Today, there are more than 188.7 million Americans aged 18 or older living in a state where the use of cannabis, legal or recreational, is tolerated by law. This is equivalent to over 73% of the U.S. population!
Specifically, Illinois and California have the largest number of adults able to access cannabis, whether for medical or recreational purposes. In order to compete with Illinois, New York City is reportedly planning to launch cannabis sales later this year, and this would further increase the number of adult consumers!
Cannabis only medical in a few states
For those states that are willing to disclose their numbers of patients receiving treatment with cannabis, even though they only tolerate medical cannabis, the enrollment rate is 1.84%. Oklahoma rises to the top of this list, with a score of over 12% of the population enrolled in this medical program. At the bottom of the list, West Virginia has only 0.37% of its major population enrolled.
If we look at the states with both a medical and recreational cannabis market, the average increases somewhat, as it reaches a score of 2.16%. As for the states with the highest rate of adults registered as medical patients, New Mexico comes out on top, as it has a total of 7.97%. The lowest percentage, meanwhile, is attributed to Alaska, with only 0.7 percent.
Caution should be exercised with these data, however, as seven of the states with this medical program have declined to release their numbers. In addition, California and Louisiana do not keep this type of data, and Virginia and South Dakota do not consider this information to be of public record.
A solicited legislation for medical cannabis
Today, the cannabis plant is scientifically recognized for its therapeutic properties. That’s why more and more wellness specialists and health-conscious consumers want to take advantage of the benefits of the CBD molecule, and are calling for the legalization of cannabis.
A survey recently released by the Pew Research Center, which can be viewed here, supports these claims, as it indicates that 91% of Americans would support legalizing cannabis, whether medical or recreational. On the question of allowing only recreational cannabis, 69% of those surveyed also support it.
We are therefore witnessing a very visible change in attitudes regarding cannabis legislation. Indeed, there were only 75 million Americans with access to legal cannabis during 2016, and this figure has more than doubled in just 6 years!