The 5 States That Could Still Legalize Marijuana in 2024

Here’s an overview of the states that could still legalize recreational marijuana this year.

Last month, we published a list of the 10 states next in line to potentially legalize marijuana. While this list remains relevant, as we approach the halfway point of the year, only a few of these states have a reasonable chance of passing a marijuana legalization law in 2024.

With that in mind, below are the five states that could still legalize marijuana this year:

  • New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s full House of Representatives voted in February to pass House Bill 1633 to legalize recreational marijuana for everyone 21 and older. The measure passed overwhelming 239 to 141.

At the end of April the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill. Although they did not vote on the measure, it indicates that the measure is alive and on the forefront of the minds of many lawmakers. If the measure is passed through the Senate, it will be sent to Governor Sununu who said in November that marijuana legalization in New Hampshire is “inevitable“.

The proposed law would allow for the possession of up to four ounces of marijuana, 10 grams of marijuana concentrates and edibles with up to 2,000 mg of THC, while establishing a system of licensed, taxed and regulated marijuana retail outlets.

With New Hampshire’s legislative session ending on June 28, proponents of the bill have a little over seven weeks to get the bill passed into law, or they will have to wait until at least 2025.

  • Florida

Florida voters will consider marijuana legalization this November, due to the Smart & Safe Florida campaign being successful in placing their initiative on the ballot. They were also successful in defeating a legal challenge from the state’s attorney general.

If passed into law, Amendment 3 would allow those 21 and older “to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption by smoking, ingestion, or otherwise.” Licensed marijuana retail outlets would be allowed to distribute the plant, with any of the state’s licensed medical-marijuana dispensaries allowed to “acquire, cultivate, process, manufacture, sell and distribute such products and accessories.”

Amendment 3 would set the possession limit at three ounces of dried marijuana flower and up to five grams of marijuana concentrates.

Polling released in November by the University of North Florida showing support among likely voters to be at an impressive 67%, more than the 60% required for the initiative to be passed into law (since it’s a constitutional amendment it requires more than the normal 50%).

  • South Dakota

In 2020, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws successful placed a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot, with it receiving support from 54% of voters. Due to a technacality in the initiative’s language, the measure was thrown out my state courts.

A subsequent effort in 2022 made the ballot, but failed with 47% support amid lower voter turnout given it was not a presidential election.

This year, with revised language addressing past issues, the group is working to place a new initiative with similar but updated language on the ballot this November.

According to polling released last month, a plurality of voters in the state support legalizing marijuana, 45% to 42%, with 13% undecided.

  • North Dakota

Last month North Dakota Secretary of State Michael Howe gave approval to an initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana, allowing proponents of the measure to begin collecting signatures in hopes of putting it to a vote during the November 2024 or 2025 election.

The nonprofit political committee New Economic Frontier now has one year to collect 15,582 signatures from registered North Dakota voters in order to put their marijuana legalization measure to a vote. If the signatures are gathered by July 8, the initiative will be voted on this November. If signatures are collected after July 8 the measure would be placed on the 2025 general election ballot.

The proposed initiative would allow those 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, four grams of marijuana concentrates and 1500 milligrams of adult-use cannabinoid products (300 milligrams of this can be in the form of edible products). The initiative would also allow the personal cultivation of up to three marijuana plants, and it would allow marijuana and marijuana products to be purchased through licensed marijuana stores.

  • Pennsylvania

Last month bipartisan legislation that would make recreational marijuana legal for everyone 21 and older was filed in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Under the proposed law, those 21+ would be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana, which they could purchase from a licensed marijuana retail outlet. The law would allow medical marijuana patients to grow up to five plants, but it would not allow home cultivation for recreational users. The bill’s filing comes just two months after polling found that 63% of registered voters in the state want recreational marijuana to be legal.

Unlike many other state legislatures that adjourned well before the end of summer, Pennsylvania’s session does not end until November 30, giving proponents of marijuana legalization nearly the remainder of the year to get something done.

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