Is Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland & Ohio on track to legalize cannabis?
In Today’s Issue:
→ Adult-use Access. ✅
→ California's Illicit Cannabis. 🔥
→ Youth Cannabis Consumption. ⬇️
Adult-Use Cannabis In 2022
Who’s on track to legalize adult-use cannabis…
In Wednesday’s edition of Four PM, we outlined the four states on track to legalize cannabis for medical purposes in 2022.
In this edition of Four PM, we will be breaking down which states are the most likely candidates to legalize cannabis for adult-use purposes in 2022.
Oklahoma, population: 3.957 million
First up is the state of Oklahoma.
Less than 3 years after the state legalized cannabis for medical purposes, 1 in 10 adults living in the state now has access to medical cannabis, courtesy of not needing a qualifying condition.
In October, activists filed an initiative that would legalize adult-use cannabis.
In order for this issue to appear on the 2022 ballot, activists will need to collect 177,958 valid signatures from registered voters.
Rhode Island, population: 1.06 million
Adult-use cannabis is coming to Rhode Island.
Having spent less than 15 minutes debating the bill, on the 22nd of June 2021, the Rhode Island Senate passed an adult-use bill by a 29-9 vote.
The bill to legalize cannabis won't be decided by the house until after the budget process ends, however, there remains the possibility that this bill could pass during a special session later this year.
Delaware, population: 0.97 million
Next on the list is Delaware.
On the 24th of March 2020, The Health and Human Development Committee approved legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis.
The bill was set to be voted on by the Delaware House in early June, however, this was delayed.
As things stand the bill is set to be reintroduced in January 2022, and with the latest polling showing 61% of voters support the legalization of cannabis — it looks likely this bill will succeed.
Pennsylvania, population: 12.8 million
Currently, there are 582,000 patients in Pennsylvania who have access to medical cannabis.
A move to legalize cannabis for adult-use purposes looks to have support from both Republicans and Democrats, and in early October a bill with bipartisan support was officially introduced to the Senate.
There are currently 2 bills being worked on which would legalize cannabis for adult-use purposes, and with a recent poll showing support for legalization has reached 60% — Pennsylvania is very likely to legalize cannabis in 2022.
Maryland, population: 6.04 million
Medical cannabis is legal in Maryland, and the possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis has been decriminalized since 2014.
There have been several efforts made to legalize adult-use cannabis in Maryland since 2020, and despite losing on each occasion activists in the state have continued to pursue this legislative reform.
In July 2021 it was announced that a referendum will take place in 2022 to allow voters to decide if they would like to legalize cannabis for adult-use purposes, with recent polls showing 60% of voters are in favor of this reform.
So far, Maryland has appointed a 10-member group to establish a regulatory framework, should voters approve this measure to legalize cannabis.
Ohio, population: 11.69 million
Last, but certainly not least is Ohio.
In 2016 Ohio legalized cannabis for medical purposes, and in the time since over 100,000 patients have obtained access to medical cannabis.
There are currently three bills making progress in the state to legalize cannabis for adult-use purposes with both republicans & democrats drafting separate bills to legalize adult-use cannabis.
As things stand, there’s no definitive timeline for when voters will have the opportunity to legalize cannabis, however, it looks likely one of these bills will win the seal of approval in 2022.
Today, 18 states have legalized cannabis for adult use purposes & 36 states have legalized cannabis for medical purposes.
By the end of 2022, it seems very likely we will see 24+ states having legalized cannabis for adult-use purposes & 40+ states for medical purposes.
Legal vs Illegal Sales In California
California continues to battle the illicit market…
California is the #1 cannabis market in North America by sales.
Despite legal sales exceeding $4.4 billion USD in 2020, illicit cannabis sales also exceeded $7 billion in annual sales.
In response, California has tried to make it more difficult for companies to succeed in the illicit market.
A key focus has been destroying the cannabis plants being cultivated to supply the illicit market.
From the data the state has shared, we can see the results of this approach.
Looking at the results it’s hard to say what impact this has had on the illicit market where sales remain close to 2x the legal market.
For certain illicit producers, these types of losses are simply the cost of doing business in the illicit market.
There are bigger problems in California such as the low number of cannabis retail stores that are open.
Close to 68% of California cities have banned cannabis retail stores.
Consequently, there are roughly 2 cannabis retail stores per 100,000 people in California — one of the lowest rates in the U.S.
With an estimated 50,000 illegal cultivation sites in California today, and the state's limited resources, it’s impossible to find all of these sites.
It’s estimated that legal cannabis sales in California will exceed $7.2 billion USD in 2024, with illicit market cannabis sales falling from $8.7 billion USD in 2019 to $6.4 billion in 2024.
Given the current problems such as the limited number of stores, it’s certainly possible that California can hit these numbers if they can increase consumers’ access to legal cannabis products.
Is Youth Cannabis Consumption Falling?
A new study examines the current usage of drugs amongst the youth…
A common concern associated with the legalization of cannabis is the impact this has on people under the age of 18 consuming cannabis.
The good news is that a new study released earlier this week has highlighted the fact that during the same time several states have loosened their cannabis laws — youth cannabis consumption dropped.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health is a federally backed study.
In its latest report, it highlighted that cannabis consumption amongst people aged 12-17 dropped from 13.2% to 10.1% percent from 2019-2020.
During this same period, cannabis consumption amongst people aged 18-25 dropped from 35.4% to 34.5% in that timeframe.
A bigger trend?
The demand for cannabis isn't the only thing falling, with cigarette, vapes, and alcohol usage also falling during this period.
→ Cigarette rates dropped from 12.8% in 2019 to 9.3% in 2020.
→ Vaping rates have dropped from 27.5% in 2019 to 11.3% in 2021.
→ Consumption of alcohol fell from 26.7% in 2019 to 22.8% in 2020.
There is a consensus in the cannabis industry that we should not allow people under the age of 18 to consume THC — a position I agree with.
If there is new data available that highlights that consuming THC does not harm the development of the brain then we can change this approach, however, until then I view this as the right approach.
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