The 5 States with the Most Progressive Marijuana Policies

As of May 2024, 24 states have legalized recreational marijuana, with some implementing policies that are significantly more progressive than others.

Among these states, the majority —15 out of 24— have established a one-ounce limit for dried marijuana, and a marijuana cultivation limit of three to six plants. However, several states have set notably higher limits.

With that in mind, here are the top five states with the most progressive marijuana policies (in no particular order). All of them have possession limits that are at least twice that of the 15 states with a one ounce limit.

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New Hampshire Set to Become 25th Legal Marijuana State

Legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in New Hampshire took a key step forward today, being passed through the Senate Finance Committee following approval by the full House of Representatives and the full Senate through its second reading.

House Bill 1633 received approval from the Senate Finance Committee five days after passing the full Senate’s second reading. It will now be considered for a third and final reading in the Senate, expected this week. The House of Representatives has already passed the measure with a vote of 239 to 136. However, it will need to return to the House for one final vote of concurrence after receiving final approval from the Senate due to the amendments made.

If the House concurs with the Senate’s amendment, it will be sent to Governor Chris Sununu, who says he will sign it into law as amended by the Senate. This would make New Hampshire the 25th state to legalize recreational marijuana, and the 24th to allow recreational marijuana sales (Virginia is the only state to allow legal possession but not licensed sales).
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New York Assembly Bill Would Legalize Medical Psilocybin and Establish Licensed Service Centers

New York Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D) introduced a bill today that would provide legal access to psilocybin mushrooms

Psilocybin mushroom.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 10375, proposes a comprehensive framework for the “regulated adult use, support services, and cultivation of psilocybin-containing fungi.”

Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound found in “magic mushrooms,” has shown promise in clinical trials for treating a wide range of conditions, including depression, anxiety, and PTSD. This bill would establish a system for licensing and regulating psilocybin therapy, allowing qualified adults to possess and use the substance while establishing service centers where it can be used under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional.
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Over 100 Comments Already Submitted on DEA’s Marijuana Rescheduling Decision: Here’s How to View Them

Earlier today, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officially published in the Federal Register its proposal to reschedule marijuana, kicking off the legally required 60-day public comment period. Within hours, over 100 comments have already been submitted.

The DEA’s proposal would move marijuana from its current classification as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act to a Schedule III substance. This change would greatly ease access to marijuana research, legalize marijuana compounds for medical use nationwide, and provide medical marijuana patients and businesses in states where it’s legal a range of federal protections.

Today’s publication in the Federal Register gives the public until July 22 to provide comments, sharing their opinions and suggestions. Following the public comment period, the DEA will review all submissions to assess public opinion. This process will culminate in a final hearing and the issuance of a final ruling.
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DEA Officially Publishes Marijuana Rescheduling Proposal in Federal Register, Public Comment Period Now Underway

The DEA has officially published their proposed plans to reschedule marijuana in the Federal Register, initiating the legally required 60-day public comment period.

“The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) proposes to transfer marijuana from schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) to schedule III of the CSA, consistent with the view of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) that marijuana has a currently accepted medical use as well as HHS’s views about marijuana’s abuse potential and level of physical or psychological dependence”, states the official summary of the proposal, published in the Federal Register.

The summary continues by stating that the CSA “requires that such actions be made through formal rulemaking on the record after opportunity for a hearing. If the transfer to schedule III is finalized, the regulatory controls applicable to schedule III controlled substances would apply, as appropriate, along with existing marijuana-specific requirements and any additional controls that might be implemented, including those that might be implemented to meet U.S. treaty obligations.”
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California Assembly Votes 58 to 6 to Legalize Marijuana Cafés

California’s full Assembly has passed legislation to legalize marijuana cafés.

Assembly Bill 1775, filed by State Representative Matt Haney (D), was approved yesterday by California’s Assembly with an overwhelming vote of 58 to 6. The measure will now be sent to the Senate and, if approved, to Governor Gavin Newsom. In October, Newsom vetoed a similar bill. Despite this, Rep. Haney says he’s been told by the governor that “there’s a path forward” for the new iteration of the measure being enacted into law.

Assembly Bill 1775 would “authorize a local jurisdiction, if specified conditions are met, to allow for the preparation or sale of noncannabis food or beverage products, as specified, by a licensed retailer or microbusiness in the area where the consumption of cannabis is allowed, and to allow, and to sell tickets for, live musical or other performances on the premises of a licensed retailer or microbusiness in the area where the consumption of cannabis is allowed.”
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Federal Judge Rules in Favor of Public Access to May 22 Hearing in Case Challenging Federal Marijuana Prohibition

A federal judge has ruled that oral arguments scheduled for May 22 in a landmark case, where multiple marijuana companies are challenging the U.S. prohibition on marijuana, can be publicly accessible.

In the case of CANNA PROVISIONS, Gyasi Sellers, Wiseacre Farm, Verano Holdings v. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts’s Western Division has scheduled oral arguments for May 22. Judge Mark G. Mastroianni has ruled that the hearing can be attended by the public and streamed online.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs requested public access, citing the case’s “questions of public concern.” They noted that members of the press have requested remote access to the hearing due to their inability to attend in person.
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Delaware: New Bipartisan Bill Would Allow Recreational Marijuana Sales to Begin This Year

Newly filed legislation in Delaware would allow existing medical marijuana dispensaries to quickly enter the recreational-use market, allowing recreational marijuana sales to begin months sooner than expected.

Sponsored by State Representative Ed Osienski and Senator Trey Paradee, House Bill 408 would create a pathway for medical marijuana retailers to obtain a temporary conversion license, enabling them to legally sell adult-use recreational marijuana while still maintaining their medical operations.

“As Delaware moves closer to the launch of recreational marijuana sales, it’s important that we continue exploring and implementing policies that will bolster the program’s success and support both new and existing retailers,” said Rep. Osienski. “Our experienced compassion centers are well-equipped to navigate this transition, and the funds generated from their conversion license fees will serve as a vital funding source for social equity applicants, empowering them to kickstart their ventures.”
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These 5 States Are Set to Legalize Medical Marijuana Within the Next 12 Months

There are still 12 states that have not legalized medical marijuana, but that number could shrink substantially within the next year.

Recent nationwide polling shows that 88% of adults in the United States support legalizing medical marijuana, including a majority of all political and ideological affiliations. Despite such widespread support, and despite 38 states having legalized marijuana as a medicine, 12 states continue to holdout. Some of these states have active legislative or initiative efforts with a real chance of legalizing medical marijuana by next year.

With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of the five states set to legalize medical marijuana within the next 12 months.
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US Senate Banking Committee Chair Announces Support for Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

United States Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chair of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, has announced his support for legalizing marijuana.

“It’s time to legalize marijuana across the country,” Senator Brown stated in a post on the social media platform X. Although he didn’t elaborate further, this marks the first time Senator Brown has declared support for legalization. In previous years, the senator supported decriminalizing marijuana but hesitated to endorse full legalization.

Senator Brown’s support comes just weeks after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, along with 17 co-sponsors, filed legislation to deschedule marijuana and establish safety and regulatory standards, as well as a federal excise tax on legal marijuana sales. The bill would also allow for expungements of marijuana-related offenses.
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