We’re just a few days into 2017, but I’ll bet you haven’t achieved as much this year as cannabis has so far. You’ve maybe thought about starting a new gym membership or being more aggressive about launching your app-based protein powder business, but cannabis has already gotten more legal across this great nation than it was just a few days ago.
Here are some of the states where marijuana has made big strides in the last few days.
The good news is that recreational marijuana is now legal in Nevada as of January 1. The bad news is that there’s still no place to legally buy it. The state hasn’t even begun accepting applications for stores yet, but they’re expected to open in spring of 2018. In the meantime, visitors will have to befriend somebody with a permit to grow their own, or just buy from shady drug dealers prowling the Vegas Strip like they’ve always done.
The Sunshine State has expanded access to its medical marijuana program. The list of debilitating illnesses that can be legally treated by cannabis is now: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
It’s not all good news for patients in the land of oranges though. The changes to the state’s MMJ system also limited the number of patients a doctor can recommend marijuana to, as well as making it so that doctors can be sued for malpractice if they wrongly recommend marijuana. All that could mean that it will actually be harder to get a doctor recommendation than it was before, especially given that, in order to recommend marijuana, a doctor must complete a course and have treated a patient for at least 90 days.
Maybe cannabis’s greatest conquest so far this year (still 362 days left) is that notorious anti-weed Governor of Maine Paul LePage signed Question 1, the law legalizing cannabis in the state. As of January 30, Maine residents 21 and over will be able to legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow up to six flowering plants.
But this shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that LePage, who once called cannabis “deadly,” has flipped his opinion. The governor has called on the state Legislature to halt the sale of marijuana until the state is able to put a number of regulations in place.