Thursday, November 30

Everything You Should Know About Cannabis Laws, A State By State Guide

Each state in the United States is responsible for setting its own laws about cannabis. In general, the states can be broken down into different groups based on the legality of recreational use, medicinal use, and CBD or low THC product access. Then, there are a few states where cannabis use of any kind is still illegal.

Not only is it important to know where cannabis is legal, but it is also essential to know the specifics of the laws in each state. This is because cannabis laws state by state varies. For example, in medicinal use only states, some states require medical cards while others just require written communication from a physician. Additionally, some states require in-state residency to purchase cannabis.  

Recreational Use States

Just 36% of states have recreational use cannabis laws. Recreational use means that cannabis use is fully legal. These 18 states include: 

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Medicinal Use States

The following states are where cannabis can be used for medicinal purposes. It’s important to remember that the exact law can vary from state to state, meaning that the availability and access to cannabis are not the same. It is essential to look at each state’s laws surrounding medicinal use. Medicinal use states include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • West Virginia 

CBD & Low THC Access States

Some states don’t allow medicinal or recreational use of cannabis; however, they do allow access to CBD and low THC products. Examples of these types of products include:

  • Topical serums and creams
  • Gummies and other edibles
  • Oils

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “CBD impacts a variety of conditions and disorders.” The use of CBD products may help to alleviate anxiety, support joint health, and relieve pain without the dizzying effects of products with a higher THC content.

States Where Cannabis Use is Illegal

Over the past decade, support has been growing for legalizing cannabis use in some form or another. There are, however, three states where cannabis use of any form is still illegal. These states are Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Check the Laws in Your State

As the laws and legislation around cannabis use change, it is suggested that cannabis users stay up to date on the laws in their state. If you are traveling out of your home state, it is also suggested that you look up the laws on the states you will be traveling through and the state you are visiting.

Follow the steps below to ensure that you know the cannabis laws state by state:

Step 1 – Go to a reputable website (NCSL, DISA, or your official state website)   

Step 2 – Select your state, if you are not on your official state website

Step 3 – Check the laws on recreational use, medicinal use, and CBD product use

Step 4 – Make sure to note the date that the law goes into effect

Once you have followed these steps, you will be better informed on the legality of cannabis use for your state.


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