Just one year ago , hopes were high that Congress might inch toward decriminalizing cannabis or freeing the industry from regulatory mismatches. Instead, states around the country continue to legalize consumers’ use of marijuana on their own. As of December, 33 states have legalized medical marijuana and 11 have approved adult recreational use. In 2018 alone, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah, and Vermont all expanded access to the drug. While legalization efforts stalled this year in several states, more than a dozen have indicated their support for bills or ballot votes to approve recreational cannabis next year. In doing so, a few will attempt to address inequities in minority and low-income communities created by the drug’s prohibition. Here’s a look at states working to make pot legal in 2020 and at states where new laws will go into effect: Illinois Illinois passed a law last spring that legalized recreational cannabis use and will expunge criminal records for low-level offenses. It also established $30 million in low-interest loans for future cannabis entrepreneurs from areas hardest hit by the War on Drugs, according to government records. Beginning January 1, Illinois residents 21 and older can purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis flower… Read full this story
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