Cannabis in the Midwest
The cannabis industry is one the most revolutionary industries since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. Today, the cannabis industry is projected to shatter a few hundred billion by the end of the decade. The cannabis economy of the United States plays a major role in these projections. As of 2021, more than ⅔ of the United States has implemented some form of pro-cannabis legislation. Last year, there were 5 states added to that list. However, there is a vast disparity and lack of accessibility to cannabis in the Midwest region. Despite this, economists believe the Midwest will go green sooner than later.
Current cannabis climate in the Midwest
As aforementioned, the cannabis market in the midwest is minor compared to the west coast. There are only a few states that allow some form of adult cannabis consumption. Moreover, some of these locales are fairly new regarding operation and compliance. Let’s take a look at a few of these states.
Michigan legalized both medical and recreational use of cannabis not that long ago. Dispensaries providing recreational cannabis for adults 21 and up did not begin operating until December of 2019. However, Michigan has been gaining a fair amount of traction regarding cannabis sales and consumer appeal. The cannabis market of Michigan has become somewhat of a pioneer for the recreational market in the Midwest.
If Michigan is the pioneer of recreational cannabis in the midwest, then Illinois has to be the trailblazer of the industry in the midwest. Illinois originally only offered medical cannabis to qualifying patients with a very scrutinized list of qualifying ailments. It was not until January of 2020 that the state would begin offering recreational cannabis. In September of the same year, the market shattered a record by grossing over $100 million in just one month of sales. Canna-economists expect Illinois to continue to pay the way in sales. The state has become an attractive hub for adults seeking recreational cannabis.
Did you know that Ohio has access to medical cannabis? Moreover, it was one of the pioneering states to attempt to decriminalize minor amounts of cannabis in the state during the 1970s. However, Ohio does not provide recreational access to cannabis, unlike Illinois and Michigan. It is believed as the medical cannabis program gains more traction in Ohio, lawmakers will become more susceptible to the recreational access of cannabis for residents of the Buckeye State.
Similar to Ohio, Iowa has medical access to cannabis for its residents. However, the program is currently not that favorable for patients seeking access to cannabis. Iowa medical cannabis program strictly provides capsules and tinctures infused with cannabinoids. Their medical program does not provide traditional cannabis. This is a joke that most citizens have spoken out about. Expect the medical cannabis program of Iowa to be revamped before any advancements regarding recreational cannabis to be made.
Missouri is a state similar to Iowa and Ohio that currently only offers medical access to cannabis. The state began providing medical cannabis to qualifying patients in 2019 thanks to an amendment passed the year prior. However, the list of qualifying health conditions for medical access to cannabis is a joke. Cannabis advocates are looking to reform the medical program in 2021.
Projected timeline cannabis in the Midwest
The Midwest is slowly but surely becoming the second-most popular market for cannabis aside from the dominating west coast. The increased levels of accessibility have shown all-around promise for the cannabis industry. However, there is work to be done regarding regulation, accessibility, and compliance for the cannabis economy of the Midwest. States such as Michigan and Illinois are off to a great start while Ohio, Iowa, and Missouri have work to do. Moreover, states such as Indiana, Wisconsin, and Kentucky are dragging their feet regarding pro-cannabis legislation altogether. However, these states are projected to join the party within the next 5-7 years.