As we welcome 2022, several states are implementing new cannabis policy changes. To help understand which states are changing their cannabis laws, we’ve broken down the five states that are adjusting their weed ways.
First, Arkansas has two new cannabis-related laws on January 1. The first allows out-of-state medical cannabis users to access the state’s program for 90 days. The other law will enable doctors to make medical cannabis recommendations online via telehealth services.
The state hopes to legalize cannabis recreational this year with a new initiative submitted by Arkansans for Marijuana Reform. If passed, adults 21 and older can possess up to four ounces of flower, two ounces of wax. Residents can also cultivate up to six cannabis plants and six seedlings for personal use.
The Golden State will now require hospitals to permit medical cannabis to specific individuals. Senator Ben Hueso finally passed the law after Governor Gavin Newsom expressed concerns for it in 2019 and reluctantly vetoed it. Newsom finally signed the legislation late last year. Now, medical facilities can treat medically ill patients with cannabis use over multiple sessions.
“It is inconceivable to me that, in a state where medical cannabis was legalized more than 25 years ago, those in deepest suffering receiving treatment in our state’s healthcare facilities cannot access this proven, effective and prescribed treatment,” Hueso said in a press release. “Instead, terminally-ill patients in California healthcare facilities are given heavy opiates that rob them of their precious last moments with family and friends,” he said. “This is a simple, yet critical, move that will provide relief, compassion, and dignity to terminally-ill Californians.”
January 1 was a conflicting day for Colorado medical cannabis users. A new law allows patients to purchase up to eight grams of concentrate a day. Previously, the limit was set at 40 grams. This is the first of several changes to bring more awareness to the high potency and overconsumption of concentrates. Medical Cannabis users can buy more than the daily limit of concentrates with a doctor certification. This certification must include a designated dispensary for the concentrates.
Additionally, dispensaries must provide educational materials to patients. This consists of a pamphlet that will be distributed at the store to provide guidance and warnings about the use of cannabis concentrates. Additionally, medical cannabis businesses can’t advertise directly to people aged 18 to 20. Any advertising for concentrates will have to include a warning about the risks of overconsumption.
A newer law that started at the beginning of the year expands the state’s medical cannabis program. Now, medical cannabis users will have access to flower products at dispensaries. Before this, patients used vaporized cannabis via a “metered-dose inhaler.”
Louisiana is already reaping the rewards of the 2021 session, which includes a decriminalization law. Starting in August 2021, possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis is now punishable by a $100 fine without the threat of jail time.
Last year, the state attempted to legalize recreational cannabis but failed when a complementary measure fell short. Despite a disagreement on taxing adult-use cannabis, Governor John Bel Edwards said on his live radio program he believes the reform “is going to happen in Louisiana eventually.”
Finally, Montana allows retail cannabis for adults 21 and older as of January 1. The 2020 voter-approved initiation will allow adults to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis at a time. Cannabis products will have a 20 percent tax. Few local jurisdictions will impose an additional three percent tax.
In addition to the five states, Philadelphia will no longer require employers to drug test applicants for cannabis as a condition. Hopefully, The United States will see even more cannabis laws pass throughout the country.