The Golden State was the first to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, but hasn’t made much progress since. The Marijuana Policy Project is planning to put the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative on the ballot in 2016. Yeah, we don't get it either.
In 2012, a medical-marijuana program was enacted, protecting patients from prosecution if they have a valid ID card and allowing for up to 2.5oz monthly from a licensed dispensary, with a number of new outlets slated to open in June 2016. Growing your own is prohibited, and possession punishment is a fine of up to $150.
Delaware signed a decriminalization bill into law earlier this year -- the 20th state to do so -- making possession of up to 1oz of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine with no possibility of jail. As of December 2nd, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services is accepting nonprofit proposals to operate medical dispensaries throughout the state slated to open by fall 2016 -- five years after it was originally legalized. #highimindelaware?
Medical marijuana in Maine passed early on (in 1999), with eight dispensaries statewide to serve patients with qualifying conditions. Decriminalization was enacted in 2009, making possession of up to 2.5oz a civil penalty.
Originally passed in 2014, improvements were made this year. The requirement that patients had to enroll as guinea pigs in a medical-marijuana research program for access was removed, along with an application for removal of possession misdemeanors from individuals' records.
Despite going medical in 2012, the first dispensary opened in 2015. The sluggish system now has approved 15 dispensaries for registered patients, who have only been able to apply since October 2014. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Massachusetts is gunning for a ballot position in the Bay State for 2016.
The Minnesota Medical Marijuana Law was enacted in May 2014, and on July 1, 2015 the first medical-marijuana dispensary opened. But it’s pretty restrictive, including prohibiting patients from using cannabis flowers in their natural form, aka anything smokable.
As the 23rd state to adopt a medical-marijuana program, it leaves out many a condition, and is awaiting certification from the commissioner of health before implementation. Online training is mandatory for recommending physicians, and a bill just passed that allows expedited access to some patients -- although they can’t even get any before January at the earliest.
The medical and regulated dispensary system is just now starting to see implementation, two years after the state passed the laws. The medical law here also includes out-of-state patients as long as they’re qualified in their own state. A recreational legalization move failed this year, but is likely to get on the ballot in 2016. Regardless, people will finally be able to enjoy once-illegal substances in Vegas for the first time in history.
The Rhode Island Legislature didn’t vote on the issue this year, but advocacy groups are pushing for the Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act for Providence in 2016. Medical marijuana was legalized in 2006, allowing for 2.5oz and 12 plants for home cultivation. Patients with qualifying conditions have access to three dispensaries across the state.
No really, it’s still not fully legal in Phish-land. In 2015, Senator David Zuckerman introduced S. 95, which would introduce a regulated system and Rep. Chris Pearson introduced an identical bill in the House, laying groundwork for 2016. The medical program continues to develop with four dispensaries statewide -- delivery included!