Cannabis Policy Topics

Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 2

Laws legalizing the cultivation, sale, or use of cannabis for other than medical purposes, together with laws imposing various prohibitions and restrictions on such practices.

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Changes Over Time for Recreational Use of Cannabis: Volume 2
Jurisdiction Date Range Recreational Use Legalized Vertical Integration Prohibited Industry Makeup Tracking System Requirements Use of Pesticides Health & Safety Warning Requirements Packaging Requirements Advertising Restrictions Public Consumption Home Delivery Open Container Citations
Youth General
AK (Alaska)
1/1/2012 - 2/23/2015    
AK (Alaska)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on February 24, 2015, by 2014 Alaska Ballot Measure No. 2. However, retail sales did not begin in Alaska until October 29, 2016, according to news reports. See, e.g., "Alaska Shop Set to Offer State's First Legal Marijuana Sales." Fortune. October 29, 2016. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from http://fortune.com/2016/10/29/alaska-legal-marijuana-sales/ .

2/24/2015 - 2/20/2016Yes Private Entities No Law NoneNoneProhibitedNo LawNo Law5 Citations
AK (Alaska)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on February 24, 2015, by 2014 Alaska Ballot Measure No. 2. However, retail sales did not begin in Alaska until October 29, 2016, according to news reports. See, e.g., "Alaska Shop Set to Offer State's First Legal Marijuana Sales." Fortune. October 29, 2016. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from http://fortune.com/2016/10/29/alaska-legal-marijuana-sales/ .

Health & Safety Warning Requirements:
Requires statement on label that ""[m]arijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming and addictive"" and "[t]here are health risks associated with marijuana."

Packaging Requirements:
Container must be resealable.

Public Consumption:
With approval from the Marijuana Control Board, a licensed retail marijuana store is authorized to permit consumption of marijuana or a marijuana product purchased on the licensed premises, in a designated area on the licensed prems."

2/21/2016 - 1/1/2018Yes Private EntitiesYesNo LawPregnancy; Breastfeeding; Child Access; Impairment of Driving; Amount of THC; OtherChild-Proof/Resistant; OtherBothBothRestrictedProhibitedNo Law15 Citations
CA (California)
1/1/2012 - 11/8/2016    
CA (California)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on November 9, 2016, by Cal. Initiative Measure Prop. 64 (2016). However, licensing authorities were not required to begin issuing licenses in California until January 1, 2018, according to Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 26012(c).

Vertical Integration Prohibited:
A “microbusiness” license allows for the cultivation of marijuana on an area less than 10,000 square feet and to act as a licensed distributor, manufacturer, and retailer.

Industry Makeup:
The Bureau shall, by January 1, 2018, investigate the feasibility of creating one or more classifications of nonprofit licenses under this section. Any local jurisdiction may issue temporary local licenses to nonprofit entities primarily providing whole-plant marijuana and marijuana products and a diversity of marijuana strains and seed stock to low-income persons.

Health & Safety Warning Requirements:
Labels on marijuana products shall state that "The intoxicating effects of marijuana products may be delayed up to two hours."

Packaging Requirements:
Marijuana products are required to: (1) Not be appealing to children or easily confused with commercially sold candy or foods that do not contain marijuana, (2) be produced and sold with a standardized dosage of cannabinoids not to exceed 10 mg of THC per serving, (3) be delineated or scored into standardized serving sizes if the product contains more than one serving and is an edible product in solid form, and (4) be homogenized to ensure uniform disbursement of cannabinoids throughout the product.

Public Consumption:
State law authorizes localities to allow on-premises consumption if certain conditions are met. APIS does not address policies established by local governments.

11/9/2016 - 6/26/2017Yes Private EntitiesYesPregnancy; Breastfeeding; Child Access; Impairment of Driving; Serving Size; Presence of Cannabis or THC; Amount of THC; OtherChild-Proof/Resistant; Dose-LimitedBothBothProhibitedAllowedProhibited14 Citations
CA (California)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on November 9, 2016, by Cal. Initiative Measure Prop. 64 (2016). However, licensing authorities were not required to begin issuing licenses in California until January 1, 2018, according to Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 26012(c).

Vertical Integration Prohibited:
A “microbusiness” license allows for the cultivation of marijuana on an area less than 10,000 square feet and to act as a licensed distributor, manufacturer, and retailer.

