Voters approved a slew of marijuana legalization initiatives during November’s election—in states around the country and across the political spectrum—but activists aren’t slowing down. They expect that 2021 will see another surge of reform in state legislatures.
The nationwide coronavirus outbreak could set back cannabis legalization efforts along the East Coast and elsewhere, raising further questions about the launch of lucrative new adult-use and medical markets in New York and other states.
Those potential markets, if launched, could generate billions of dollars in business opportunities for a range of marijuana companies.
But the outlook for legalization in those places now seems up in the air.
When it comes to state legalization – whether it’s medical or adult-use – there is either effort on the legislative front or at the ballot box (or in cases like New Jersey, the battle moves from one arena to the other).
Here are three factors to keep in mind as states address either recreational or medical legalization this year:
Congressman James Comer stood in front of a local hemp harvest stacked shin-deep for hundreds of feet in every direction, a tangled mass of bushy branches that looked more like evergreen trimmings than marijuana buds. Little yellow butterflies flitted across the surface of the crop that filled the once-vacant warehouse with the comforting smell of damp grass clippings.