The Mid-Atlantic region of the US is a little bit confusing when it comes to cannabis laws. First and foremost, Washington D.C., the only state in this region that’s actually legalized the use of the plant for recreational purposes, can be difficult to navigate. As of now, you can’t buy the plant from a local dispensary, but you can use it free of criminal penalties. If the term “gifting” rings a bell, it probably has to do with D.C.’s funky cannabis laws.
The remaining states in the East have incorporated Medical Marijuana programs, however they still vary. In NY, for instance, the use of marijuana for qualifying conditions such as cancer, PTSD, and chronic pain is limited to non-smokable products such as edibles, oils, or topicals. This past year, several cannabis events have actually taken place in the state, and with NJ proposing to legalize cannabis in the near future, it wouldn’t be too surprising if NY followed next.
New Jersey has begun many talks on legalizing cannabis for recreational adult usage, it’s been the subject of cannabis headlines since July, when the state announced they were doubling the number of medical cannabis dispensaries in the state. Now, any light shed on the Garden State is in regards to their promises to vote on legal adult-use marijuana. State leaders have alluded that they’d make a decision by 2019, but we haven’t heard anything just yet. If/when recreational cannabis gets the majority vote, it’s likely that NJ will expunge all convictions related to the use of marijuana. According to New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform, as long as legalizing the plant brings social justice, we should see the state officially open their doors to cannabis.
Maryland has a strong operating medical marijuana program, with over 100 licensed dispensaries prepared to open, and just under 1,000 practitioners permitted to prescribe the plant to patients with qualifying conditions. Pennsylvania doesn’t fall far behind either, the Keystone state has seen huge success with its Medical Marijuana program, helping over 50,000 patients with conditions such as cancer, PTSD, and opioid addiction find the relief they need. As for Delaware, they’re home to a handful of medical dispensaries, but it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll be legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes just yet, seeing that their legalization bill failed just this past summer.