As a number of different states have relaxed, shifted or rewritten their laws regarding marijuana over the past few years, state policies have become more and more complex. Federal law, in contrast, has remained fairly stable, continuing to acknowledge marijuana as an illegal substance while also allowing states to come up with their own regulations. It is up to you, as a marijuana grower, product manufacturer, distributor, transporter or other business person, to know these laws and how they apply to your situation. Whether you are a certified and licensed medical marijuana seller or are just considering transitioning into the industry, here are the state policies that you will want to know.
State Laws Regarding Marijuana
Nearly half of the states in the U.S. now have state-wide regulatory procedures regarding all aspects of the marijuana business. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when considering your involvement with marijuana in a certain state:
- Has my state legalized or simply decriminalized marijuana?
- What are the laws regarding transportation and possession of marijuana in my state?
- If I am considering transporting marijuana across state lines, who are my neighboring states and what are their marijuana-related rules and regulations?
- What laws are there regarding the amounts and forms of marijuana that I am able to use, produce or sell?
- What laws are there regarding my licensing and certification as a marijuana business?Since these differ so greatly by area, it is best to contact your specific state or go through an attorney who specializes in drug and medical marijuana law to get the facts.
Examples of State Marijuana Laws
The following examples of current state laws regarding marijuana will give you a good idea of what kinds of things to look for when inquiring into the regulations in your state:
- In California, marijuana has become decriminalized, meaning that it is allowed for medical usage under certain guidelines and restrictions. Patients who have been prescribed the plant, and primary care providers who prescribe it, are permitted to grow the crop in certain amounts. Under state law, marijuana cooperatives and collectives are permitted, but must be non-profits, taxed appropriately and have special licensing and permits.
- In Colorado, marijuana is now legalized for use by those who are over the age of 21 and comply with certain restrictions. Four types of seller licensure are available to Colorado citizens who have resided in the state for at least two years, including retail, cultivation, testing and manufacturing of marijuana-related goods. Other regulations apply to dispensaries, such as having a mandatory camera that is focused on the transaction area and being located at least 1,000 feet from a school.
- In Washington state, the retail sale of marijuana is permitted, in certain amounts and forms, to adults who are over the age of 21. Enterprises that deal with marijuana must have one of three different license types, depending on whether they grow the plant, process it or sell it.
- In Hawaii, marijuana laws are still in the process of being developed. Those who are interested in applying for dispensary certifications must have no prior felony convictions and must comply with certain financial restrictions. The amount of marijuana that a dispensary is permitted to give out is limited to four ounces every 15 consecutive days or eight ounces every 30 consecutive days.
- In New York, two types of licensing possibilities are available for those interested in the production and distribution of marijuana. Production and dispensing facilities will be heavily limited and closely regulated by the state governing agents. The forms of marijuana that are allowed to be dispensed are restricted to certain types of capsules, oils and inhalants. These are just a few of the states that have issued laws regarding the production and distribution of marijuana for medical or other purposes. For more information, consult your state’s laws and keep in mind that marijuana law is changing all the time.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.