On April 18, 2018, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published an updated list of the measures adopted by the different States (35, but the number is increasing), based on the Farm Bill signed by Obama in 2014.

Then, in 2018, CBD cannabis became legal, and you can now legally order the best CBD hash online.

What did the law change?

The various regulations cover the definitional issues (THC <0.3%; West Virginia: THC <1%; relocation), the requirements necessary to obtain licenses and be registered with national agencies as producers or distributors (in particular: California, Indiana, Maine and Oregon), seeds certification, protection of growers, the establishment of tables and national commissions.

Strengthened by the success of the pilot projects launched by academic institutions under ministerial supervision (especially in Colorado, Kentucky and North Carolina) and the growing need to standardize the subject, some states have expressly requested the Federal Government to enact an ad hoc discipline for seeds and licenses, not without having, however, legalized hemp throughout the United States (such as, for example, the express invitation from Kentucky).

States regulations

The push for legalization comes, in the US experience, ‘from below’: already in the 1970s, in parallel with the Nixonian Controlled Substances Act (CSA), several States strongly reduced the extent of penalties: Oregon, Alaska and Maine in 1970, then Colorado, California, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina and Nevada.

In a sense, this will help set the stage for regulation, twenty years later, of the medical use of the substance. Furthermore, criminally relevant marijuana possession experienced its first decriminalization precisely in the years of the CSA (Alaska and Colorado in 1975, Maine and California in 1976).

In recent years, even a State like Delaware, which a study by the ACLU (American NGO active in defense of civil liberties) is denouncing a discriminatory application (ratio 1:3) between ‘whites’ and African Americans of the rules on possession of cannabis, has decriminalized the possession of up to 28 grams of marihuana by imposing a $ 100 administrative fine. New Hampshire did the same, lowering the threshold to 21 grams in 2017.

The laws of the various states may also proceed to table relocations of THC concerning what is established by the federal CSA (as did Oregon, Tennessee, Arkansas, or, in the case already mentioned, North Carolina).

For the lawful and regulated use of cannabis for medical and therapeutic purposes, California, with the Compassionate Use Act of November 5, 1996, holds the absolute time record.

According to this law, the citizens of the State have the right to obtain and consume it “provided that a doctor has established that the person’s health benefits from it”, “they will neither be criminally charged nor sanctioned” (provisions converged in the Health & Safety Code, §11362.5).

Medical use of cannabis

In 2004, the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMP) came into force, which specifies the modalities for patients to obtain the substance for curative purposes. In addition to providing for the personal home cultivation of up to 6 adult plants and the possession of no more than 226 grams (half a pound) of substance, the MMP has a membership (optional) of the patient and the doctor who assists him in the county of residence of the former.

Then, the healthcare professional will have to produce adequate written documentation relating to severe medical conditions (which include AIDS, cancer, anorexia, arthritis, chronic pain, glaucoma and various other diseases) for which cannabis-based therapy is appropriate.

Over time, a class of specialists has been created, sometimes accused of ‘corporatism’ by the investigative press (the only California Medical Association in favor of full legalization now has more than 45,000 members).

Like California for medical use, Colorado can call itself another ‘pioneer state’ in this process of opening up to different cannabis destinations. In November 2012, Amendment 64 was approved, which amends the Constitution (Art. 18, section 16) by canceling, at the state level, the federal prohibition on the use and personal possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana.

Meanwhile, on the ‘hemp front,’ at the turn of 2013, the State Department of Agriculture approved the discipline containing the relative registration system for growers.

On March 1, 2014, the national cultivation program was launched, according to the new federal legislation (Farm Bill) just approved. Suppose Colorado was the first, in 2012, to legalize recreational marijuana use. In that case, this is due to a series of popularly initiated constitutional revisions: Amendment 20 on the medical use of the plant and the Amendment mentioned above 64, which treats cannabis like alcohol concerning personal recreational possession and consumption (up to 6 plants and 28 grams for those aged 21 and over), production and trade, which started in January 2014.


In the USA, compared to 30 States that authorize the medical use of cannabis by national law, recreational use is legal (also allowed in the District of Columbia), while it is decriminalized.

To the four States that first legalized the sale, possession and consumption for recreational purposes – Colorado and Washington in 2012, Oregon and Alaska as well as the capital Washington (DC), in 2014 – were added, after the referendums of 2016, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, California (where it has been legal since January 1, 2018), and Vermont. 

In the latter case, the small Republican-led State has legalized possession (28 grams) and cultivation (4 plants) by Parliament: the only possible way provided for by the Constitution, which in this matter does not allow recourse to “Election Day”. The new law, which does not provide for sales to large industries, will come into effect in Vermont in July.

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