Where is Recreational Cannabis Legal? (2022 US Map & Guide)

Recreational, adult-use cannabis is legal in 18 U.S. states, Washington DC, and 2 other territories.

Colorado and Washington were the first U.S. states to remove the legal barriers to recreational cannabis use in 2012. 10 years on and 16 more states along with Washington DC and two other U.S. territories have legalized cannabis for recreational users as of February 2022. 

Most of these regions allow their residents to cultivate a limited number of Cannabis plants at home. 14 of these states have also legalized adult-use Cannabis retail at the licensed dispensaries. Six other U.S. states and territories give adults the right to possession of recreational cannabis but have not legalized the adult-use Cannabis industry yet.

Remember, you must be an adult over the age of 21 to possess and give away recreational cannabis across America where it’s legal. Furthermore, consuming cannabis in a public place and while driving a car or other vehicle is still a legal offense in all the U.S. states and territories.


U.S. states and territories where recreational cannabis is legal

Rolling Stone Magazine

The following 14 US and one U.S. territories have legalized both the possession and retail of adult-use Cannabis: 


  • Colorado
  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • Maine
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • Arizona
  • New York

The following six U.S. states and territories have legalized the possession of adult-use marijuana. However, recreational cannabis retail is still illegal in these regions:


  • Washington D.C.
  • Vermont
  • Guam
  • Virginia
  • New Mexico
  • Connecticut

Now, we will provide you with all the required information related to possession and cultivation of cannabis in each U.S. region where it’s legal. In this blog post, you can also read the adult-use cannabis tax information for every U.S. state where its retail is legal.


1. Colorado


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 6, 2012.Colorado Amendment 64 (55.32%)Effective: December 10, 2012.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana
Cultivation limits6 plants (no more than 3 mature plants) per adult
Total 12 plants per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusEffective: January 1, 2014.
Legal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Colorado15% sales tax15% excise tax


2. Washington


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 6, 2012.Washington Initiative 502 (55.7%)Effective: December 6, 2012
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana
16 oz. of marijuana-infused solid edibles
72 oz. of marijuana-infused liquids
7 grams of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limitsRecreational users are not allowed to grow Cannabis plants at home
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusEffective: December 2013.Legal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Washington37% excise tax


3. Alaska


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 4, 2014.Alaska Ballot Measure 2 (53.23%)Effective: February 24, 2015.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana
Cultivation limits6 plants (no more than 3 mature plants) per adult
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for AlaskaEffective January 1, 2019.$50 per oz. for mature bud/flower$25 per oz. for immature/abnormal bud
$15 per oz. for trimFlat rate of $1 per clone


4. Oregon


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 4, 2014.Oregon Ballot Measure 91 (56.11%)Effective: March 29. 2016.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable cannabis in public (cannot be consumed at a public place)8 oz. of usable cannabis in private
16 oz. of marijuana-infused solid edibles at home
72 oz. of marijuana-infused liquids at home
1 oz. of Cannabis extract at home
Cultivation limits4 plants per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Oregon17% sales tax3% additional sales tax for Oregon localities


5. California


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 9, 2016.California Proposition 64 (57.13%)Effective: November 9. 2016.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana8 oz. of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limits6 plants per adultAdults can also harvest from these plants
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusEffective: January 1, 2018.Legal at licensed dispensariesOrder versatile cannabis products in California from GreenKong.
cannabis retail tax information for CaliforniaEffective: January 1, 2022.
15% excise tax
$10.08 per oz. for dry-weight flower&
2.87 per oz. for dry-weight leaves
$1.4 per oz. for fresh cannabis plant


6. Massachusetts


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 8, 2016.Massachusetts Question 4, 2016 (53.66%)Effective: December 15. 2016.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable cannabis in public (cannot be consumed at a public place)
10 oz. of usable cannabis in private
Cultivation limits6 plants per adult
12 plants per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Massachusetts Effective: July 1, 2018.
10.75% excise tax
6.25% sales tax
3% additional sales tax for Massachusetts localities


