The 6 States On Track to Legalize Medical Marijuana in 2024

Nearly 80% of states in the US have legalized medical marijuana. Of the 12 that haven’t, some are closer to doing so than others.

Current there are 38 states that have legalized medical marijuana, with nine more that have passed laws allowing the medical use of low-THC / high-CBD products. Of the 12 states with no medical marijuana program, most have ongoing efforts to legalize medical marijuana. However, some of these efforts are far more viable in the near-term than others.

Below are the states on track to legalize medical marijuana in 2024.

  • Nebraska

Since JulyNebraskans for Medical Marijuana have been actively collecting signatures for a pair of initiatives that would legalize medical marijuana and provide protections for physicians who recommend it. This is the group’s third attempt to put a medical marijuana initiative before voters of the state, with advocates falling less than 1,000 signatures short last year.

The group has until next July to collect 125,000 signatures from registered Nebraska voters.

In December, Campaign Manager Crista Eggers told KLIN News “We’re feeling very good”, saying he’s “confident” their initiatives will appear on the November ballot.

One of the two initiatives would “enact a statute that makes penalties inapplicable under state and local law for the use, possession, and acquisition of limited quantities of cannabis for medical purposes by a qualified patient with a written recommendation from a health care practitioner, and for a caregiver to assist a qualified patient in these activities.”

The proposal would create the Nebraska Medical Cannabis Commission to provide the necessary “registration and regulation of persons that possess, manufacture, distribute, deliver, and dispense cannabis for medical purposes.”

The second initiative would provide legal protections for doctors who recommend marijuana to their patients.

  • Idaho

A group called Kind Idaho is working to put their medical marijuana legalization initiative to a vote of the people this November

Kind Idaho’s initiative would legalize medical marijuana for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. The possession limit would be set at four ounces, with patients allowed to grow up to six plants for personal use. The initiative would also establish a licensed and regulated system of medical marijuana dispensaries.

The initiative campaign is funded in part by the Marijuana Policy Project, a group that has led successful initiatives to legalize medical and recreational marijuana in numerous states. The language of Kind Idaho’s initiative is identical the initiative proposed by Idaho Citizens Coalition in 2020 and 2022 (the Coalition “gifted” the initiative to Kind Idaho so they could lead the new effort).

The group has until May 1, 2024 to collect 62,896 signatures from registered Idaho voters in order to place the measure on the 2024 ballot.

Qualifying conditions for the initiative would include cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, inflammatory bowel disease, Huntington’s disease, Tourette syndrome, a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe pain, chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy, or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis, as well as “Any terminal illness with life expectancy of less than twelve months as determined by a licensed medical physician”.

You can find the initiative’s title, long ballot title and full text by clicking here.

  • North Carolina

In March of last year the North Carolina Senate voted 36 to 10 to pass the “Compassionate Care Act”, which would allow patients with a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder to possess and consume medical marijuana if they receive a recommendation from a licensed physician. The measure failed to be approved by the House prior to the end of the legislative session.

Proponents of the proposal are hoping with the new session underway the House will take a closer look at the bill, which passed with wide bipartisan support in the Senate.

The law would require patients to renew their recommendation annually, and it would allow 10 medical marijuana suppliers to control the cultivation and sale of cannabis, with each allowed to operate up to eight dispensaries. A Compassionate Use Advisory Board would be established to consider adding new conditions that would qualify an individual to become a medical marijuana patient. The measure would also establish a Medical Cannabis Production Commission to regulate and oversee marijuana supplies.

According to polling released last week, 78% of North Carolina voters support legalizing medical marijuana.

  • South Carolina

The South Carolina Senate voted 26 to 13 to move Senate Bill 423 to a special order, allowing it to skip the committee process and be quickly considered by the full chamber. The measure would create “a seed-to-sale system to provide for the sale of medical cannabis to treat a qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or to alleviate symptoms.”

Qualifying conditions include cancer, multiple sclerosis, autism, Chron’s disease and multiple others. The law would allow patients to possess an “Allowable amount of medical cannabis” or “allowable amount of cannabis products”. This means, for a fourteen-day period:

  • cannabis products for topical administration including, but not limited to, patches for transdermal administration or lotions, creams, or ointments, that contain a total of no more than four thousand milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol;
  • cannabis products for oral administration including, but not limited to, oils, tinctures, capsules, or edible forms, that contain a total of no more than one thousand six hundred milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol;
  • cannabis products that consist of oils for vaporization that contain a total of no more than eight thousand two hundred milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol; or
  • for any other modes of delivery, an equivalent amount as determined by the department.

The full text of SB 423 can be found by clicking here.

  • Tennessee

Legislation filed late last month by Senator London Lamar (D) was “Passed on First Consideration” on January 31, and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee the following day.

The proposed law would legalize medical marijuana for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a licensed physician. Currently Tennessee is one of just 10 states that have not legalized any form of medical marijuana. 24 states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while 40 have done so for medical purposes.

Senate Bill 1829 – the Medical Autonomy Related to Cannabis Act – would legalize the medical use of marijuana and marijuana products for those 18 and older. The measure would establish a system of licensed and regulated medical marijuana dispensaries, with regulations overseen by the Department of Agriculture.

If passe into law, patients would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of dried marijuana, eight grams of marijuana concentrates and marijuana-infused edibles with up to 8,000 mg of THC.

Patients would be allowed to possess and use “oils, tinctures, flower, edibles, pills, topical forms, gels, creams, vapors, patches, suppositories, liquids, and forms administered by a nebulizer”.

For the full text of Senate Bill 1829, click here.

  • Indiana

Legislation filed last month by a pair of Senators would legalize the medical use of marijuana for those “with a serious medical condition as determined by the person’s physician”.

Senate Bill 99, which gained a third sponsor two days after being filed, has been referred to the Committee on Commerce and Technology.

 

For a look at the five states on track to legalize recreational marijuana in 2024, click here.

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