While not likely to be as historic as the legalization wave of 2016, this is expected to be a watershed year for the cannabis industry.
For the first time, from all indications, state legislatures are poised to pass recreational marijuana legalization laws, with the East Coast being the most fertile ground for such efforts.
Vermont appears to be leading the charge after state lawmakers Wednesday approved legislation permitting citizens to possess and home grow marijuana. Republican Gov. Phil Scott said he will sign the legislation.
So far, the recreational cannabis laws that exist in eight states and Washington DC have been enacted by voters.
But some state legislatures are poised to lead the way, apparently brushing off the decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to rip up Obama-era protections for states with legal marijuana industries.
If those efforts are successful, it could provide the impetus for other states to follow.
“This would be a major development for the cannabis industry,” said Michael Bronstein, a marijuana industry advocate who’s involved in efforts to legalize recreational MJ in New Jersey, one of several states where lawmakers are working on adult-use bills.
“It would show lawmakers across the country that they can pass adult-use laws and the sky won’t fall,” he added.
“In fact, it would show that they are in lockstep with public sentiment, which overwhelmingly favors adult-use legalization.”
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