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420 with CNW — Research Finds 7 in 10 Americans Live in States with Legal Cannabis

Despite federal prohibition, cannabis has gained legal status across many of the states in the United States, whether for recreational or medical use. According to recent research from the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans, approximately 74%, now reside in states where cannabis is permissible in some form. Among these, about 54% live in states where recreational use is allowed.

Currently, a significant portion of states — 24, along with the District of Columbia — have given the green light to recreational cannabis. Furthermore, 14 states have legalized cannabis solely for medical applications, while the rest, totaling 12 states, have instituted laws allowing access to cannabis products containing minimal or no psychoactive compounds.

The study’s results, which are consistent with the state-by-state strategy, highlight the growing acceptance of cannabis legalization throughout the nation. This trajectory aligns with recent Gallup polling, which indicates that 70% of U.S. citizens favor legalization.

Examining the distribution of cannabis dispensaries, the analysis noted that a substantial majority, approximately 76%, are situated in states permitting recreational use. Another 23% cater to medical cannabis markets. The 1% serve areas where laws support CBD-only or low-THC products. Interestingly, half of the residents in these states (the 1%) have access to a dispensary.

This trend finds its roots in the Farm Bill 2018, which made hemp containing less than 0.3% THC legal, consequently spurring the development of noneuphoric derivatives such as CBD products. However, it also led to the emergence of substances such as delta-8 THC, which occupy a legal gray area. As they become more and more popular, some states,especially those that haven’t legalized cannabis, have started to regulate or outright ban these goods.

When it comes to states that have legalized cannabis, California leads the pack with an astounding 3,659 dispensaries — one-fourth of all stores in the country. However, Oklahoma leads as the state with the highest density of cannabis outlets per capita — 36 for every 100,000 citizens. All told, 79% of U.S. citizens live in counties with at least one of the approximately 15,000 operating cannabis dispensaries.

A closer look at the socioeconomic ramifications of the findings reveals that densely populated locations in states such as Virginia, Maryland, Colorado  and Connecticut typically have median household incomes that are at least $20,000 less than those in areas with fewer dispensaries. On the other hand, New York and New Hampshire present a different picture, with areas hosting numerous dispensaries boasting median incomes around $20,000 higher than their counterparts.

As more Americans get an opportunity to legally access marijuana products from state-licensed companies, pressure for regulatory change at the federal level could mount and result in reforms that allow companies such as Canopy Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: CGC) (TSX: WEED) to operate freely across the country.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of an article each business day at 4:20 p.m. Eastern – a tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. The concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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