White Papers and Briefs

10 things that will or won't happen when cannabis is legalized in your state

Currently 33 states across the country have legalized cannabis for medical purposes; with 11 of those states and the District of Columbia also legalizing adult-use (also known as “recreational”) cannabis. Since 1996, when California legalized medical cannabis (the first successful cannabis legalization effort in the United States) researchers, legislators and advocates have studied the various impacts legalization has had at a state or regional level.

Taxing cannabis

Establishing sound tax policy is a key component of state and local cannabis reform efforts. In order to support a safe, well-regulated, and successful cannabis industry, it is imperative that governments set
appropriate tax rates. The total demand for cannabis in the U.S. (including the illicit market) is estimated to be around $52.5 billion annually.

Cannabis-impaired driving

As a growing number of states adopt medical and adult-use cannabis laws, increased attention has been placed on cannabis-impaired driving and the policies that government officials can advance to proactively
address this important issue. The following paper provides relevant background on cannabis-impaired driving as well as best practices that government officials can incorporate into their broader cannabis
policy reform efforts.

Myth vs. fact

Opponents of medical and adult-use cannabis laws often make bold claims about the negative impact cannabis will have on individuals and communities. Examples of these claims include arguments that
cannabis is a “gateway drug,” that legalization will double traffic fatalities, or that cannabis use results in increased levels of drug abuse and addiction.

Cannabis delivery

Licensing delivery of cannabis and cannabis products links both medical and adult-use consumers with safe, convenient and reliable access to legal cannabis and has applications in
densely-populated and rural areas. Permitting delivery operators to gain licensure can also be a less challenging method of providing consumers with sufficient retail access while reducing unlicensed market activity.

Minimizing the illicit market for cannabis in the US

Adult-use and medical cannabis legalization in the United States has reduced the overall size of illicit markets in legalized jurisdictions. Despite these reductions, a sizeable illicit market for cannabis
continues to thrive in every legalized jurisdiction and undermines the benefits which legalized cannabis offers.

National overview

As of June 2020, 47 states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation to allow some form of legal
access to cannabis or to decriminalize the use, possession, cultivation, or sale of cannabis. Idaho, Kansas, and South Dakota have the strictest laws in the country and have no legislation that decriminalizes cannabis possession or facilitates some form of legal medical or adult-use cannabis access.

Banking the U.S. cannabis industry

The cannabis industry’s lack of access to financial services has grown from a niche issue impacting a handful of states into a national issue impacting dozens—in fact, a majority—of states in the U.S.

Weedmaps GR overview

Weedmaps’ mission is to power a transparent and inclusive global cannabis economy, and has been a driving force behind much of the medical and adult-use cannabis legalization in the past decade. Founded
in Southern California in 2008, the visionary and innovative employees at Weedmaps are the architects and builders of the world’s most comprehensive cannabis-centric technology platform for both medical
patients and adult consumers.

Cannabis cultivation growth cycles

Cannabis is considered a photosensitive plant, meaning the number of light hours for which the plant is exposed daily will trigger particular responses. It is one of the few annual plants that have separate male
and female plants and can be grown from either seed stock or a clone (a cutting from a mature female plant that contains identical genetic information).

Patient privacy and MMJ medical registries

Among the 33 states with medical cannabis laws, several have patient registries that track medical cannabis use.1 Given the current federal landscape and the increasing number of hacking attempts on U.S. systems, a detailed patient registry raises critical concerns.

Cannabis concentrates

As state and local governments seek to regulate the cannabis industry, several common misconceptions have led to policy makers either banning or placing undue restrictions on the means
and methods of making cannabis concentrates and extracts.

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