With constant back and forth across the state, House, and Senate governments, the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana have been largely covered within the past several years, particularly the past couple of months.
The US Cannabis industry is projected to reach $30 billion annually in 2025.
The House passed legislation on April 1st to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act or MORE Act passed mainly along party lines with a 220-204 vote. The MORE Act was part of a series of efforts to decriminalize the drug after the House cleared a version but died in the Republican-controlled Senate in December 2020. This time around, the bill still faces tough odds.
The MORE Act would remove cannabis from a list of federally controlled substances and instate a system to expunge prior cannabis-related convictions, as many would argue, a necessary criminal justice reform. It would also impose a 5% tax on marijuana and marijuana products that would gradually increase to 8%. The money from tax would help finance grant programs focused on job training, legal aid, substance abuse treatment, and loans to help small businesses find their footing in the marijuana industry.
The cannabis industry is a multi-million-dollar business that’s expected to grow rapidly as new markets open, and states begin to legalize both medical and recreational usage across their borders. It is predicted, according to New Frontier Data, that the US Cannabis industry is projected to reach $30 billion annually in 2025.
The most recent states to legalize medical or recreational marijuana have been Mississippi, Connecticut, Alabama, New Mexico, and Virginia. In addition to attention from the federal government, there have been further shifts in law across state legislatures. New Jersey regulators have approved seven facilities for recreational cannabis sales, already selling medical marijuana.
Changes in legislation and marijuana usage, both recreational and medicinal, are a constant across the States, but how is the cultural and societal perception of marijuana evolving? Separate from legalization, can marijuana be ‘normalized’ across the US?
In celebration of 4/20, a date represented in the cannabis and counter-culture movement as a holiday celebrating marijuana usage, Savanta investigates how society interacts with the drug and how people are using it.
To see the full report, please click here.