While many state-specific ballot initiatives were decided in the 2022 mid-term elections, marijuana legalization saw further progress across the nation.
Recreational marijuana initiatives passed in Maryland and Missouri, with other initiatives rejected in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota. A total of 21 states in the U.S. will now allow for the recreational use of marijuana.
Maryland Question 4: Legalization of adult use and possession of marijuana will allow for adults aged 21 and older to use, possess, and purchase marijuana on or after July 1, 2023. Maryland’s General Assembly by law must provide for the use, distribution, possession, regulation, and taxation of cannabis within the state.
Missouri Amendment 3, Marijuana Legalization Initiative legalizes the possession, consumption, use, delivery, manufacture, and sale of marijuana for personal use for adults over the age of 21, enacts a 6% tax on the retail price of marijuana, and allows individuals with certain marijuana-related offenses to petition for release from prison or parole and probation and have their records expunged.
It is worth noting that in 2012, Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, meaning that 40% of the nation has chosen to legalize recreational marijuana use within only ten years. In 2022 alone, counting these new mid-term initiatives, four states have passed recreational legalization, and interested parties will likely continue to push for further legalization across the country.
Momentum behind marijuana is unlikely to end soon, and the workers’ comp industry must continue to question how it must adapt to growing legalization. Questions of workplace safety are critical, and understanding marijuana use is more important than ever.