Top 2018 Marijuana Laws

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 20, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

We'll look back on 2018 as a banner year for bud. More states legalized it. States that had previously passed legalization measures refined their regulatory schemes. And, despite all indications to the contrary, there appeared to be some positive movement on marijuana at the federal level as well.

It was all a lot to keep track of -- so here's what happened to pot this year, legally speaking.

President Donald Trump's former Attorney General didn't mince words when it came to his distaste for legal weed. That federal posturing, however, had little impact at the state level, and now Sessions is out and we'll have to wait for the new AG to redefine the administration's stance on marijuana.

2. Vermont Legalizes Marijuana: 5 Quick Facts You Should Know

Earlier this year, the Green Mountain State got a little greener, becoming the ninth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. This despite having a Republican governor in office, meaning the benefits of legalization (or the contact high) is reaching across the aisle and becoming a bipartisan issue. But each state has their own particular pot laws, so read about Vermont's here.

3. First East Coast Marijuana Shops Open in Massachusetts

Massachusetts legalized medical marijuana as far back as 2012, and recreational use in 2016, and finally rolled up out its first pot shops in November. The state continues to emphasize the medicinal aspects of the drug, requiring retailers to set aside at least 35 percent of their supply for medical patients.

4. 3 More States Legalize Marijuana at Midterms

While some states were dialing in and implementing their existing weed laws, others were passing new ones. Missouri and Utah approved initiatives to allow medical marijuana, and Michigan became the first Midwest state to legalize recreational pot use. Additionally, several Ohio cities voted to decriminalize marijuana, cities and counties in Wisconsin approved nonbinding ballot questions calling for weed reform, and a few Democrat governors won races after making cannabis central to their platform, leading many to call the 2018 midterms a "Green Wave."

5. FDA Approves Marijuana Drug, So Will This End Federal Pot Prohibition?

On the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first ever marijuana-based pharmaceutical drug this year. The drug is a plant-derived oral solution of cannabidiol, or CBD, a chemical in marijuana and hemp known for having widely applicable medicinal benefits. It could be the first step in the long process to federal marijuana legalization.

But weed isn't legal everywhere yet, and even where it is, local pot laws can vary. So, call an experienced attorney for help or questions.

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