Medical Marijuana In 2021: The whole lot You Want To Know


There have been many changes to the medical marijuana legislation in recent years. A substance that was previously listed as Appendix I to the Controlled Substances Act is now widely recognized as a breakthrough medical treatment for a wide variety of conditions, including chronic pain. Nausea and vomiting, often associated with chemotherapy treatments; and tight or stiff muscles that are common in people with multiple sclerosis.

In 2020 alone, the increasing legalization of medical marijuana allowed people access to treatment as long as they had a disease that was certified to be treated with marijuana. More changes to the laws and regulations governing the use of MMJ are likely to occur in 2021. Read on for everything you need to know about medical marijuana in 2021.

How many states legalized marijuana in 2020?

As of late 2020, medical marijuana was completely legal in 38 states. States that have approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes include:

AlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareDistrict of ColumbiaFloridaHawaiiIllinoisIowaLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth YorkWirOklahomaOhioVirginia

Image from Anshu A to Unsplash: Some states have legalized the use of medical marijuana, but only in the form of CBD oil.

Of these 38 states, two first legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2020: Virginia and South Dakota. South Dakota voted to pass laws for both recreational and medicinal marijuana use. It was the first state to vote on both at the same time.

With new laws going into effect for these aforementioned states, many people can now have access to an MMJ card to handle their specific qualification requirement. These states came to the party a little late, however, and some other states remain concerned about medical marijuana legalization.

Which states will legalize marijuana in 2021?

The current momentum in the legalization of medical marijuana could lead to more laws being passed in states that have not previously acted. However, this could be difficult for many states, having already tried unsuccessfully during the 2020 vote, which means they may have to wait until 2022 to make their push.

Idaho, for example, delayed medical marijuana legalization due to COVID-related complications. Some activists filed a petition as early as 2022 to bring the issue to voters. Nebraska is also on the list of potential legalization, as a medical marijuana petition has already started for the 2022 ballot.

One state is a single hopeful candidate for medical marijuana legalization in 2021 and that is South Carolina. There will be certain restrictions, such as how marijuana is consumed, but Senator Tom Davis believes that 2021 may just be the year the bill is passed.

2021 Medical Marijuana Laws

When considering new laws that may come into effect, it is important to keep in mind that all states can pass their own laws and laws regarding the use of marijuana as medicine. Each individual state controls what can and cannot be done.

With the growing list of states that have approved marijuana for medical purposes, certain issues may come into effect. For example, if a person has an MMJ card in one of the approved states, can they buy products in another state with legal medical marijuana sales with the same card? Depends on. In some states, visitors outside of the state can use their MMJ cards and others cannot.

The same rules and regulations that currently apply – like how you ingest, how much MMJ can be purchased at one time, and the list of qualifying conditions – are likely to vary from state to state, so getting a snapshot of them can be difficult the country as a whole, as it works so individually.

MMJRecs - marijuana plantImage by Matthew Sichkaruk to Unsplash: Medical marijuana changes could be big if the country chooses to legalize at the federal level.

Federal Legalization 2021

Federal legalization of medical marijuana would change the country forever when it comes to treatment and care options for people suffering from a qualified disease. There has been a postponement as early as next year that could lead to federal legalization, and it has a lot to do with who is in control of the U.S. Senate. If the ongoing power struggle turns to the Democrats, it will likely mean the legalization bills will pass easily in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

This could mean far-reaching changes if laws are regulated at the federal level. For example, the United States is part of several international treaties that prohibit the legalization of marijuana. Since it remains illegal at the federal level, the country is not violating any of these treaties. While Canada has been able to legalize without backlash at the federal level, the United States may not face the same fate.

It can be difficult to determine what will happen to medical marijuana in 2021, but many states are pushing for full legalization. With the majority of the country dipping its toes in the waters of legalized marijuana, be it medicinal or recreational, MMJ can be expected to continue to make waves in the United States through 2021.

Selected picture by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash


Beth Edmonds