U.S. Cannabis Industry Shows Continued Growth and Expansion

As of February 14, 2023, recreational cannabis use is now legal in two more U.S. states, and three-quarters of states allow medical cannabis use.[0] In 2019, it was estimated that approximately 18% of American adults consumed marijuana.[1] Buying, selling, trading, or importing marijuana is still illegal, however consumption that does not affect third parties and doesn’t occur in public spaces or in front of minors is currently decriminalized.[0] In May 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that penalizing the possession of more than 5 grams of marijuana for personal use is unconstitutional.[0]

The passing of Amendment 3 in Vermont marks a significant reduction in how marijuana is regulated in the state.[2] With the passing of the amendment, adults 21 and older can purchase up to two ounces of cannabis and to home-cultivate up to eight plants (four of which may be mature).[2] Additionally, the legislation allows for on-site consumption lounges and cannabis delivery services.[3]

In New York City, the first legal recreational marijuana dispensary opened in December 2022.[4] On Friday, Legally Rooted opened its doors on 6th Street with a ribbon cutting ceremony, becoming the first dispensary to open in the Queen City.[5]

Washington State Senate also passed a bill to protect most job applicants from being discriminated against for using marijuana outside of the workplace. Employees who use cannabis outside of work will be protected from discrimination in the workplace, according to Senate Bill 2321. Under the proposed plan, employees cannot be disciplined due to a positive drug test by itself. Employers are allowed to conduct drug testing and can choose not to hire someone based on a positive drug test result.[3]

Mendon Venture Partners, an investment firm aimed at technology and banks, led the investment in Green Check, a company focused on the intersection of innovative technology and traditional banks.[6] The Mendon Venture Partners BankTech Fund is devoted to investing in technologies primarily geared towards traditional regional and community banks, in areas such as big data/analytics, automation, payments, core banking/processing, and risk/compliance.[7]

In Illinois, the state collected a record-high $1.5 billion of recreational cannabis sales in Fiscal Year 2022, generating about $445 million in tax revenue.[8] By law, 25% of the taxes obtained from the sale of recreational cannabis must be given to economically disadvantaged areas or those affected by the so-called “war on drugs”.[9]

0. “CDMX clears 3-year-old cannabis legalization sit-in site” mexiconewsdaily.com, 25 Feb. 2023, https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/cdmx-clears-3-year-old-cannabis-legalization-sit-in-site/

1. “More frequent cannabis use associated with higher risk of coronary …” www.news-medical.net, 25 Feb. 2023, https://www.news-medical.net/news/20230224/More-frequent-cannabis-use-associated-with-higher-risk-of-coronary-artery-disease.aspx

2. “Recreational cannabis sales to start Feb. 6 | News …” www.thesalemnewsonline.com, 25 Feb. 2023, https://www.thesalemnewsonline.com/news/article_f7c2618e-a17e-11ed-971b-3713c6fb8fa4.html

3. “State Policy Weekly Update 2/22/2023 – NORML” norml.org, 25 Feb. 2023, https://norml.org/blog/2023/02/22/state-policy-weekly-update-2-22-2023/

4. “Cannabis News | Cannabis Blog | Herban Creative” herbancreativenj.com, 25 Feb. 2023, https://herbancreativenj.com/cannabis-news

5. “Meridian cannabis dispensary opens | Local News | meridianstar.com” www.meridianstar.com, 25 Feb. 2023, https://www.meridianstar.com/news/local_news/meridian-cannabis-dispensary-opens/article_b8071b52-5ee0-579a-b5fd-424fb4c6de79.html

6. “Green Check Verified nabs $6m to further bridge cannabis and finance” fintech.global, 25 Feb. 2023, https://fintech.global/2023/02/24/green-check-verified-nabs-6m-to-further-bridge-cannabis-and-finance/

7. “Cannabis Banking Technology Leader Green Check Verified Raises …” www.businesswire.com, 25 Feb. 2023, https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230222006024/en/Cannabis-Banking-Technology-Leader-Green-Check-Verified-Raises-6-Million-in-a-Series-A-Led-By-Mendon-Venture-Partners

8. “Illinois House Dems' cannabis working group will engage industry …” www.kpvi.com, 25 Feb. 2023, https://www.kpvi.com/news/national_news/illinois-house-dems-cannabis-working-group-will-engage-industry-equity-advocates/article_9243b158-e254-5d05-bf68-41868f6109cd.html

9. “House Dems' cannabis working group to engage industry | Local …” www.effinghamdailynews.com, 25 Feb. 2023, https://www.effinghamdailynews.com/news/local_news/house-dems-cannabis-working-group-to-engage-industry/article_7cf6f0f2-b4a0-11ed-9fdd-179f93151e15.html