Recent polls reveal that public opinion of cannabis is changing rapidly. New findings reported by Marijuana Business Daily suggest that medical cannabis states are moving from medical to recreational cannabis faster. For instance, it took Massachusetts only 1,463 days to shift from medical cannabis to recreational cannabis.
According to Pew Research Center, at least two-thirds of Americans said that they support recreational legalization. This number is up from just seven years ago when 52 percent of the country agreed marijuana should be legalized.
This change in perception is finally revealing itself in government; not only are state regulators listening to public demands, but recreational legalization is happening at a much quicker rate than what was expected.
The time between legalized medical and recreational markets is diminishing—leaving many hopeful that the states with medical marijuana initiatives will also soon have a recreational one.
Massachusetts is a prime example of this evolving pattern. The state legalized medical cannabis in 2012 and just four years later in 2016, legalized adult use. Compare this to California, which took 22 years to see the shift.
We are seeing quick medicinal to recreational transition in multiple states across the U.S. This upcoming election, New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota will be voting on recreational cannabis. South Dakota will be voting on medical cannabis simultaneously!
While these trends obviously have a ton of benefits, they are also going to come with challenges. For example, the sooner a state legalizes recreational cannabis use, the quicker businesses will need to meet supply demands. Not to mention, already established (or establishing) medicinal dispensaries will have to make the transition in a much more timely manner.
Still, lawmakers have their eyes on what may just be a “Green Rush.” States like Illinois have collected $52 million in tax revenue from the first six months of recreational legalization—giving them a lot of opportunities to improve communities and infrastructure.
If you live in a state where medicinal marijuana is legalized, don’t be surprised if recreational cannabis is on your voting ballot in the coming years.