2022 has been a rollercoaster of a year for the cannabis industry. On the upside, several states have passed legislation to either permit adult use or permit a medical marijuana program. Federally, simple possession cannabis offenses have been pardoned and legislation was passed to allow for research into cannabis. On the downside, the industry has been in a slump as the market gets more crowded and investor streams are drying up.

Below is a breakdown of some of the biggest changes in the industry this past year.

State Legalization of Cannabis

Cannabis was on the ballot in five states this past year, but Maryland and Missouri were the two to allow legalization.

In Maryland, the adult use measure passed by two thirds of voters. Beginning on July 1, 2023, adults 21 and older may possess and consume 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower, 12 grams of concentrated cannabis, or a total amount of cannabis products that does not exceed 750 mg THC. The law established a process for expunging all cases in which possession of less than 10 grams was the only charge and is decriminalizing possession up to 2.5 ounces. The law also created three new funds to address socio-economic disparities in relation to previous cannabis enforcement.

In Missouri, the ballot measure passed with 53 percent of the vote. Beginning in February, recreation marijuana will be available for those 21 and older. The law also allows for those convicted of nonviolent marijuana related crimes to petition for parole or release and have their records expunged.

Though not on the ballot, Rhode Island passed the Rhode Island Cannabis Act, which like in Maryland and Missouri legalized possession of marijuana and created the review and expungement of past criminal records.

Alabama and Mississippi started working on the rollout of their medical marijuana programs. As of December 2022, Alabama has received and will start to review applications for medical marijuana licenses. In Mississippi, medical dispensaries are beginning to open across the state.

Continue reading at: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/2022-cannabis-year-in-review-7820294/