Recently, Illinois was unofficially named the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana. There is no set timeline laid out, but Gov. Pritzker does intend to sign the bill. So, it is merely a formality that Illinois takes a seat as a recreationally legal state. The House Bill is set to allow the adult use of cannabis by January 1st, 2020. It is still mind-blowing that 2020 is just six months away. The Land of Lincoln is probably very excited for the upcoming year as well as a number of other states. Now, the question is “who is next on the list”?
What States Are Completely Legalized
As of right now, these are the states that have officially given the “go” for recreational marijuana: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, Alaska, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, and of course Washington D.C.
What’s Happening In These States?
Marijuana sales are taxed depending on how much THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, the product contains. According to the bill, about 10% of sale taxes will be taken on marijuana produces that contain less than 35%. Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, is considered a psychoactive cannabinoid and is what gets an individual high when consumed or smoked. Products with a higher dose of THC will be taxed higher around 25%. At the same time, there will be state and other taxes applied to the consumers as well. For Illinois, Gov. Pritzker expects to collect $170 million in 2020, which will go towards unfunded programs, projects, etc.
Most importantly, House Bill 1438 will help individuals, including 770,000 Illinois residents, convicted of small processions of cannabis associated with nonviolent offenses, according to ABC News.
New Jersey and New York
Now, the real question is who is next to legalize cannabis. People speculate that New Jersey and New York will maybe be the next states by 2020. However, both have had problems with creating a well-written legislation that everyone agrees on. New Jersey was so close to becoming a legal state with the lead of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. Sadly, everything fell apart when Republican lawmakers refused to support the legislation and some Democrats arguing over the social aspect of the bill.
New York is also in the same boat with lawmakers in disagreement about social issues.
No need to completely lose hope because both states are still on the right track to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in 2020.
The Buckeye State initiated the possibility in 2019 but is still under review. Currently, they are trying to put the Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative in November’s 2019 ballot, which five months away. Officials are still reviewing that request. The initiative is similar to Illinois’s legislation with the purchase of cannabis being allowed for adults ages 21 and up, which includes the various taxes.
The reason why Ohio has a better chance to legalize cannabis is because of the support of the American people at the state or federal level. If the initiative does make it to the public ballots than it has a better chance of being approved. It is not guaranteed, of course, nothing in this matter is.
Arizona and Florida
2020 will mostly be the year for both Arizona and Florida. Arizona took a shot at legalizing marijuana in 2016 but failed by just 2% points. Over the past few years, the support for the plant has increased nationwide and that has helped a number of states, including California and Oregon. The Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative would legalize the possession, consumption, cultivation, and sale of marijuana for adults who are at least 18 years of age. To get on the 2020 ballot, it requires close to 238,000 signatures of residents. If everything goes as planned then there will be a good chance it is approved in November 2020.
Florida has had a lot of success with their medical marijuana industry that it makes sense that it will be approved to be on the 2020 ballot and possibly approved to legalize the recreational use of the plant later on. Arizona has a better chance than Florida. However, the Sunshine State has a number of cannabis support groups that intend to focus on the legalization in 2020.