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95% of U.S. Population Lives in States where Some Form of Marijuana is Legal, Finds Report

A new market research report has found that 95 percent of the U.S. population lives in a state where there is some form of legal marijuana.

Over the past decade, the legalization of marijuana has starkly expanded throughout the United States, with eight states passing cannabis measures last November alone. Today, only five percent of the U.S. population lives in a state without any type of marijuana legislation, according to a new report from market data firm New Frontier Data.

Some of the findings in the report include:

  • 95% of the U.S. population lives in a state where there is some form of legal cannabis [adult use, medical use, cannabidiol (CBD) only]
  • 93% of Members of Congress represent constituents in markets where some form of cannabis is legal (412 members of the House of Representatives and 86 Senators)
  • A federal crackdown on the adult use market would jeopardize $3.4 billion in projected revenue this year and $8.6 billion by 2020.

New Frontier published its report in response to recent statements by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, alluding to a potential federal crackdown on states that had passed adult use cannabis laws.

“While the cannabis industry has been anxious to gain more clarity into how President Trump’s Administration is going to treat the legal cannabis market in the U.S., it has also provided the opportunity for rigorous debate on the issue. New Frontier Data’s mission is to provide vetted data and insights to all who would like greater transparency into the industry and would urge all to make informed decisions based on the hard facts,” said Giadha Aguirre de Carcer, New Frontier Data CEO, in a statement.

U.S. Marijuana Laws

Federally, marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are classified as Schedule I substances under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. While the substance is therefore illegal under federal law, 28 states and the District of Columbia have passed comprehensive public medical marijuana laws and 16 others have adopted limited low-THC, high-CBD therapeutic cannabis legislation. CBD that is derived from imported hemp, rather than marijuana, is excluded from the Controlled Substances Act and therefore legal to purchase and consume in all 50 U.S. states. Therefore, CBD hemp oil products from Medical Marijuana, Inc., such as Real Scientific Hemp OilTM (RSHOTM), are available in all 50 U.S. states, regardless of whether a state has adult use or medical cannabis laws on the books. The District of Columbia and eight of the states that have legalized full medical marijuana have also legalized and regulated recreational marijuana.

“This data highlights the complexity of this debate the number of Americans that would be impacted by the outcomes of this policy debate,” De Carcer added.

From the findings in the New Frontier report, it’s hard to imagine anything slowing down the expansion of the nation’s cannabis industry. Legal cannabis has a legal foothold from coast-to-coast, and the social attitude regarding legalization continues to evolve. The U.S. legal cannabis market generated an estimated $6.7 billion in 2016, and is expected to balloon to $21 billion by 2021. A new Quinnipiac poll released two weeks ago found that 93 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, and 59 percent of voters favor adult use legalization.

Support for marijuana legalization has recently grown even in Texas, a state that has been historically strongly in opposition to loosening cannabis laws.

Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Last week, Senators from eight states that have passed recreational and medical marijuana laws sent a letter asking Sessions to uphold the Department of Justice’s existing hands-off enforcement policy. Considering the Trump administration’s emphasis on domestic job creation, hindering an industry that is projected to provide more than a quarter of a million jobs by 2020 would be counterproductive.

Regardless whether the federal government takes action on states with adult use laws, Medical Marijuana, Inc. and its CBD hemp oil products would be unaffected. The Company’s products are legal, and we recently released a statement clarifying the situation here.

Post by Eve Ripley

Eve is a writer specializing in cannabis education and editorials related to cannabis industry news.

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