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Where is cannabis legal?

January 17, 2020
(Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)

Each year that goes by, there seems to be a shift in cannabis legalization across the states. With a rapidly growing market and even more politicians bowing to cannabis reform, it can get a bit confusing parsing out state and federal nuances when it comes to cannabis law.

Shop for legal cannabis near you

To make things a little easier, check out the guide below to see which states have legalized adult-use and medical cannabis, which ones only allow medical, and which states are still fighting for their right to legalize.

Map of cannabis laws by state

Click to enlarge. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)

States where adult-use cannabis is legal

As of January 2020, cannabis is legal for adult use in 11 states and Washington, DC. In most cases, states where cannabis is legal for adult use started off with laws making medical marijuana available to patients looking to treat a variety of conditions. The number of adult-use marijuana states in the US continues to grow as support for cannabis legalization picks up steam among voters.

To keep up on all the latest information about legalization efforts across the nation and states where pot is legal, follow Leafly’s news coverage.

Here are the states with adult-use cannabis.


How to buy cannabis in a legal recreational state

States with medical marijuana only

While consumers in 11 states and Washington, DC have access to adult-use cannabis through licensed dispensaries, can legally homegrow, or some combination of the two, medical marijuana states are more prevalent across the US. At present, there are 23 states where medical marijuana only is legal—with the 11 adult-use states, there are a total of 34 with medical marijuana.

Typically, medical marijuana states require patients to sign up for a card or other form of identification that allows them to purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary or other approved retail location. In other states, the cannabis products available to patients are limited to a very narrow band of CBD products, often required to be derived from hemp.

Medical marijuana programs also take time to get going. In numerous states where medical cannabis is technically legal, patients are still waiting for dispensaries to open where they can legally purchase cannabis.

* State has medical program pending in various stages: not yet accepting patient applications, no functional dispensaries available, etc. See provided links above for state-specific information.


How to buy cannabis in a legal medical state

States where marijuana is illegal

Despite the efforts of activists and advocates across the country, in four US states, cannabis remains entirely illegal for either recreational or medicinal use. This also remains the case under US federal law. Penalties for cannabis possession in these states can be severe, ranging from fines to jail time.

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

This post was originally published on July 19, 2018. It was most recently updated on January 17, 2020.

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Leafly Staff

Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.

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  • Akira G

    Florida is not CBD only. THC concentrate products like vapes, drops, and distillates are available to MMJ patients. Only whole flower and smoking is illegal.

    • Jay Buddington

      Saw a recent article the Florida AG says the banning of smoking bud was unconstitutional, or something to that effect.. Check the latest news on the web for Florida, could be good news for you, if you live in Florida…

      • Akira G

        Judge Grievers ruled it unconstitutional, however both the DOH and Governor Rick Scott have appealed & put an indefinite stay on the ruling. It was denied a motion to move to the supreme court. No good news until we flip some seats & elect a new governor.

        • Bill

          I lived in Central Florida most of my life. Illinois has it together much better. Hopefully going totally legal in 2019. I Got to move from n. Alabama, soon!

    • darkaquarian

      I’m hoping to come down to Florida in October for the cannabis festival

      • Akira G

        We’d love to have you! Be sure to check out the nearby beaches. Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs is a favorite of mine. Calm water on the sea that is also spring fed. You can spot a good variety of sea life on a good day. It never gets cold enough in October to need a full wetsuit 😉

        • darkaquarian

          Nice, thank you

  • Blade Triple

    Ohio is CBD only. Everything Akira posted is regarding Florida is exactly the same for Ohio. If you have a license to cultivate then the plant can be grown to produce cbd oils and edibles.

    • Bob Clifford

      Is there a map or list of which states allow edibles?

  • Jay Buddington

    This list does not include US Territories…Puerto Rico and Guam have medical, and the CNMI will have Adult Use literately any day now….

    • Bill

      Illinois hopefully votes on recreational in November.

  • I Am

    You also forgot New Mexico as one of the states with Medicinal no recreational

  • poe-pay’s sun 1680

    You forgot New Mexico its a Medical marijuana State right now.

  • Liz Mckinney

    Louisiana is a medical state but at this time, it’s not being distributed. How long it takes is anyone’s guess.

    • VoiceUvReason

      Liz, I saw it noted that sales in Louisiana may start in October of 2018. I’m getting my medical approval in 2 weeks!👊

  • Robert McManus

    These kinds of maps and lists frequently fail to identify states where, though technically illegal, possession of small amounts is decriminalized. Minnesota has had decriminalized marijuana since the mid 1970’s. Possession of under something like an ounce and a half is a misdemeanor and small enough amounts will get you a warning or nothing at all. Minneapolis recently announced that it would not be wasting it’s prosecutorial efforts on low level drug sales, reserving the right, of course, to prosecute ANY drug offenses. But still, they aren’t saying ‘POSSESSION’ but that SALES(!) won’t be prosecuted! That is a major step toward sensible policing and civil relations. And it proves that, though Minnesota is in many ways part of Dumbf–kistan, it’s still a great place to live and play.

  • Ron S

    Medical is now legal in Missouri too……. Passed November 6th. No longer just CBD. Patients can grow up to 6 plants a year too.

  • Joe Blake

    The hemp derived CBD oil is legal in Delaware courtesy the 2014 House Bill 385. As of 2018, there are about 3,300 medicinal marijuana patients in the state, who can lawfully possess up to 6 ounces of medical cannabis. Also, adult use marijuana is banned in The First State.

  • Avery Chiklak

    Wish were united! have different law in each state, other illegal state need to step up there game smh 🤦🏽‍♂️

  • Freddie Arvidsson

    Also here in Australia, don’t get caught smoking. You can still be heavily penalised for it, and roadside drug testing for drivers is becoming increasingly common.