Industry Makeup:
The Bureau shall, by January 1, 2018, investigate the feasibility of creating one or more classifications of nonprofit licenses under this section. Any local jurisdiction may issue temporary local licenses to nonprofit entities primarily providing whole-plant marijuana and marijuana products and a diversity of marijuana strains and seed stock to low-income persons.

Health & Safety Warning Requirements:
Labels on marijuana products shall state that "The intoxicating effects of marijuana products may be delayed up to two hours."

Packaging Requirements:
Marijuana products are required to: (1) Not be appealing to children or easily confused with commercially sold candy or foods that do not contain marijuana, (2) be produced and sold with a standardized dosage of cannabinoids not to exceed 10 mg of THC per serving, (3) be delineated or scored into standardized serving sizes if the product contains more than one serving and is an edible product in solid form, and (4) be homogenized to ensure uniform disbursement of cannabinoids throughout the product. If the product is an edible product, the package shall be opaque.

Public Consumption:
State law authorizes localities to allow on-premises consumption if certain conditions are met. APIS does not address policies established by local governments.

6/27/2017 - 12/6/2017Yes Private EntitiesYesTesting RequiredPregnancy; Breastfeeding; Child Access; Impairment of Driving; Serving Size; Presence of Cannabis or THC; Amount of THC; OtherChild-Proof/Resistant; Tamper-Evident; Dose-LimitedBothBothProhibitedAllowedProhibited16 Citations
CA (California)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on November 9, 2016, by Cal. Initiative Measure Prop. 64 (2016). However, licensing authorities were not required to begin issuing licenses in California until January 1, 2018, according to Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 26012(c).

Vertical Integration Prohibited:
A “microbusiness” license allows for the cultivation of marijuana on an area less than 10,000 square feet and to act as a licensed distributor, manufacturer, and retailer.

Industry Makeup:
The Bureau shall, by January 1, 2018, investigate the feasibility of creating one or more classifications of nonprofit licenses under this section. Any local jurisdiction may issue temporary local licenses to nonprofit entities primarily providing whole-plant marijuana and marijuana products and a diversity of marijuana strains and seed stock to low-income persons.

Health & Safety Warning Requirements:
Labels on marijuana products shall state that "The intoxicating effects of marijuana products may be delayed up to two hours."

Packaging Requirements:
Marijuana products are required to: (1) Not be appealing to children or easily confused with commercially sold candy or foods that do not contain marijuana, (2) be produced and sold with a standardized dosage of cannabinoids not to exceed 10 mg of THC per serving, (3) be delineated or scored into standardized serving sizes if the product contains more than one serving and is an edible product in solid form, and (4) be homogenized to ensure uniform disbursement of cannabinoids throughout the product. If the product is an edible product, the package shall be opaque.

Public Consumption:
State law authorizes localities to allow on-premises consumption if certain conditions are met. APIS does not address policies established by local governments.

12/7/2017 - 1/1/2018Yes Private EntitiesYesRestricted; Testing Required Pregnancy; Breastfeeding; Child Access; Impairment of Driving; Serving Size; Presence of Cannabis or THC; Amount of THC; OtherChild-Proof/Resistant; Tamper-Evident; Dose-Limited; OtherBothBothProhibitedAllowedProhibited17 Citations
CO (Colorado)
1/1/2012 - 12/9/2012    
CO (Colorado)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on December 10, 2012, by 2012 Colo. Legis. Serv. Init. Pet. 30. However, retail sales did not begin in Colorado until January 1, 2014. See Colorado Department of Public Safety. Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Early Findings, A Report Pursuant to Senate Bill 13-283. March 2016, p. 17. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from https://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/ors/docs/reports/2016-SB13-283-Rpt.pdf .

Vertical Integration Prohibited:
A retail marijuana store or a marijuana products manufacturer may cultivate its own retail marijuana if it obtains a retail marijuana cultivation facility license. (Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 12-43.4-402, 404.)

Open Container:
Colorado’s open container prohibition requires “evidence that marijuana has been consumed within the motor vehicle.” APIS does not include laws with such restrictions for purposes of this variable.

