Recreational Marijuana Law Comparison by State

Due to the Federal Prohibition on cannabis, a recreational marijuana law comparison by state shows marijuana state laws can range from a form of full marijuana legalization (legalized medical & recreational marijuana) to prison time for a couple of marijuana joints. Even in states that have legalized recreational marijuana, the laws on marijuana possession and cannabis cultivation can vary greatly.

With the recent controversy about ResponsibleOhio’s proposal to limit commercial growing to 10 investor owned cultivation centers in Ohio, we thought a recreational marijuana law comparison by state would be useful in seeing how different states are dealing with commercialization of their marijuana industry.

The marijuana legalization legislative landscape in U.S. is constantly in flux with new proposals, amendments, and taxes. While we have tried to make the comparison as accurate as possible at the time of the table creation, we cannot guarantee its accuracy and encourage all interested parties to review the actual marijuana laws for the state.
Colorado2012: Amendment 6453%21+1 ounce6 plantsNo limit on licenses; some local jurisdictions excluded; 397 retail cultivators licensed2.9% retail and medical marijuana sales tax, 15% excise tax, 10% retail tax
Washington2012: Initiative 50255%21+1 ounce0 plantsNo limit on growers and processors; maximum of 334 retail licenses25% excise tax applied at sale from producer to processor, processor to retailer, retailer to consumer.**
Oregon2014: Measure 9156%21+8 ounce: home
1 ounce: public
4 plantsLicensing to be administered by Oregon Liquor Control CommissionExcise tax applied at wholesale $35/oz for flower, $10/oz for leaves, $5/immature plant.
Alaska2015: Measure 253%21+1 ounce6 plantsCommercial licenses to be issued in 2016Excise tax $50/oz at wholesale
Washington, D.C.2014: Initiative 7170%21+2 ounce6 plants***Sales are still illegal.N/A
Ohio****TBD: ResponsibleOhioTBD21+1 ounce, 8 ounce home grown4 plants10 licenses for growing to be issued to investor group; up to 1,100 licenses for processors and retailers.Growers and processors would pay 15% tax on gross revenue; consumers would pay 5% at retail.

* Separate limits for edibles, extracts, and liquid infused with marijuana;
** Amendment to revise Washington’s marijuana tax structure has passed which would eliminate the excise taxes and replace them with one retail sales tax of 30% to 37% (final amount TBD);
*** Personal 6 plant total with max of 3 mature; No more than total of 12 plants (6 mature) at a single house or rental unit;
**** Info reflects proposals in the ResponsibleOhio initiative

The two states that stand out in the comparison of recreational marijuana laws are Washington, D.C. and ResponsibleOhio’s proposal.

Washington, D.C.’s situation is a byproduct of US Congress moving to try and stop marijuana in the District of Columbia. With no sales come no taxes so this situation is likely to be resolved sooner than later.

ReponsibleOhio’s proposal for privately own grow sites that would have exclusive commercial rights has garnered the most media coverage and controversy. With an alternative rising up to challenge ResponsibleOhio, it’s anyone’s guess where Ohio’s marijuana laws will end up.

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