2020 ballot, which increases the chances of Florida legalizing marijuana within the year.
One group says they likely won’t meet the needed signatures. The other group is working to submit almost 800,000 signatures.
Pushing a constitutional amendment adds to the pressure on the latter group. Florida law currently requires an approval rate of at least 60%to pass such amendments.
8 States that may Legalize Marijuana: Looking Ahead
All 8 states that may legalize marijuana show signs of passing within the year.
In the meantime, people are still looking at possible changes in taxes, revenue, even upending old court rulings.
If you are one of these people, you could benefit from a free consultation with us. We provide testimonials of customers just like you- after all, our service centers around empowering you to meet the future with a smile.