Justice

When Adults Can Legally Smoke in States That Legalized This Year

Four states voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use on Tuesday, but one burning question remains: When does everyone get to light up?

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Don't expect to see recreational dispensaries right away. Certain aspects of each state's law take effect immediately or within weeks; the full recreational system, however, will take some time to be functionally enacted.

Here's a timeline for each state's recreational marijuana system, according to NORML.

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1. California

  • Adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis immediately,
  • You can grow up to as many as six plants immediately as well — though the law stipulates that these plants must be stored and kept out of public places.
  • Licenses for recreational marijuana dispensaries will not be granted until January 2018, which means if you don't have a medical marijuana card in the state, access will be limited for a little over a year.

2. Maine

  • Adults 21 and older will be able to possess and use up to two and one-half ounces of cannabis within 40 days from Election Day.
  • It will also be legal to grow up to six plants (and/or 12 immature plants) within 40 days of the vote.
  • Maine's recreational marijuana regulations won't be finalized until August 8, 2017 — so there's some time to wait if you don't already have a medical marijuana card in the state.

3. Massachusetts

  • Adults 21 and older will be allowed to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, in addition to five grams of concentrate, when the law takes effect on December 15. Residents will also be able to keep 10 ounces of cannabis at home.
  • It will be legal to grow up to six plants when the law takes effect next month as well.
  • The state plans to distribute licenses for recreational marijuana dispensaries on October 1, 2017. 

4. Nevada

  • Adults 21 and older will be able to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and 3.5 grams of concentrate when the law takes effect on January 1, 2017.
  • They will also be legally allowed to grow up to six plants at home when the law takes effect.
  • It's unclear when licenses for recreational marijuana dispensaries will be operational, but lawmakers must finalize regulations for the industry by January 1, 2018. Once the regulations are settled, licenses will begin to be approved.