2023 has been a pivotal year for cannabis in the United States, with significant developments on both the state and federal levels. Here’s a summary of the key events:
Rescheduling of Cannabis: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended easing restrictions on marijuana. This move could potentially expand the market for cannabis.
- Presidential Pardon: President Biden issued an executive order pardoning nonviolent offenders convicted of simple possession of marijuana. This historic move is expected to have far-reaching implications.
- Legislation: High-profile federal legislation like the Cannabis Opportunity Act (CAOA), the States Reform Act, Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act, and the Secure and Fair (SAFE) Banking Act were reintroduced.
- State Developments
New Legalizations: At least two states were predicted to enact adult-use reform in 2023, with the most likely states being Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
Regulatory Changes: States like Missouri and California saw significant regulatory changes. In Missouri, regulators revoked the manufacturing license of Delta Extraction, which led to a major recall4. In California, cannabis brand Dosist was acquired by partner Final Bell.
Market Trends: Colorado’s cannabis sales continued to slump in 2023, with transactions in every month bringing in less than the same month last year.
Despite these advancements, the cannabis industry still faces major challenges, including onerous regulations, competition from the illicit market, and oversupply in certain markets2. As we move into 2024, industry watchers are keeping a close eye on further developments.