Cannabis Laws By State 2021

In 2021, the cannabis landscape continued its evolution as four more states legalized recreational cannabis. This change means that over 40% of Americans now live in areas where cannabis use and possession are legal. As specialists in cannabis industry banking and payment services, we closely monitor these legal changes. Here, we detail the states that have passed new legislation and examine others poised to follow suit.

States That Legalized Cannabis in 2021


  • SB 1201 legalizes recreational marijuana.
  • Effective July 1, 2021: Adults can possess up to 1.5 oz in public and 5 oz in private.
  • Home cultivation allowed from July 2023: Up to 6 plants per person or 12 per household.


  • First southern state to legalize adult recreational marijuana.
  • Effective July 1, 2021: Adult possession of up to 1 oz is legal.
  • Home cultivation of up to 4 plants allowed, hidden from public view.

New York

  • Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act legalizes adult marijuana use.
  • Immediate effect: Adults can possess up to 3 oz of marijuana and 24 grams of concentrate.
  • Home cultivation: Up to 6 plants allowed.

New Mexico

  • The Cannabis Regulation Act legalizes adult recreational cannabis.
  • Effective June 29, 2021: Adult possession of up to 2oz of marijuana.
  • Home cultivation: Up to 6 plants per person or 12 per household.

Potential Future Legalizations

States like Rhode Island, Delaware, and Maryland are showing promising signs of future legalization, with bills expected to be reintroduced in 2021. South Dakota’s situation remains uncertain due to legal challenges. Rhode Island, under new leadership, seems poised for legalization.

Federal Cannabis Reform Prospects

Nationally, there’s growing support for federal cannabis legalization. The MORE Act, focusing on social justice, was reintroduced in the House, and the Senate Majority Leader is working on a comprehensive reform bill. These efforts are crucial as they could potentially deschedule marijuana at the federal level.

The State of Cannabis Banking and Payment Services

While legalization advances, the cannabis industry still faces challenges in accessing banking and payment services. The SAFE Banking Act, which recently passed the House, is now in the Senate and could provide much-needed financial services access to the industry.

Our Role at Bankcard International Group

At Bankcard International Group, we’re actively working to provide legitimate, compliant, and affordable cannabis payment solutions. We offer several options for cashless payments, ensuring legality and safeguarding industry interests. Our team of ETA Certified Payment Professionals is committed to transparency and integrity in all our services.

For more information on cannabis laws by state or to inquire about our payment solutions, please reach out to us. We’re here to assist in navigating the evolving cannabis landscape.

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