An increasing number of states are making access to medical marijuana legal. Some are even legalizing recreational marijuana. As we head into a new year, new legislation voted on in November is taking effect. Below is a brief summary of new marijuana laws in the United States:
California's Proposition 64 allows adults 21 and older to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants in their home. As far as sales go, recreational marijuana will be available for sale to adults beginning January 1, subject to 276 pages of regulations. These include marijuana businesses being at least 600 feet away from schools, operating hours no later than 10:00 p.m. and mandatory 24-hour video surveillance in all stores.
Look for recreational marijuana to be available for sale sometime in 2018, as soon as the state's Cannabis Control Commission has been formed and is able to set up the network and state control for selling marijuana. Possessing and growing marijuana for personal, recreational use is now legal.
Adults 21 years and older are permitted to possess up to 1 ounce of recreational marijuana in Maine and grow a "limited number" of plants. However, the framework for setting up the network and tax system for recreational marijuana sales in Maine won't be in place until February 2018 at the earliest.
While medical marijuana has been available in Nevada since 2016, the state is just gearing up to offer recreational marijuana for sale to adults 21 years and older. However, that doesn't mean you can light up a joint in public. The current law restricts marijuana use to private homes and yards. In addition, it's now legal to possess recreational marijuana. As for growing it, you are allowed to grow six plants per adult occupant of the home as long as you live at least 25 miles from a retail marijuana outlet. That rules out growing plants in Las Vegas and Reno.
In addition to these new laws, look for ballot issues about marijuana in 2018 in a number of states, including Ohio, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Missouri.