Marijuana, which is still considered an illicit drug at the federal level, is legal in 11 states for adults over the age of 21 for recreational use, and legal for medical use in 33 states as of January 2020. A broad spectrum of policy variables must be considered in the legalization of recreational marijuana, including advertising restrictions, personal cultivation regulations, social consumption sites, delivery services, local authority to limit or prohibit recreational marijuana enterprises within their communities, and social equity measures. For medical marijuana, policy questions include how to regulate its recommendation and dispensing, as well as how to register patients approved for medical marijuana use.
As more states contemplate cannabis legalization, understanding the broad spectrum of public health and policy issues, including advertising restrictions, personal cultivation regulations, social consumption sites, delivery services, local authority to limit or prohibit recreational marijuana enterprises, and social equity measures, is critical. To assist those working in the everchanging environment of cannabis legalization, the Network is launching a newsletter with quarterly updates on statutory and regulatory changes at the federal and state level, key issues, emerging research and articles related to cannabis use and distribution.