While some changes may not be seen on dispensary shelves, 2024 is bringing a slew of new marijuana policies that will impact consumers and businesses alike, from coast to coast and in both adult-use and medical states.
Cannabis Regulator has devised a list of some of the most impactful changes set to take place this year. From voting to legalize marijuana to revised employment rights for cannabis customers, here are all of the changes you need to know:
Residents have new and improved employment rights.
Starting January 1, thanks to state bill AB-2188, most employers in California will no longer have legal standing to refuse to hire, fire or penalize an employee if they test positive for marijuana on a hair or urine test. As stated on Leafly, the bill similarly ensures that an individual applying for a job cannot be required to divulge documentation of prior consumption.
Additional sources of regulated marijuana are now available.
Under SB 23-271, effective January 8, medical and retail marijuana cultivation facilities may send and accept seeds, immature plants and marijuana genetic material from the following sources:
- Another regulated marijuana cultivation facility
- A retail marijuana testing facility
- A cultivation or testing facility licensed to operate in another U.S. state or territory
- An employee licensee in Colorado
- An individual with a permit, registration or license to work in the regulated marijuana industry in another U.S. state or territory
Also effective January 8, Rule 6-925(G) establishes new daily sales limits for Hospitality and Sales Businesses, as follows:
- Not more than one ounce (1 oz) of flower
- Not more than eight grams (8 g) of concentrate
- Not more than 100 milligrams (100 mg) of oral products
Residents can now possess more marijuana.
Starting this year, cannabis possession has more than doubled, from one ounce of flower to 2.5 ounces. Limits for concentrate also expanded from ⅛ ounce to ¼ ounce, according to Leafly.
Marijuana is now legal in the state.
On November 7, voters approved Ohio Issue 2, the Marijuana Legalization Initiative, which was on the ballot in Ohio as an indirect initiated state statute on November 7, 2023. Beginning 30 days after the vote, state residents can now purchase marijuana and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana.
Medical patients have expanded purchasing power.
On December 15, 2023, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro (D) signed Senate Bill 773 into law. This allows the state’s 10 independent grower-processors to operate as retailers and sell straight to medical marijuana patients. The goal of this bill is to prevent out-of-state companies from doing business in Pennsylvania, ultimately giving local brands a boost.
Job applicants are now protected from cannabis testing.
Thanks to Senate Bill 5123, Washington state employers will be prohibited from testing most job applicants for weed. The law contains more exceptions than its California counterpart, seeing as it does not apply to some first responders, some firefighting and law enforcement positions, the airline or aerospace industries and more, according to Ogletree Deakins.