With the political climate in the United States being the way it is after the economic crisis that was 2020, the legalization of marijuana and cannabis products marks a new era for federally regulated recreational drugs. With the financial implications marijuana presents, individual states are beginning to legalize cannabis and profit from a new commerce stream.
With 50 states and a few territories in the United States, the tide is pushing towards nationwide decriminalization at the least, and useful legalization at best, and while states are already benefiting from this change, we’ve still got dozens more to go before cannabis is legal across the United States. Trying to predict and determine which states are up next in the race for legalization can be a tricky practice for marijuana enthusiasts and would-be cannabis investors alike, so we’ve compiled a list of states that may legalize recreational cannabis in the United States for 2021.
States Pushing the Recreational Envelope
The list below details states that have announced their intention to change their legislation to include marijuana legalization. A few on this list have tried without success to decriminalize cannabis and cannabis products, and may very well make the final decision one way or another in 2021.
With the policies of marijuana rapidly loosening on the east coast, Connecticut is one of several that have been trying to legalize cannabis production and use for quite a while. While the council for Connecticut’s legislation is heavily divided, the hope for the legalization of marijuana rests at about a 50/50 chance to be complete by the end of 2021.
One of a few more western-bound states, New Mexico has a long history of trying to turn its economic and law enforcement onto the trends of cannabis. With the political situation at heart, New Mexico representatives feel confident that 2021 is their year, and are eagerly trying to propose another reform. These reforms have the opportunity to promote economic growth and development, which is a huge driver for most on this list.
Similar to Connecticut, New York is a giant influence of east coast commerce and industry. With the prospects that marijuana legalization poses, it’s been a huge focal point for representatives of New York. Unfortunately, the more conservative representation is highly opposed to the policy change, which can and has proven to pose some serious issues with the finalization of the change.
The representatives fronting the legislation for Rhode Island’s legalization efforts have agreed that marijuana has the potential for immense financial benefit and growth. While some concern centers around specifics of policy and regulation, most involved politicians in Rhode Island agree that this is the way to go. The hope for 2021 is to make strides in legalizing cannabis.
Recently, the groundwork has been laid out for marijuana legalization in Virginia by means of decriminalization first. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being looked at to provide financial aid to those with criminal charges surround possession. Along this same vein, Virginia is looking toward the future of cannabis production and sales, meaning a strong future for legalization down the road.
States Considering Recreational Reform
While decriminalization is the first step for many states across the nation, legalization for recreational use is something that’s been hotly debated even in states with regulated dispensaries. Up until recently, the focus has been strictly on the medicinal properties of cannabis and its effects on a chronically ill population. These states are looking to make strides in the ways of recreational use and consumption.
Since at least 2019, Delaware has had marijuana legalization for recreational use on its ticket roster. Since proposed and reviews in 2019, progress on this front has been unfortunately halted due to some disagreements within Delaware’s representation. It’s the hope of many that 2021 will be Delaware’s year for recreational marijuana legalization.
With a bill previously posed to legalize the use and production of cannabis products on a recreational level, Maryland is closer than ever to the true legalization of the drug. Decriminalization of marijuana took place back in 2014, making Maryland one of the leading states for marijuana policy change.
Recently a Minnesotan focus, the legalization of marijuana has gained support from representatives of the state. While not without obstacles, the proposal had been made back in 2019, and is highly expected to have an answer by the end of 2021. It’s understood that regardless of the final answer, however, most of Minnesota’s representatives are in full support of marijuana legalization and cannabis production.
Since passing a pro-legalization proposal a few years back, Pennsylvania is working with internal obstacles in public policy changes. While this has been a long haul so far for Pennsylvania, the state representatives are determined to keep pushing.
Due to the economic downturn following COVID-19, representatives in Wisconsin are considering the financial implications of cannabis legalization and distribution. While this may still have a long way to go, Wisconsin is heavily considering the change.
States Considering Legalized Medicinal Marijuana
Recreational use of cannabis versus the medicinal need of marijuana has been a subject of fierce debate for years. While recreational use might still be a pipe dream for the following states, medicinal cannabis use is now being considered here.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to legislation in regards to medicinal marijuana consumption have stalled in Alabama. The hope for 2021 is that these proceedings can start up again to legalize medicinal use.
The legalization of medicinal marijuana in Kentucky was on the ticket for 2020 and was stalled due to the pandemic outbreak. With 2021 showing much greater promise for a bright future, the medicinal use of marijuana is in Kentucky’s future for sure.
All in all, the changes to the marijuana legalization policies across the nation are subject to change and scrutiny. While it may be a long road to full legalization, strides are being made this year and the years following to make marijuana accessible to all.