As most of us know, marijuana legalization is becoming more and more prevalent all over the United States and world, with states allowing residents to purchase a certain amount each visit while regulating sales. With the marijuana business booming because of the aforementioned marijuana laws in each state, it's only a matter of time before additional states begin to think about legalizing the drug.
But, which states that haven't yet allowed marijuana inside of its boundaries will be the next to loosen up and begin selling? It's a question we were curious about, which is why we reached out to some of the leading experts in the cannabis industry from different states to tell us their predictions, along with a short description as to why they think it'll happen.
These are the same experts who have helped us understand the differences in weed strains, along with educating us on various marijuana effects, so we trust them with our almighty highness... see what we did there? Here's what some of them had to say.
"Floridians clearly understand the medicinal benefits that cannabis can provide to its citizens, by the overwhelming 71 percent approval in last year's referendum. Florida, with its significant senior citizen population, as well as its extensive medical community, will require significant research and education before it is widely accepted. The type of clinical trials and empirical data that we've collected over the last decade will certainly assist in accelerating this process. However, I believe that only when further research and education is undertaken, will recreation have a chance of being passed in Florida, which I believe could happen within the next decade." — Stephen Gardner, Chief Marketing Officer at Tikun Olam USA.
"Most people are unaware that Michigan is a top-5 market in the US for recreational cannabis. The current infrastructure of medical, the population density in many cities, in addition to the overwhelming support from potential users has Michigan looking like another California." — Danny Davis, Managing Partner at Convectium.
"It looks like Phil Murphy is leading the polls in New Jersey by a large margin and, if the trend continues, will be the next Governor of the state. Murphy wants to legalize adult use and expand the current medical program, likely by mid-2018. With a currently operating state-of-the-art greenhouse facility, Terra Tech is positioned to be a leader in the New Jersey cannabis space." — Ken VandeVrede, COO of Terra Tech Corp.
"Our expectation is that by 2021, all states will have implemented either a medical only or fully legal marijuana (medical and recreational use) to reach retail sales of approximately $30 billion. We believe that Vermont will be next to legalize recreational use as it reconsiders the missed economic opportunities that neighboring Massachusetts and Maine will soon realize. As progress has been made in redrafting legislation, a move by the Vermont legislature could come by year-end." — Matt Karnes, Founder and Managing Partner of GreenWave Advisors, LLC.
"I don't believe Kentucky will ever pass a recreational cannabis law at the state level. So far, the state has been solely focused on supporting the industrial hemp movement and in many ways, has been the leader in these efforts so far. Kentucky has always been very much "the hemp state" mostly due to its historical history of cultivating the crop. Now, the need to bring new agricultural crops into the rotation for Kentucky farmers is what is allowing state policymakers to take a second look at the crop and hemp serves a perfect utility to bolster income and revenues for generational Kentucky farmers." — John Ryan, Founder and Director of Ananda Hemp.
On Maine (already legalized, extra commentary on the pace of implementation in their state)
"Based on how slowly the states roll our rules after passage, I'd expect the pace to slow a bit. And, I think that is a good thing." — Norman Olson - Director of Marketing & Business Affairs at Hightech Extracts.
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Lead image via Getty.