12/10/2012 - 5/27/2013Yes  No LawNoneNoneProhibitedNo LawNo Law3 Citations
CO (Colorado)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on December 10, 2012, by 2012 Colo. Legis. Serv. Init. Pet. 30. However, retail sales did not begin in Colorado until January 1, 2014. See Colorado Department of Public Safety. Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Early Findings, A Report Pursuant to Senate Bill 13-283. March 2016, p. 17. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from https://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/ors/docs/reports/2016-SB13-283-Rpt.pdf .

Vertical Integration Prohibited:
A retail marijuana store or a marijuana products manufacturer may cultivate its own retail marijuana if it obtains a retail marijuana cultivation facility license. (Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 12-43.4-402, 404.)

Open Container:
Colorado’s open container prohibition requires “evidence that marijuana has been consumed within the motor vehicle.” APIS does not include laws with such restrictions for purposes of this variable.

5/28/2013 - 10/14/2013Yes Private EntitiesYesNo Law NoneNoneProhibited ProhibitedNo Law38 Citations
CO (Colorado)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on December 10, 2012, by 2012 Colo. Legis. Serv. Init. Pet. 30. However, retail sales did not begin in Colorado until January 1, 2014. See Colorado Department of Public Safety. Marijuana Legalization in Colorado: Early Findings, A Report Pursuant to Senate Bill 13-283. March 2016, p. 17. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from https://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/ors/docs/reports/2016-SB13-283-Rpt.pdf .

Vertical Integration Prohibited:
A retail marijuana store or a marijuana products manufacturer may cultivate its own retail marijuana if it obtains a retail marijuana cultivation facility license. (Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 12-43.4-402, 404.)

Packaging Requirements:
A multi-serving liquid must: (1) be packaged in a structure that uses a single mechanism to achieve both child-resistance and accurate pouring measurement of each liquid serving in increments equal to or less than 10 mg of active THC per serving, with no more than 100 mg of active THC total per package; and (2) the measurement component is within the child-resistant cap or closure of the bottle and is not a separate component.

Open Container:
Colorado’s open container prohibition requires “evidence that marijuana has been consumed within the motor vehicle.” APIS does not include laws with such restrictions for purposes of this variable.

10/15/2013 - 1/1/2018Yes Private EntitiesYesRestrictedPregnancy; Breastfeeding; Child Access; Impairment of Driving; Serving Size; Presence of Cannabis or THC; Amount of THCChild-Proof; Dose-Limited BothBothProhibitedProhibitedNo Law39 Citations
DC (District of Columbia)
1/1/2012 - 2/25/2015    
DC (District of Columbia)
2/26/2015 - 1/1/2018Yes   Prohibited11 Citations
ME (Maine)
1/1/2012 - 1/29/2017    
ME (Maine)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on January 30, 2017. However, as of January 1, 2018, retail sales had not yet begun in Maine.

Vertical Integration Prohibited:
An applicant may be granted more than one type of license, except that a person licensed as a retail marijuana testing facility may not hold any other retail marijuana establishment license.

Public Consumption:
The Marijuana Legalization Act provides for a "retail marijuana social club license," which is an entity licensed to sell retail marijuana and retail marijuana products to consumers for consumption on the licensed premises; however, no retail licenses have been issued as of January 1, 2018. See Me. Stat. Ann. tit. 7, § 2448.

1/30/2017 - 1/1/2018Yes Private EntitiesYesTesting RequiredServing Size; Presence of Cannabis or THC; Amount of THCNoneNoneRestrictedNo LawNo Law8 Citations
MA (Massachusetts)
1/1/2012 - 12/14/2016    
MA (Massachusetts)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on December 15, 2016, by 2016 Mass. Ballot Measure Question 4. However, as of January 1, 2018, retail sales had not yet begun in Massachusetts.

Public Consumption:
State law authorizes localities to allow on-premises consumption by municipal initiative. APIS does not address policies established by local governments.

12/15/2016 - 7/27/2017Yes Private Entities  No LawNoneNoneProhibitedNo LawProhibited3 Citations
MA (Massachusetts)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on December 15, 2016, by 2016 Mass. Ballot Measure Question 4. However, as of January 1, 2018, retail sales had not yet begun in Massachusetts.

Public Consumption:
State law authorizes localities to allow on-premises consumption by municipal initiative. APIS does not address policies established by local governments.

