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Recently Adopted Cannabis Legalization Laws

Certain States may have adopted laws legalizing the recreational use of cannabis since the effective date of the most recent comprehensive update to the policy information on this website.  We have summarized these laws below for the benefit of researchers who wish to keep abreast of these developments.  Links to these laws and related information are included.



Question 4, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment, appeared on the ballot in Maryland as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment on November 8, 2022. Maryland voters approved the measure, and the amendment is to go into effect on July 1, 2023.

Under the new law, beginning on July 1, 2023, adults 21 or older may possess and consume up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower, 12 grams of concentrated cannabis, or a total amount of cannabis products that does not exceed 750 mg THC. This amount is known as the "personal use amount."

The law also:

  • Establishes a process for expunging all cases in which possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis is the only charge, along with additional expungement provisions.
  • Increases the amount of cannabis a person may possess that is subject to a civil fine rather than criminal penalty from 10 grams to 2.5 ounces (effective January 1, 2023).
  • Requires data collection and studies on cannabis use, impaired driving, and other health and safety issues.
  • Establishes a new Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council, which must study and make recommendations regarding cannabis regulation to the General Assembly.
  • Creates three new funds: (1) a public health fund to address health effects related to legalizing adult cannabis use; (2) a business assistance fund to increase participation in the cannabis industry by small, minority and women-owned businesses; and (3) a community reinvestment and repair fund, which provides monies to communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition and enforcement.

For more information, see:



On November 8, 2022, Missouri voters approved Amendment 3, the “Constitutional Amendment to Article XIV, Relating to Marijuana Use and Expunging Cannabis-Related Criminal Records.”

The amendment includes provisions for:

  • Lawful personal use by persons at least 21 years of age.
  • Licensing of cultivation, manufacturing, dispensary, and microbusiness facilities.
  • Certification of and standards for testing facilities.
  • A 6 percent tax on the retail price of marijuana to fund various programs.
  • Limited residential cultivation by adults, pursuant to annual registration.
  • Termination of sentences and expungement of government records for applicable marijuana offenses.

The amendment provides for local control, and for protection of contract rights and ancillary businesses. The law also includes requirements governing product manufacturing, packaging, and labelling.

By its terms, the amendment is to take effect 30 days after the election. The Department of Health and Senior Services is to make license application forms and instructions available to the public within 180 days of the amendment’s effective date.

For more information, see:


Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Cannabis Act was passed by the General Assembly on May 24, 2022, and signed into law by Governor Daniel McKee the following day.

The legislation allows for the legal sale and possession of up to 1 ounce of cannabis for persons 21 or older, with no more than 10 ounces for personal use kept in a primary residence. It also allows residents to grow a small amount of cannabis at home.

Under the bill, a three-member Cannabis Control Commission will be appointed by the governor with input from the Speaker of the House and approval from the Senate. That commission will be assisted by a Cannabis Advisory Board and the existing administrative Office of Cannabis Regulation within the Department of Business Regulation. That office will handle the transition to legal recreational use, including issuing hybrid licensing to existing compassion centers and cultivators.

The law provides for expungement of previous convictions for cannabis possession by July 1, 2024, and for legalized adult recreational sales to begin December 1, 2022.

The law establishes a 10 percent state cannabis excise tax that will be imposed in addition to the 7 percent sales tax, plus a 3 percent local tax for the municipality where the sale takes place.

Municipalities are allowed to opt out of allowing marijuana sales in their community by referendum, although those currently hosting compassion centers will not have that option. Those hosting existing licensed cultivators or testing labs will be allowed to opt out, although those facilities will be grandfathered in. The law provides a procedure for a community that opted out to revisit the issue in later years, and allows municipalities to ban cannabis use in public places by ordinance.

For participants in the state’s existing medical marijuana program, the law eliminates the current fees imposed upon patients, authorized purchasers and primary caregivers for registry identification cards and plant tags, effective when adult recreational sales begins on December 1. It also extends to March 1, 2023, the deadline for those with out-of-state medical marijuana cards to provide government-issued identification from the same jurisdiction.

For more information, see: