Minnesota and Delaware were the latest U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana and did so through their state legislatures this year. The last voter approved legalizations took place in Maryland and Missouri in the 2022 elections. As setting up a licensing system for dispensaries takes time, sales are yet to start in Delaware. In Minnesota and Maryland, they had their first day on August 1 and July 1, respectively. Missouri was a bit quicker and started sales in early February.
As part of the same 2022 election, recreational weed measures failed in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota. South Dakota had actually given the recreational and medical use of cannabis the green light in the 2020 elections, but the state's Supreme Court ruled the ballot measure on recreational weed invalid for technical reasons after a complaint funded by Governor Kristi Noem.
As of now, this means that recreational marijuana will be legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. There are currently 38 states that have medical marijuana laws, including all that allow recreational use. This year, Kentucky was added to the list.
After successful ballot measures in the 2020 election, weed had become legal in Arizona, New Jersey and Montana. During 2021 and 2022, state legislatures in New York, Virginia, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Connecticut passed bills to legalize marijuana. These recent developments have brought recreational cannabis to more East Coast states after the American West had long been the hotbed of legalization efforts. Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize the drug in 2012.