Five States That Might Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis in 2023

Jan 23, 2023 | News

The five circled states have chances of legalizing adult-use cannabis in 2023. (Map via Business Insider)

There are now 21 U.S. states with adult-use marijuana laws. Several more states might join them in 2023. They are:


The First State may be among the last to legalize if Democratic Gov. John Carney has his way. He vetoed legislation last May that would’ve added Delaware to the list of legal AU states. The effort has begun again in the statehouse, which may now have enough votes to override another veto. Delaware is currently a medical-marijuana and decrim state.


The Aloha State, known for famous landrace strains like Maui Wowie and Kona Gold, has lagged behind on AU legalization. Multiple bills are competing in the statehouse. Democratic Gov. Josh Green favors legalization. Hawaii is currently a medical-marijuana and decrim state.


The state legislature appears to be on a path to approve AU legalization. House Bill 100 allows adults to possess five pounds and grow up to eight plants at home. The state’s Democratic Gov. Tim Walz says he’ll sign the bill. Minnesota is currently a medical-marijuana and decrim state.


In 2015, Issue 3 lost by a 65%-35% margin at the polls. That failure was mostly due to lack of support from the cannabis community over monoploy concerns and an off-year election. Ohio may do the same in 2023 with another off-year cannabis vote. It’s up to the legislature to act. If it doesn’t then voters may get to decide in November. The Ohio Marijuana Legalization Inititiative would allow adults to possess 2.5 ounces and grow up to 12 plants at home. Ohio is currently a medical-marijuana and decrim state.


Figure that Oklahoma will be the first of these five states to pass AU legalization on March 7 when residents get to vote on Question 820, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative. In a state with a particularly robust medical-marijuana industrry, 820 should pass with flying colors. 


With 37 medical-marijuana states, only the reddest states remain holdouts. Efforts are being made in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin to change the medical cannabis laws.


Adult-use legalization will pass in Oklahoma and Minnesota. 

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