It is undeniable that 2018 has been a phenomenal year for cannabis. It has been an even better year for the movement to end cannabis prohibition worldwide. In the United States specifically, there has been much improvement regarding cannabis and its legality. Vermont became the first state in the US to legalize recreational cannabis by way of legislators. Other states have done so through a ballot initiative. In the midterm elections in November, three states said yes to cannabis legalization for medical purposes, and the state of Michigan became the first Midwestern U.S. state to legalize recreational cannabis for adults.
This is Only the Beginning
The best part is this is only the beginning. The progression we have seen in 2018 is paving the path for even more success to come in 2019. Based on what we know it appears that there will be several more states coming on board in 2019. Here are some of the states that we will be watching closely next year as they are the most likely to pass medical or recreational cannabis laws.
The States Most Likely to Be Next
- Connecticut- After the midterm elections, the Governor-elect Ned Lamont became the new Governor of Connecticut. Lamont campaigned on the basis that the time for legalization has come. During a press conference post-election day he said cannabis legalization would be one of his priorities in 2019.
- Illinois- Another Governor from the state of Illinois by the name of JB Pritzker also has expressed his support for cannabis legalization during his campaign. He even went a step further by holding a press conference outside of the medical cannabis dispensary to show just how serious he was about helping to end cannabis prohibition in the state.
- Minnesota- Like many states in November, Minnesota elected a pro-cannabis Governor to replace their previous one who opposed legalization. He pledged to replace the current federal policies regarding cannabis in the state on the basis that it will help to create tax revenue, generate jobs and provide more opportunities to residents of the state. He also went further even to note that he “trusts adults to make responsible personal decisions based on their personal freedoms.”
A Few Others to Watch Closely
- New Jersey- Chris Christie, the former Governor of New Jersey, was a very well-known prohibitionist. The incoming Governor that was elected in 2017 Phil Murphy, however, is a big supporter of cannabis legalization. In 2019 the Governor will be taking a closer look at just how to end prohibition in the state.
- New Mexico- Governor Michelle Grisham knows just how much the state of New Mexico could benefit from retail cannabis legalization. She was quoted saying “legalization could bring hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s economy.” As a member of Congress, she was very supportive of cannabis reform measures. She is expected to help push forward any legislation that would help to reform the laws in a positive manner within the state.
- New York- New York is home to a medical cannabis program however it is quite limited. Governor Andrew Cuomo has had a change of heart when it comes to cannabis. In recent months he has spoken out in regards to his support for recreational cannabis. Many expect him to help make this a reality next year.
These are just a few of the states that we will be paying close attention to throughout 2019. What states do you think will be the next to say yes to cannabis?