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Legal Marijuana

State of the Marijuana Union 2018

From coast to coast, marijuana is now legal medically, recreationally, or both in 33 states, plus D.C., and counting.
State of the Marijuana Union 2018
Image credit: wildpixel | Getty Images
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the December 2018 issue of Green Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Cannabis is still illegal under federal law, but that hasn’t stopped some states from legalizing it -- in some form or another -- within their state lines. This means that every state has different rules and regulations around the use and sale of the plant. Here's a look at where exactly -- and exatly how -- cannabis is legal. 

Related: How Canada's Marijuana Legalization Changes the Game

Medical use: Marijuana is legal for medicinal use in 33 states, Puerto Rico, D.C., and Guam, so patients whose doctors recommend medical marijuana are exempt from criminal prosecution if they use it.  However, some states have stricter laws than others about when you can purchase medical marijuana. 

Recreational use: Also referred to as “adult-use,” this refers to the 10 states plus the District of Columbia where cannabis may be used and sold legally to people 21 and over. Again, the rules on recreational use change not only from state to state but from city to city. Take California, for example. As of this printing, two-thirds of the state’s cities have banned the commercial sales of cannabis, despite it being legalized for recreational use statewide by voters in 2016. 

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