Massachusetts marijuana legalisation bill could be the biggest breakthrough in the US legalisation of cannabis, and could pave the way for other states to follow suit.
It has been three years since Massachusetts voters approved medical cannabis for the treatment of cancer and other debilitating diseases, and now a new law, the Marijuana Legalisation Act, could pave an important road to legalisation.
The bill is a landmark piece of legislation that has been championed by the medical cannabis industry, with a number of cannabis cultivators set to open shop in Massachusetts this year.
Massachusetts medical cannabis company, GW Pharmaceuticals, will begin operating at an 80,000 sq ft facility in Medford next week, and is expected to open another one in April.
The state has been a beacon for medical cannabis businesses, with growers already making the transition to growing, packaging and selling their products in other states.
Its legalisation could provide the space for some of the world’s biggest medical cannabis companies to move into the state and start production.
Growers are also expected to expand to other states, such as California and Maine, as part of a plan to help establish new market forces.
The Massachusetts bill allows growers to grow up to six plants in a growing facility.
The state has not yet passed a law allowing recreational cannabis use, and it is still awaiting a response from the US Justice Department.
The medical cannabis bill is expected at the heart of discussions between the state’s governor and the state attorney general.
The governor has said that he would like to see cannabis legalised in Massachusetts, and if it passes, he will push for the legislature to consider a bill that allows for the recreational use of the drug.
In the meantime, Massachusetts is a beacon of hope for many cannabis enthusiasts, with an overall marijuana legalization approval rate of more than 85%.
The cannabis industry is growing rapidly in the state, with the cannabis production and retailing sector expected to be worth nearly $15bn in the coming years.
The Massachusetts Medical Society estimates that by 2020, the state will have a market worth more than $200bn.
In addition to the new industry, there are many people who are passionate about cannabis, with one in five of all adults now using the drug, according to a study from the University of North Carolina.