7/28/2017 - 1/1/2018Yes Private Entities  Testing RequiredNoneNoneProhibitedNo LawProhibited6 Citations
NV (Nevada)
1/1/2012 - 12/31/2016    
NV (Nevada)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on January 1, 2017, by 2016 Nevada Initiative Petition, Ballot Question No. 2. However, retail sales did not begin in Nevada until July 1, 2017, according to news reports. See, e.g., Lochhead, C. “Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales.” Las Vegas Review-Journal. September 28, 2017. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/pot-news/nevada-has-massive-first-month-of-marijuana-sales/ .

1/1/2017 - 5/7/2017Yes Private Entities No LawNoneNoneProhibitedNo LawNo Law9 Citations
NV (Nevada)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on January 1, 2017, by 2016 Nevada Initiative Petition, Ballot Question No. 2. However, retail sales did not begin in Nevada until July 1, 2017, according to news reports. See, e.g., Lochhead, C. “Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales.” Las Vegas Review-Journal. September 28, 2017. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/pot-news/nevada-has-massive-first-month-of-marijuana-sales/ .

Home Delivery:
Before transportation, retail marijunana store agent must confirm verbally with consumer by telephone that consumer is 21 years of age or older and ordered marijuana or marijuana products and verify the identity of the consumer; then, enter details of confirmation in a log which must be available for inspection by law enforcement agency and by Department.

5/8/2017 - 6/25/2017Yes Private Entities No LawNoneNoneProhibitedAllowed with RestrictionsNo Law10 Citations
NV (Nevada)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on January 1, 2017, by 2016 Nevada Initiative Petition, Ballot Question No. 2. However, retail sales did not begin in Nevada until July 1, 2017, according to news reports. See, e.g., Lochhead, C. “Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales.” Las Vegas Review-Journal. September 28, 2017. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/pot-news/nevada-has-massive-first-month-of-marijuana-sales/ .

Home Delivery:
Before transportation, retail marijunana store agent must confirm verbally with consumer by telephone that consumer is 21 years of age or older and ordered marijuana or marijuana products and verify the identity of the consumer; then, enter details of confirmation in a log which must be available for inspection by law enforcement agency and by Department.

Health & Safety Warning Requirements:
Nevada requires that retail cannabis stores include a written notification with each sale of product which advises the purchaser, "That the intoxicating effects of marijuana products may be delayed by 2 hours or more and users of marijuana products should initially ingest a small amount of the product containing no more than 10 milligrams of THC, then wait at least 2 hours before ingesting any additional amount of the product."

6/26/2017 - 6/30/2017Yes Private Entities No LawPregnancy; Child Access; Impairment of Driving; Serving Size; Presence of Cannabis or THC; Amount of THC; OtherChild-Proof/Resistant; Dose-LimitedBothBothProhibitedAllowed with RestrictionsNo Law11 Citations
NV (Nevada)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on January 1, 2017, by 2016 Nevada Initiative Petition, Ballot Question No. 2. However, retail sales did not begin in Nevada until July 1, 2017, according to news reports. See, e.g., Lochhead, C. “Nevada has massive first month of marijuana sales.” Las Vegas Review-Journal. September 28, 2017. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/pot-news/nevada-has-massive-first-month-of-marijuana-sales/ .

Home Delivery:
Before transportation, retail marijunana store agent must confirm verbally with consumer by telephone that consumer is 21 years of age or older and ordered marijuana or marijuana products and verify the identity of the consumer; then, enter details of confirmation in a log which must be available for inspection by law enforcement agency and by Department.

Health & Safety Warning Requirements:
Nevada requires that retail cannabis stores include a written notification with each sale of product which advises the purchaser, "That the intoxicating effects of marijuana products may be delayed by 2 hours or more and users of marijuana products should initially ingest a small amount of the product containing no more than 10 milligrams of THC, then wait at least 2 hours before ingesting any additional amount of the product."

7/1/2017 - 1/1/2018Yes Private Entities RestrictedPregnancy; Child Access; Impairment of Driving; Serving Size; Presence of Cannabis or THC; Amount of THC; OtherChild-Proof/Resistant; Dose-LimitedBothBothProhibitedAllowed with RestrictionsNo Law12 Citations
OR (Oregon)
1/1/2012 - 6/30/2015    
OR (Oregon)

Vertical Integration:
In Oregon, the same person may hold one or more production licenses, one or more processor licenses, one or more wholesale licenses, and one or more retail licenses.

