In 1996, California became the first state in the US to legalize medical marijuana. Since then, many states have made great strides in legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana, however, what products are legal in each state varies widely. While some places like California offer many types of THC-based psychoactive products to users over the age of 21, other states like Oklahoma and Pennsylvania only permit the use of medical marijuana through licensed cannabis dispensaries. Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states and medical marijuana is legal in 33, with states like New York and Minnesota expected to go fully legal in the near future. In this article, read up on the current state of cannabis legalization in the US.
Legalized Medical Marijuana
The legalization of cannabis in the US has seen great support, especially among individuals suffering from chronic illnesses. Medical marijuana is being prescribed for a wide range of health problems. It has been found to provide relief from nausea associated with chemotherapy, eases pain from muscle spasms, and can boost immune function, digestive function, and vascular health.
While the use of medical marijuana has become widespread, there are still some problems pertaining to the regulating, dispensing, and registration of approved patients.
Most states with medical marijuana laws have some type of patient registry which provides protection against arrest for possession up to the legal limit of cannabis for personal use. Some medical cannabis growers and dispensaries are also limited to how many plants or products they can offer per patient.
The marijuana industry is not just big business for growers and dispensaries. Many states are seeing major increases in tax revenue since legalizing marijuana. In fact, Nevada has earned almost $20 million in marijuana tax revenue since the market first launched. Changes are also happening in the criminal justice system as countless records of previous marijuana convictions are being expunged.
Legalized Recreational Marijuana
While marijuana remains illegal under federal law, even in states that have legalized it, the push towards recreational marijuana use is gaining traction. Marijuana is now legal for both medicinal and recreational use in Alaska, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
Except for Vermont, all of these states use a commercialization model in which private businesses sell the drug for profit. Like medical marijuana, there are also restrictions on sales. The age requirement to purchase and use recreational marijuana is 21-plus. There are also limits to how much a person can buy and possess at a time.
In the past year, much has changed regarding the legalization of cannabis in the US. Michigan recently became the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana and Oklahoma, Missouri, and Utah put in a vote to make medical marijuana legal. In the last year, Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana possessions through its legislature.
In December, President Donald Trump also signed a bill which legalized hemp which has become a popular source of CBD-based products. New York, Minnesota, Illinois, New Mexico, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Hampshire are the next states expected to go fully legal.
Importance of Cannabis Insurance
If you are involved in the cannabis industry as a cultivator or dispensary, it is important to keep your business protected from certain legal risks. Cannabis insurance consists of several policies designed to safeguard businesses in the marijuana business from unexpected events like product liability, equipment breakdown, crime, and loss of income.
While the growing and selling of cannabis has become more mainstream in recent years, many standard insurance companies still do not offer insurance coverage to those involved in this industry.
Acquiring cannabis insurance from a trusted insurance provider can be beneficial for many reasons. First, cannabis insurance can provide coverage for one of the most common issues found in the cannabis industry – product liability. Due to the nature of the product, product claims are common and are not likely to decline anytime soon.
If you wish to stay ahead in this rapidly-evolving market, it is vital to be proactive in managing your risks. Choose from a wide range of policies to protect your company from claims, such as general liability insurance, commercial automobile insurance, cyber liability insurance, employee benefits insurance, and property insurance.
Learn More About Cannabis Insurance
According to a recent Gallup poll, approximately 66 percent of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana. As support for legalizing cannabis has grown by leaps and bounds, lawmakers are taking notice. Legislatures have approved several major marijuana policy reforms in the last year and states like New Mexico, Hawaii, and North Dakota have signed decriminalization bills. However, these changes do not eliminate the various risks of working in the cannabis industry. If you are involved or are considering getting involved in the growing or selling of cannabis, take the necessary steps to protect your interests. For more information about cannabis insurance, contact the cannabis insurance brokers at MFE Insurance.