Unpacking Recent Cannabis Emerging Markets

Voters have spoken – putting pen to paper, citizens throughout the US are supporting cannabis legalization. 2022 was a somewhat blooming year in normalizing cannabis in the United States. Several states legalized cannabis in some form in 2022 leading into 2023. Although many states’ efforts failed in legalization, that energy will be used in the upcoming years for more legalization attempts. Here is a quick recap of successful and not-so-successful cannabis legalization throughout the US.


Maryland residents joined together to pass adult-use cannabis. Although there is a transitional period with the legalization roll-out, the first step is reducing fines and penalties. Adults 21 years and older will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis. Adults who are caught with more than 1 ounce will face fines. However, if Maryland citizens are caught with more than 2 ounces of cannabis, they will be charged with a misdemeanor, time in jail, and a hefty fine. Adult-use sales are not expected to be in full swing until roughly 2024 to 2025.


Missouri passed adult use cannabis along with prohibiting the discrimination of medical cannabis use. Voters helped legalize the purchase, possession, consumption, use, delivery, and manufacture/sale of cannabis for those 21 and older. It is projected by February 2023 that currently licensed medical cannabis dispensaries will open their doors to anyone aged 21 years or older to accommodate the adult-use legalization.

Rhode Island:

Rhode Island joined Maryland and Missouri in legalizing adult cannabis sales in May 2022. Under the passing measure, adults 21 years or older will be able to purchase and possess up to 1 ounce, may keep up to 10 ounces at home for personal use and are permitted to grow up to six cannabis plants at home. During the state’s first week of regulated sales, the combined worth of medical and adult-use sales were approximately $1.6million!

BONUS – Colorado:

Colorado voters supported decriminalization, regulation of distribution, and development of a therapy program for certain hallucinogenic plants and fungi. Approving the measure allowed the following:

  • defining certain psychedelic plants and fungi as natural medicine, including dimethyltryptamine (DMT); ibogaine; mescaline (excluding peyote); psilocybin; and psilocyn;
  • decriminalizing the personal use, possession, growth, and transport of natural medicines for persons 21 years old and older; and
  • creating the Regulated Natural Medicine Access Program for licensed healing centers to administer natural medicine services.


Unsuccessful Cannabis Support in States, yet Legalization is on the Horizon

With winners, comes losers (sort of). Multiple states failed in passing some form of cannabis legalization. Although multiple states didn’t pass legalizing cannabis, this won’t be their last appearance! These states are making moves in future cannabis legalization:

North Dakota: If the measure passed, North Dakota would have legalized adults to have up to 1 ounce of cannabis.

South Dakota: South Dakota’s voters rejected a measure to recreationally legalize marijuana.

Delaware: The measures would have legalized the possession and gifting cannabis without a sales component and legalized an adult-use market.

Arkansas: The legalization of adult-use cannabis failed in November; however, Arkansas is making moves for another appearance on the ballot.

Hawaii: The state failed to fully legalize cannabis. Along with failing to pass legalization, the expansion of the decriminalization threshold to increase the amount of cannabis possession failed as well.

Kansas: Kansas failed to vote in medical legalization. Be on the lookout for 2023, legislation reform is on the horizon.

Kentucky: Kentucky failed to approve medical marijuana legalization. The state’s hemp program is robust, hopefully cannabis reform is in 2023’s plans.

Minnesota: Minnesota failed to approve recreational marijuana legalization. Interestingly, Minnesota signed into law to provide permanent protections that allow hemp infused foods, beverages, topicals, etc. with CBD and other cannabinoids. As long as the infused products contain less than 0.3% THC, edibles and beverages must be limited to a total of 5mg THC per serving and 50mg THC per package. The THC threshold applies to all forms of psychoactive compounds.

New Hampshire: Two bills were rejected that would have allowed the possession of cannabis and home cultivation without the sales component.

North Carolina: A bill legalizing marijuana in North Carolina was unsuccessful.

BONUS – California: A bill to legalize the possession of psychedelics failed. The legalization of possession efforts included limited amounts of psychedelics like psilocybin and ibogaine.


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