2023 is set to be an anticipation-filled year for US states looking to join the ever-growing list of those that have legalized THC cannabis. At present, it's difficult to accurately predict which will come on board in this burgeoning landscape; however, certain indicators can help identify those with higher potentiality!
We've gathered these indications based on the current state legislature and public opinion polls so as pinpoint where regulated consumption may become a reality by '23. Certain areas are already taking preliminary steps towards legalization either through proposed bills or ballot initiatives, while others remain yet untouched but potentially primed for discourse around the issue.
In 2015, Ohioans firmly shut the door on marijuana legalization; fast forward to 2023, and it seems likely that Ohio will finally make a change. Public opinion has been transformed in recent years – support for reform is now strong among voters across the state, prompting lawmakers to introduce several bills proposing legalization. It looks like an exciting journey lies ahead!
In 2019, Pennsylvania took a bold step in the direction of progressive marijuana legislation. Despite growing backing from its citizens and local officials for full legalization, Republican lawmakers have thus far successfully impeded attempts to make it legal by exercising their political power over the state legislature and governor's office. It is yet unclear how this situation will develop as public support continues to grow stronger than ever before!
In Oklahoma, an impressive 62% of citizens support legalizing marijuana for adult use - and it looks like their wishes may be coming true! The state has seen tremendous progress on cannabis reform in recent years, with medical marijuana being legalized in 2018 and further decriminalization bills under consideration. It's entirely possible that 2023 will bring about full legalization throughout the Sooner State!
With two decades of medical cannabis use and a growing surge in public support, Hawaii is on the path to becoming one of America's newest legalized marijuana states. The 2019 passing of an adult-use legalization bill that was unfortunately vetoed by Governor David Ige may soon become a distant memory as polls indicate 63% favorability towards recreational marijuana! If all goes according to plan, come 2023, we could see hazy days ahead for our beloved Hawaiian Islands.
In 2023, New Hampshire is poised to become a leader in the US cannabis industry. With already established decriminalization laws and medicinal use permitted with a doctor's prescription, The Granite State has taken important steps toward liberalizing its marijuana policies. To further their commitment to legalizing THC Cannabis for adult use within state borders, legislation was recently passed, creating a commission responsible for researching how regulation and taxation of the drug can be implemented most effectively.
North Carolina has made history by being one of the first southern states to pass a law legalizing medical marijuana! As of July 2020, qualifying individuals living in NC to have access to cannabis products with 0.3% THC content or lower –– providing an opportunity for both further research and therapeutic benefits. This monumental step forward is helping pave the way toward more widespread acceptance and regulation of medicinal marijuana across the country.
In Minnesota, medical marijuana is already regulated and legalized –– but its lawmakers are now looking to the future of cannabis by introducing legislation that could make recreational use legal. If passed, this regulation would not only create an income tax system for sales and a social equity fund in support of those disproportionately affected by drug law enforcement measures; it might also pave the way for criminal justice reforms such as expungement initiatives. As developments continue to unfurl on both fronts, Minnesota looks set once again to blaze new trails when it comes to legalizing cannabis usage.
Kansas is making big strides in the world of cannabis. With recent progressive measures taken by Governor Laura Kelly, including a decriminalization bill that eliminates criminal penalties associated with possessing small amounts of marijuana and 2019 voter approval for medical marijuana at over 60%, it's likely this Midwestern state will be legalizing THC cannabis soon! 2023 could very well bring legal recreational use to the Sunflower State.
Kentucky is taking strides toward progressive reform with the March 2021 introduction of a bill to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis production and sales. Not only would this new law empower adults 21 years or older to possess up to two ounces (56.6 grams) for personal use, but it could also have far-reaching implications: an excise tax on retail sales that fund public schools & universities, job creation in the industry; even expungement of criminal records linked with minor marijuana offenses!
Delaware has been on the brink of legalizing marijuana for recreational use since 2011. Despite an overwhelming 60% public support and a successful vote in its House of Representatives, efforts have fallen short due to opposition from Governor John Carney. But his time as governor is drawing to a close! As he ushers out 2023 with plans for new leaders who back cannabis legalization, this historically progressive state looks primed to take another giant leap forward - becoming one of the first states ever to legalize adult use via legislation instead of a voter initiative.
As Texas begins to shift its views on cannabis reform, recent public opinion polls indicate that an overwhelming majority of Texans (more than 55%) are in favor of legalization. In light of this growing support, state lawmakers have already put forward three separate bills which could make recreational marijuana use legal by 2023. It seems like Lone Star State is ready for a change!
As the 2023 legislative session approaches, South Carolina is one of several states with great potential for marijuana reform. Various bills related to medical cannabis have been advanced in the past few years, and lawmakers are keen to further this progress in hopes of meeting their constituents' needs. This can be seen through a recent poll which revealed an unprecedented 64% of South Carolinians in favor of legalizing medical marijuana in the state - a clear indication that for many residents, there is a pressing need for this reform to take place.
As Tennessee continues to advance progressive cannabis legislation and public support remains strong, the state is well on its way toward full marijuana legalization as early as 2023. In 2020 – a landmark year for Tennessean lawmakers - several key bills surrounding medical marijuana and decriminalization were signed into law amid an influx of broad-based approval from constituents; according to Vanderbilt University's 2019 Poll, 68% percent expressed their agreement with either decriminalizing or legalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis. It appears that Tennessee is building momentum towards big strides in genuine reform!
The Bottom Line
The tides of change are in motion as momentum builds toward the potential legalization of Cannabis with THC by 2023. Already, the mentioned states above have blazed a trail for others to follow and embrace marijuana used medically or recreationally within their borders.
Not only that, some forward-thinking areas even allow cannabis products containing higher than usual amounts of THC –– paving the way for more extensive legislation permitting recreational usage nationwide in just two years' time. It looks like it won't be long before Americans will take advantage of full access to this plant's numerous benefits!