Exploring the Cannabis Enforcement Phase

New Normals:

Exploring the cannabis enforcement phase across the United States of 2020 and 2021

2020 saw a mass expansion within the cannabis industry for a handful of states. These states are New Jersey, Montana, South Dakota, Vermont, and Arizona. Some of these states offered some form of accessibility to cannabis, and the others are completely new to becoming a ‘green state.’ As great as this is for cannabis companies and patients in these markets, the next step is to ensure a high level of compliance for both parties. This is known as the ‘enforcement phase.’ Let’s take a look at what these newly-legal states can expect within the next year or two.

Projections for enforcement in Vermont in ’21

Vermont is one of the handful of states that passed pro-cannabis legislation in 2020. Prior to the legislation, Vermont strictly offered medical cannabis for residents who suffered from a very short list of adverse health effects. Now, adults who are 21 years or older who possess a valid ID will have access to recreational cannabis. Before this, only residents who possessed an MMJ could obtain approximately a maximum of 2 ounces of cannabis and 14 grams of cannabis concentrates within a 14-day window. Recreational sales are currently not available but is effectively legal. This means that recreational consumers have time to comply with the laws surrounding recreational weed. Companies also have time to structure business operations that are in sound compliance with the new legislation. 

Enforcement happenings in Montana

One of the states that shocked the cannabis community was Montana, passing legislation that supports the legalization of cannabis throughout the state. Unlike Vermont, Montana did not have any pro-cannabis laws on its books. This means that compliance and enforcement will be completely new for all parties, from the legal big wigs and law enforcement to the cannabis companies and recreational Montanan stoner. The Treasure State will not provide legal access to cannabis until early 2022. However, Big Sky County can safely become ‘Big High Country’ as possession and consumption of cannabis by adults 21 or older will be completely legal. 

South Dakota welcomes weed with open arms

2020 has South Dakota go against the grain all year long; earlier this year, South Dakota was the only state to decline President Donald Trump’s unemployment boost. South Dakota also became the first state in history to legalize recreational cannabis and medical cannabis during the same legislative season. The new laws state that recreational cannabis will be legalized by July 1, 2021. However, South Dakota does not expect to provide cannabis until Q2 2022 to ensure compliance. Many stoners believe that South Dakota is finally attempting to separate itself from the Dakotas’ colloquial grouping. The Mount Rushmore state is about to get a bit more higher.

New Jersey ups the ante with recreational cannabis

It is not a shock to see a state such as New Jersey legalize recreational cannabis. A popular theory suggests that states with favorable gambling laws are more likely to decriminalize or legalize cannabis. New Jersey has reinforced the theory this year. Moreover, it became the first state to do so near the Mid-Atlantic seaboard. Although there is currently no definitive date when the pro-cannabis laws will be in effect, residents of the Garden State are hopeful they can consciously add something new to their gardens by the middle of 2021. State officials will use this time to figure out a path to regulation and compliance. 

Arizona’s projected road to cannabis compliance

The last state making headlines in the elevated community is a state that was expected to legalize recreational cannabis a few years ago. Recreational cannabis laws were only a few votes short of being passed in 2016.  Now, Arizonans who do not have access to medical cannabis will be able to indulge in recreational cannabis. Compliance should not take as long as the other states as Arizona’s knows a ton regarding cannabis regulation a lá medicinal cannabis.

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