Cannabis Policy Topics

Recreational Use of Cannabis

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.

Policy Topics

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Variables: Recreational Use of Cannabis

1.  Recreational Use Legalized

A check mark appears in the Recreational Use Legalized column if the jurisdiction has legalized the purchase, possession, or consumption of cannabis for recreational use by an adult resident.

 

2.  Regulatory Agency

Displays the name of the agency or agencies with authority to regulate recreational cannabis in that jurisdiction, as specified in the relevant statutes or regulations.

If the makeup of the agency is specified in the relevant law, this information is included in a row or jurisdiction note.

 

3.  Products Permitted

Displays the types of products permitted for recreational use in the jurisdiction, as identified in the relevant statutes or regulations.  The alternatives are:

  • Herbal
  • Edibles & Infused Products
  • Tinctures
  • Concentrates
  • Other

If the jurisdiction sets a potency limit specific to one or more product types, this information is included in a row or jurisdiction note.

 

4.  Cultivation Restrictions

Displays the maximum amount of recreational cannabis that commercial cultivators are allowed to cultivate per license. If the jurisdiction imposes a range of cultivation limits based on different license types, this range is indicated in the column and a row note directs researchers to the relevant citations for further detail.

 

5.  Retail Sales

A.  On-Premises:  Indicates whether the jurisdiction provides for retail recreational cannabis sales for on-premises consumption.  The alternatives are:

  • Yes – License Required
  • Yes – License Not Required
  • No

B.  Off-Premises:  Indicates whether the jurisdiction provides for retail recreational cannabis sales for off-premises consumption.  The alternatives are:

  • Yes – License Required
  • Yes – License Not Required
  • No

If the jurisdiction imposes limits on the number of retail licenses granted (per State or per individual), this information is included in a row or jurisdiction note.  If these limitations are based on particular establishment types, the row or jurisdiction note will include this information as well.

Note: Some Recreational Use of Cannabis laws have different effective dates for various provisions. For example, the date establishing a licensing system for the cultivation, testing, manufacturing, processing, distribution, transportation, and retail sale of recreational cannabis may be a year or more earlier than the date when recreational cannabis may lawfully be sold to the public. If significant terms of a State's policy become effective on one date, even though full implementation or enforcement is not effective until a later date, the earlier date is displayed in the comparison tables. In such cases, a Row Note is included to indicate the date when the program is to be fully implemented and enforceable.

 

6.  Pricing Controls Imposed

A checkmark indicates that the jurisdiction imposes one or more restrictions on the pricing practices of those engaged in selling recreational cannabis.

Row or jurisdiction notes are used to indicate the details of any such restrictions.

 

7.  Tax Imposed

Indicates the rate of tax imposed by the jurisdiction on recreational cannabis sales or transfers, as well as the transaction level at which the tax is imposed.

Row or jurisdiction notes are used to indicate whether or not the State’s general sales tax applies to recreational cannabis sales, as well as the rate of that general sales tax.

 

8.  Underage Prohibitions

Displays prohibitions specified by the jurisdiction with respect to cannabis and persons under 21 years of age.  The alternatives are:

  • Purchase
  • Possession
  • Consumption
  • Furnishing

A jurisdiction is classified as prohibiting underage Purchase if the law prohibits either actual or attempted purchase.

This review addresses only prohibitions that are specific to "minors" or persons under age 21.  If the jurisdiction specifies an age less than 21 to which a prohibition applies (for example a prohibition that applies only to persons under 18 years of age), this information is provided in a row or jurisdiction note.

If the jurisdiction specifies a particular knowledge standard or knowledge threshold that must apply to establish a violation with respect to furnishing to an underage person, this information is also included in a row or jurisdiction note.

 

9.  Impaired Driving Prohibitions

Indicates whether the jurisdiction prohibits driving while under the influence of cannabis, together with any specified THC limit, as well as the evidentiary standard associated with that THC limit.

THC, or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, is commonly measured in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) of a person's whole blood.  Some jurisdictions impose legal limits on the amount of THC that a driver may permissibly have in his or her bloodstream, and prohibit operating a motor vehicle with a THC concentration at or above that amount.

In some jurisdictions that impose a THC limit, a per se evidentiary standard applies in prosecutions for violating the legal limit; other jurisdictions with these limits do not apply a per se evidentiary standard.

"Per se" is a Latin phrase meaning "by itself" or “in itself.”  In a jurisdiction that imposes a 5 ng/mL THC limit and applies a per se evidentiary standard, a THC measurement at or above 5 ng/mL is sufficient in itself and no other evidence is required to establish a violation.  By contrast, in a jurisdiction that imposes a 5 ng/mL THC limit but does not apply a per se evidentiary standard, a THC measurement at or above 5 ng/mL may be considered as evidence of the driver’s impairment and may be used to support an inference that a violation has occurred, but the inference is only a “permissive” or discretionary one.  It is not required from the mere fact that the THC limit has been exceeded, as would be the case in a jurisdiction applying a per se standard.

Prohibitions applicable to adults and youths (persons under 21 years of age) are displayed separately.  With respect to youths, this review addresses only prohibitions that are specific to "minors" or persons under age 21.  If the jurisdiction specifies an age less than 21 to which a prohibition applies (for example, a prohibition that applies only to persons under 18 years of age), this information is provided in a row or jurisdiction note.

 

10.  Local Authority

State law may permit local jurisdictions to opt out of a State-wide system governing recreational cannabis activities, or State law may permit localities to impose requirements that differ in certain respects from those provided by State law.

The coding in this column indicates the extent of the authority conferred on localities to act with respect to recreational cannabis within their borders.  The alternatives are:

  • Local Option:  Localities are authorized to opt out of the State-wide system, for example by banning retail recreational cannabis outlets in their jurisdictions
  • Local Control:  Localities remaining in the State system are authorized to regulate recreational cannabis operations within their borders, for example by imposing additional time, place, and manner restrictions through local zoning regulations
  • Both:  Local option and local control are both authorized in the jurisdiction
  • None (blank):  Neither local option nor local control are specifically authorized in the jurisdiction