Packaging Requirements:
Packaging must not be attractive to minors (O.R.S. 475B.615). Licensees may not use a mark or label on the container of a marijuana item if the container does not clearly indicate the nature of the container's contents or if the mark or label in any way might deceive a customer as to the nature, composition, quantity, age or quality of the marijuana item (O.R.S. § 475B.190).

7/1/2015 - 12/31/2015Yes Private EntitiesYesNo LawOtherProhibitedAllowed with RestrictionsNo Law6 Citations
OR (Oregon)

Vertical Integration:
In Oregon, the same person may hold one or more production licenses, one or more processor licenses, one or more wholesale licenses, and one or more retail licenses.

Packaging Requirements:
Packaging must not be attractive to minors (O.R.S. 475B.615). Licensees may not use a mark or label on the container of a marijuana item if the container does not clearly indicate the nature of the container's contents or if the mark or label in any way might deceive a customer as to the nature, composition, quantity, age or quality of the marijuana item (O.R.S. § 475B.190).

1/1/2016 - 1/1/2018Yes Private EntitiesYesNo LawChild-Proof/Resistant;OtherBothBothProhibitedAllowed with RestrictionsNo Law17 Citations
VT (Vermont)

As of January 1, 2018, House Bill 511 had not yet taken effect. For more information, see Recently Adopted Cannabis Laws at https://alcoholpolicy.niaaa.nih.gov/recently-adopted-cannabis-laws .

1/1/2012 - 1/1/2018    
WA (Washington)
1/1/2012 - 12/5/2012    
WA (Washington)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on December 6, 2012, by 2012 Wash. Initiative Measure No. 502. However, retail sales did not begin in Washington until July 8, 2014, according to news reports. See, e.g., Johnson, K. "Sales of Recreational Marijuana Begin in Washington State." The New York Times. July 8, 2014. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/us/washington-to-begin-sales-of-recreational-marijuana.html .

12/6/2012 - 11/20/2013Yes Private Entities Testing RequiredPlacementPlacementProhibitedNo LawNo Law6 Citations
WA (Washington)

Recreational Use Legalized:
The creation of a licensing system governing retail sales was mandated on December 6, 2012, by 2012 Wash. Initiative Measure No. 502. However, retail sales did not begin in Washington until July 8, 2014, according to news reports. See, e.g., Johnson, K. "Sales of Recreational Marijuana Begin in Washington State." The New York Times. July 8, 2014. Retrieved on 12/14/2017 from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/09/us/washington-to-begin-sales-of-recreational-marijuana.html .

Health & Safety Warning Requirements:
Additional warnings include: that product has intoxicating effects (which for edibles may be delayed by two or more hours) and may be habit forming; that smoking is hazardous to health; and that health risks may be associated with consumption of the product. A statement disclosing all pesticides applied to the marijuana plants and growing medium during production and processing is also required.

Packaging Requirements:
Child-Proof/Resistant only applies to marijuana-infused products and concentrates.

11/21/2013 - 9/25/2015Yes Private EntitiesYesRestricted; Testing RequiredPregnancy; Breastfeeding; Child Access; Impairment of Driving; Presence of Cannabis or THC; Amount of THC; OtherChild-Proof/Resistant BothBothProhibitedProhibitedNo Law10 Citations
WA (Washington)

Health & Safety Warning Requirements:
Additional warnings include: that product has intoxicating effects (which for edibles may be delayed by two or more hours) and may be habit forming; that smoking is hazardous to health; and that health risks may be associated with consumption of the product. A statement disclosing all pesticides applied to the marijuana plants and growing medium during production and processing is also required.

Packaging Requirements:
Child-Proof/Resistant only applies to marijuana-infused products and concentrates. Dose-Limited only applies to marijuana-infused solid edibles.

9/26/2015 - 1/1/2018Yes Private EntitiesYesRestricted; Testing RequiredPregnancy; Breastfeeding; Child Access; Impairment of Driving; Presence of Cannabis or THC; Amount of THC; OtherChild-Proof/Resistant; Dose-LimitedBothBothProhibitedProhibitedProhibited15 Citations