As of November 3rd, 2020 FOUR new states have legalized adult-use cannabis. Over the past 8 years, the industry has seen a leap in support for legalization and action to become legalized. In 2012 only 2 states, California and Washington, were adult-use legal. Now, 15 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized adult-use marijuana. Now, it’s time to question what happens next with the laws and regulations in each state. 


Proposition 207 – Smart and Safe Act – passed with 60% of the vote this year! There are still a few topics to cover for everyone’s knowledge and safety. 

Possession & Purchasing 

Arizona has not entirely legalized possession of cannabis without a medical card. Once the ballots are certified through the Secretary of State then-Governor Doug Ducey will issue a proclamation to finalize the new law. While possession for adults 21+ of up to 1 ounce with no more than 5 grams being concentrates, this does not yet allow dispensaries to sell publically. Each dispensary will need to apply and be approved for a license to sell, meaning sales may not take place until March 2021 at the earliest. 

Important Facts:

  • Lawmakers have until April 5th, 2021 to make establish and finalize regulations for the state. 
  • There will be a 16% tax increase to Arizona’s already 5.6% sales tax totaling 21.6% sales tax for adult-use sales. 
  • The expungement process will begin in the summer of 2021
  • You can still get fired for using cannabis since employers do have the right to maintain a drug-and-alcohol free work environment
  • Adults can legally possess and cultivate up to 6 plants at home – however, renters do need approval from landlords.


Cannabis has been made recreationally legal thanks to voters having a 57% win on passing Initiative 190 and Constitutional Initiative 118. In case you aren’t familiar with Constitutional Initiative 118, this allows the state to amend the legal age of cannabis consumption and possession at 21. 

Possession & Purchasing 

While possession is not yet legal, it will be on January 1st, 2021. Once this legal adults 21+ can possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis and 8 grams of concentrates. Those who wish to grow at home can have 4 plants and 4 seedlings, with a maximum of 8 plants per household. However, Cannabis cannot be purchased recreationally until January 2022. 

Important Facts: 

  • Out of state companies are not able to enter the Montana market for a few years, allowing current operators to gain a foothold.
  • An expungement will be allowed for those with non-violent crimes.
  • Adult-use marijuana will be taxed at a flat rate of 20%. 

New Jersey

The Garden State has now legalized recreational cannabis thanks to Public Question 1. They have become the first mid-Atlantic state to pass adult-use legalization. Having legalized medical cannabis in 2010, the state has now joined a tribe of 15 other states legalizing adult-use in 2020. 

Possession & Purchasing

Possession of cannabis is still not legal in the state until January 1st, 2021. Up until then the regulard fines and jail time apply to those who are caught with marijuna without a medical card. The specific amount an adult 21+ is legally allowed to carry still has to be cleared by the state. 

Important Facts

  • While medical patients pay 4% tax this is set to be disposed of in July 2022.
  • January 1, 2021, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) will decide where adult-use cannabis can be purchased and sold.
  • Sales tax has not been decided upon yet, but the state’s regular sales tax is 6.625%, and will only allow a 2% markup on that tax from local municipalities.
  • Municipalities can ban dispensaries opening and operating and prohibit the business of cannabis altogether.
  • There are no details yet as to when the online portal for the expungement program will begin. 

South Dakota

South Dakota has made big strides this election year legalizing both medical and adult-use cannabis. The state’s medical cannabis measure, Initiative 26, passed with 69% of the vote while the recreational cannabis initiative Constitutional Amendment A passed with 52% of the vote. 

Possession & Purchasing 

It is important to know that possession of cannabis is not legal in South Dakota until July 2021. The state is considered one of the strictest with cannabis penalties, so if you are looking to celebrate this new legislation we recommend waiting for your safety. There are different possession limits for medical and recreational use. Adults 21 and older with a medical card can legally possess up to 3 ounces, while adults 21+ who are looking to use cannabis recreationally can legally possess up to 1 ounce. It is not yet set in stone when purchasing will be legal just yet and when still will be given permits to open their doors.

Important Facts: 

  • Patients with a medical card are allowed to grow an unlimited number of plants – out of public view.
  • Medical patients will not be taxed for cannabis; however, adult-use cannabis will be taxed 15%.
  • Local municipalities have the right to ban adult-use stores, but cannot ban medical dispensaries. 
  • There are currently no expungement laws in place for cannabis.

Zoning in on the Conclusion 

Over the next few months, regulations can be subject to change depending on your state. It is important to stay up to date on what your state laws are for medical and adult-use cannabis. While these 4 states are still getting their new laws and regulations together it will be interesting to see state and local economies change. It has been shown that 11 other states and Washington D.C. have benefited economically from legalized cannabis. Interested in learning how different states’ tax revenue and employment rates have prospered? Read The Economic Benefits of Cannabis in the US