In the last few years, there has been a global trend of cannabis legalization. A lot of countries are interested in medical hemp, but there are also a few of them that wish to decriminalize recreational marijuana.

The substance was illegal in the US for the longest time. In 1970, the country introduced the Controlled Substances Act prohibiting the use and distribution of all forms of cannabis. This all changed with the 2018 Farm Bill making it easier for agricultural companies to grow the plant.

Nowadays, 36 American states have decriminalized medical hemp, and 16 of them have also legalized the use of recreational cannabis. Some of the first countries were California, Oregon, and Colorado, but the trend slowly shifted to the East coast.  

Before we answer the question of how many states have recreational cannabis, let’s take a look at the legal basics.

Where can you use recreational cannabis in the US?

At this moment, there are 19 states and DC that allow the use of the substance. Some of them have enacted new cannabis laws, but they are yet to come into force. 

Although cannabis is legal in all these states, there are some restrictions to it. For example, there is a limit as to how much you can hold in public and how many plants you can grow at home. In some cases, you can only use marijuana after purchasing it from a licensed vendor.

The most important thing about these states is that you won’t go to jail even if you have larger quantities of cannabis. At worst, you will get a fine or citation. So, there is still a limitation as to how much you can use. 

If you’re a commercial entity, you can grow and sell unlimited amounts of recreational marijuana. However, you need to get a license to perform this activity. 

19 States that allow recreational cannabis

Here are all the places where you can use the substance:

  • Alaska 

Citizens of this northern state can have up to 12 plants in a household with 2 adult residents. Companies can grow the plant without any restriction or legal ramifications. 

  • Arizona

If you live in this sunny state, you can transport 1 ounce of the substance. Single adults can have 6 cannabis plants, while 2 adults can have 12. 

  • California

California has always been at the forefront of cannabis legalization. Since 1975, they’ve made strides to reduce punishment for users. Today, a person can grow 6 cannabis plants. You can have as many plants as you want if you’re a commercial entity.

  • Colorado

You won’t face any legal ramifications if you’re caught with 2 ounces of cannabis in Colorado. The state had fully decriminalized the substance in 2012, and today, it is regarded as one of the best places to grow and use weed. 

  • Connecticut

The Connecticut cannabis law has a special feature according to which a person can possess up to 5 ounces of the substances as long as it’s securely locked inside of their home or car trunk. Alternatively, people can grow 3 young plants on their property. 

  • Illinois

In this northern state, you can have up to 5 plants within the household. However, they can only be used for medical purposes. Illinois was the first state to allow sales of marijuana with a law. Nowadays, people can have 1.1 ounce of the substance in their possession.

  • Maine

Medical cannabis has been legal in Maine since 1999. But the citizens had to wait another 17 years to use it recreationally. You can have any number of seedlings and 3 adult plants. If you have a commercial license, you can sell the species within the state or abroad. 

  • Massachusetts 

In Massachusetts, you can’t be caught with more than an ounce of recreational cannabis. If you only keep it at home, you can store up to 10 ounces. Besides businesses, every person can grow 6 plants or 12 per household. 

  • Michigan

Michigan has legalized medical cannabis in 2008 and recreational in 2018. You can have 10 ounces of the substance, as long as it’s kept safely in your home. Otherwise, you can carry 2.5 ounces in public.

  • Montana 

This is one of the newest states to legalize recreational marijuana. Unlike many other states, they also allow the use of concentrates; you can have up to 8 grams in your possession.

  • Nevada

An interesting thing about the Nevada cannabis law is that you can grow the plant, but it needs to be in relatively close proximity to a store. In other words, your home needs to be within 25 miles of a licensed cannabis shop to be regarded as legal.

  • New Jersey

A person can transport 6 ounces of cannabis. But, unlike many other states, you cannot grow it at your home. Instead, you need to buy it from one of the licensed cannabis companies.

  • New Mexico

Recreational cannabis was just legalized in New Mexico in 2021. Citizens of this state will have to wait until April 2022 to buy it from one of the official stores. If you wish to grow the plant on your property, you have the option of cultivating up to 6 cannabis. 

  • New York

A household in New York can grow up to 12 plants. If you’re living alone, you can cultivate 3 young and 3 adult plants. Like New Mexico, the state has legalized the substance in 2021.

  • Oregon

Oregon is one of the best places to grow marijuana and hemp in North America. Logically, it was also one of the first places to enact cannabis laws. 

  • Vermont

People living in this state can possess 1 ounce of the substance in public or grow 2 mature and 4 immature plants on their property.

  • Virginia 

Companies in Virginia will have to wait for a while until they can start selling cannabis. Although legalized in 2021, businesses won’t be able to distribute their goods until 2024. 

  • Washington

As long as you have up to 1 ounce of cannabis on you personally, you should be fine. Unfortunately, people of this state cannot grow the plant on their property. Instead, they can only use products from licensed distributors. 

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