Weed laws for 2023 come into force across the US

Millions of cannabis users will enjoy expanded civil rights and access to weed thanks to a new body of laws and regulations taking effect this week and beyond in at least 11 states.

Voters, regulators and legislators across the US have enacted laws, rules and executive orders that go into effect this week from sea to sea. Here’s the state overview of the weed laws that go into effect in 2023.


Medium and Large license types became legal on January 1, 2023.  About Pacific Stone in Carpinteria, CA  (Mike Rosati for Leafly)Medium and large license types became legal on January 1, 2023. Above: Pacific Stone in Carpinteria, CA. (Mike Rosati for Leafly)

The world’s largest legal weed market, California continues to lead the way with several new laws taking effect this year:

Cannabis taxes could go up a bit for consumers. The state changed the way it collects excise taxes – it shifted them from the distributor to the retailer. Tax calculation is complicated and involves multiple tax layers, but it comes at a higher consumer cost.

At the same time, medium- and large-scale cultivation licenses became legal in California on January 1, promising to further increase cannabis supply and drive down prices. (Read our 2022 Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report for more details.)

Patients were given new rights to use medical cannabis with opioids. AB 1954 protects a patient’s right to medical treatment, even if they use marijuana, and the right of doctors and clinics to treat them. Consumer protection group California NORML lobbied for the law, which states: “A physician and surgeon may not automatically deny a qualifying patient treatment or medication based solely on a positive drug screen for THC or a report of medical cannabis use without first obtaining a.” Case Management – Case assessment of the patient, including, among other things, determining that the qualifying patient’s use of medicinal cannabis is medically meaningful for the treatment or medication.”


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Parents were also given new rights to use cannabis responsibly. AB2595 requires social workers to treat parental cannabis use the same as alcohol or prescription drugs. Legalization Proposition 64 protected medical cannabis patients with children, and AB2595 extends these rights to consumers using adults.

Terminally ill patients were also given the right to self-administer cannabinoids in hospice facilities. SB 988 requires healthcare facilities to “develop and disseminate written policies for the use and disposal of medicinal cannabis within the healthcare facility in accordance with this chapter.” (Patients in other states — like Kansas — continue to be arrested for using cannabis while dying.)

And deletions will now increase as AB1706 forces district courts to expedite releases of cannabis records.

California cannabis rules are changing

A photo of busy retail sales at the 2021 Emerald Cup. (Photo by James Sakert, Courtesy The Emerald Cup)More cannabis events are coming to Cali in 2023. Above: The Emerald Cup Harvest Ball in 2021. (Photo by James Sakert, Courtesy The Emerald Cup)

California lawmakers have also made it easier to operate cannabis businesses in the regulation-heavy state:

  • Bars can host cannabis events under AB 2210.
  • Cannabis companies will find it easier to get insurance under AB 2568, which clarifies that insurers are not breaking the law by serving the cannabis industry.
  • And dogs and cats who take cannabidiol for anxiety have gained more rights thanks to it FROM 1885allowing veterinarians to recommend cannabinoids without fear of discipline.

new York


New York will become the country’s second-largest legal cannabis market after dispensary sales begin in late December. More stores are expected to go online in the coming weeks and months.


Oregon, one of the first two states in the US to legalize cannabis, has continued to streamline its industry with new laws taking effect January 1.

  • Oregon retailers can now offer discounts such as half off on a specific brand or variety. But they can’t do “buy one, get one free” offers.
  • Cannabis shipments from Oregon can cross county lines.
  • Walk-up options at Oregon pharmacies are perfectly legal.
  • Oregon drive-thru pharmacies will continue to be tolerated.


The decriminalization of psychedelic mushrooms went into effect in Colorado on January 4th. However, production and sale are still subject to criminal penalties. Meanwhile, transferring medical marijuana to the system for adult use under state law has also become easier.


A 2021 law will go into effect in Connecticut that will legalize the use of cannabis by adults. The state also began automatically overturning convictions for possession of less than 4 ounces from 2000 to 2015. Adult sales begin January 10th. Self-cultivation remains prohibited.


(Sascha Beck/Leafly)

The second former Confederate state in the US — Missouri — legalized cannabis in 2022, and ownership rights went into effect late last year. Stores in Missouri will open this year.


Maryland weed users needn’t fear prosecution—the decriminalization of possession of up to 1.5 ounces (roughly a 45-day supply if you smoke a gram a day) went into effect on January 1st. Full legalization will begin later this year.


How to order weed delivery online with Leafly


The pandemic-era policy that allowed curbside pickup at pharmacies expired in Illinois on Jan. 1. The state began selling in 2020 and has 177 dispensary licenses.


Medicinal cannabis patients in Kentucky who are caught in the state with up to 8 ounces of out-of-state cannabis may be granted a “complete, complete and conditional pardon.” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order last year to protect patients. The order went into effect on January 1.


Beyond the start of the year, the cannabis liberation movement has much more to come. Oklahoma will hold a special election to legalize adult use in March.


And the tiny northeastern state of Vermont could be raising its THC cap on cannabis flower buds and hash. According to current regulations, cannabis flowers cannot contain more than 30% THC and extracts cannot exceed 60% THC. Two states in the US – Vermont and Connecticut – have such caps. About 25 adult dispensaries have opened in Vermont.

Did we miss an important cannabis law or regulation? Comment below and we’ll add them.

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