States continue to chart their own path with pot

On Saturday, March 27, lawmakers in New York came to an agreement that will bring the Empire State into the legal recreational cannabis club.
On Saturday, March 27, lawmakers in New York came to an agreement that will bring the Empire State into the legal recreational cannabis club.

Cannabis continues to have a blurry legal status in the United States. Over the past week that's been as clear as ever with some states, like our own, treating it one way while others struggle to decide whether they're ready to view it as legal in the first place. Here's a look at the varying states of legality within our country.

REGULATION NEEDED

In Washington, cannabis is legal to the point that growers need to deal with regulation from the state's Liquor and Cannabis Board as well as the state's Department of Agriculture. Last week, Washington's Department of Agriculture announced updates to the list of pesticides approved for use on cannabis crops.

Overall, the state has approved 355 different products that fall under the umbrella of pesticide. That number is smaller than it used to be. Last week's changes included the addition of 16 new pesticides to the approved list and the removal of 27 others. The state did not explain why those specific pesticides were approved or removed. Growers can continue to use the no-longer-approved pesticides if they purchased them before the change.

LEGALIZATION IMMINENT

On Saturday, March 27, lawmakers in New York came to an agreement that will bring the Empire State into the legal recreational cannabis club. With a Democratic majority in its Legislature and a Democratic governor, one of the bluest states left without a legal market is expected to go green as early as this week, according to reporting from the Associated Press.

The legislation in New York sets up a foundation for a legal market, but it won't immediately open one. Rather, it would immediately legalize possession and expunge records of past convictions for marijuana offenses that no longer would be criminalized. The state would then follow an approach similar to Washington's in establishing a cannabis board along with rules and regulations for their legal market.

LEGALIZATION POSSIBLE

The day before New York's news broke, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called legislators into a special session to consider recreational cannabis. As is the case in New York, Democrats control the Legislature and governor's mansion in New Mexico. That doesn't mean the Land of Enchantment is on the precipice of opening a legal market, though. Grisham called the special session negotiations stalled at the end of the regular legislative session in late March. ♦

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