Earlier today, we discussed how the Illinois state senate legalized sports betting across the state. We mentioned that they legalized something else in the same whirlwind of activity over the weekend. That something, of course, was recreational marijuana use.
Feel the Illi-noise
Illinois, America’s fifth most populous state, became the eleventh to allow for widespread marijuana legalization, passing a bill through the state senate this weekend. That is a first for the cannabis sector, as voter referendum has determined all previous legalization efforts.
The bill also includes sweeping changes towards decriminalization. Marijuana criminalization is a major issue in modern politics. Many perceive it as a racially biased policy that unevenly punishes blacks and other minorities.
Given the significance of Illinois as a state and Chicago as a metropolis, this is a major advancement for the cannabis industry. Aaron Grey from the Alliance of Global Partners expressed that hope to Barrons:
“We believe the passing of adult-use retail sales in Illinois could serve as a catalyst for other states,” Grey said, “and also put further pressure to address the disconnect between state and federal law as 29% of the U.S. population will now live in a state where adult use cannabis is legal.”
Where We Go From Here
Of course, there is no guarantee that we go towards legalization from here. There are certainly some states that will continue to hold out. This map from DISA shows in great detail where cannabis is and isn’t legal. There remain ten states where marijuana is fully illegal. Five of these (Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Alabama) are in the south.
As Grey suggested, though, the gulf between federal and state policy is growing wider. At some point, these issues will need to be addressed on the federal level.
We like to stay on top of these issues here at Unicorn Wealth, so be sure to stay tuned for further updates.