7. Nevada


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 8, 2016.Nevada Question 2, 2016 (54.47%)Effective: January 1. 2017.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana3.5 grams of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limits6 plants per adult12 plants per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Nevada15% sales tax10% excise tax


8. Maine


Pathway to legalizationApproved: December 17, 2016.Maine Question 1, 2016 (50.26%)Effective: January 30. 2017.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana2.5 oz. of usable marijuana
Cultivation limits3 flowering plants
12 immature plantsUnlimited Cannabis seedlings
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Maine10% sales tax15% excise tax


9. Northern Mariana Islands


Pathway to legalizationApproved: September 21, 2018.CNMI Public Law 20-66, 2018.Effective: September 21, 2018.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana
Cultivation limits12 plants (no more than 6 mature plants) per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusEffective: September 21, 2018.
Legal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for CNMI9% excise tax


10. Illinois


Pathway to legalizationApproved: June 25, 2019.Illinois House Bill 1438Effective: January 1, 2021
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable cannabis and 500 mg of products containing THC for Illinois residents
0.5 oz. of usable cannabis and 250 mg of products containing THC for non-residents
5 grams of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limitsRecreational users are not allowed to grow cannabis plants at home
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Illinois20% tax rate for Cannabis-infused products
10% tax rate for Cannabis (other than Cannabis-infused products) with less than 35% THC
25% tax rate for Cannabis (other than Cannabis-infused products) with more than 35% THC


11. Michigan


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 6, 2018.Michigan Proposal 1, 2018 (55.89%)Effective: January 2020.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana2.5 oz. of usable marijuana15 grams of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limits12 plants per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Michigan6% sales tax10% excise tax


12. Montana


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 3, 2020.Montana I-190, 2020 (56.90%)Montana C-118, 2020 (57.84%)Effective: January 1, 2021.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana8 grams of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limits4 mature plants4 Cannabis seedlings
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Montana20% sales tax


13. New Jersey


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 3, 2020.New Jersey Public Question 1, 2020 (67.08%)Effective: January 1, 2021.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana
Cultivation limitsRecreational users are not allowed to grow Cannabis plants at home
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for New Jersey6.625% sales tax
A flexible excise tax (excise tax rate depends on the retail price and ranges $10-60 per oz.)


14. Arizona


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 3, 2020.Arizona Proposition 207 (60.03%)Effective: November 30, 2021.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana5 grams of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limits6 plants per adult 12 plants per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusEffective: March 2021.Legal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for Arizona16% excise tax
5.6% transaction privilege tax (TPT)


15. New York


Pathway to legalizationApproved: March 30, 2021.NY State Senate Bill S854AEffective: March 30, 2021.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana3 oz. of usable marijuana24 grams of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limits12 plants (no more than 6 mature plants) per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLegal at licensed dispensaries
cannabis retail tax information for New York0.5 cents per milligram of THC in flower
0.8 cents per milligram of THC in concentrates
3 cents per milligram of THC in edibles
9% excise tax
3% additional sales tax for New York localities


16. Washington, D.C.


Pathway to legalizationApproved: November 4, 2014.Washington Initiative 502 (64.87%)Effective: February 26, 2015
Right to possession of recreational marijuana2 oz. of usable marijuana
Cultivation limits6 plants (no more than 3 mature plants) per adult
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusRecreational Cannabis retail sales are not legal in Washington DC yet but you can get weed gifts from your friends or other businessesLicenced dispensaries are expected to be allowed for recreational cannabis sales in Washington DC by August 2022


17. Vermont


Pathway to legalizationApproved: January 22, 2018.Vermont H.511 (Act 86)Effective: July 1, 2018.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana5 grams of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limits6 plants (no more than 2 mature plants) per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLicenced dispensaries are expected to be allowed for recreational cannabis sales in Vermont by May 2022


18. Guam


Pathway to legalizationApproved: April 4, 2019.Guam Bill 423, 2019.Effective: April 4, 2019.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1 oz. of usable marijuana
Cultivation limits6 plants (no more than 3 mature plants) per adult
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusRecreational Cannabis retail sales are not legal in Guam yet but adults are allowed to gift up to 1 oz. of cannabisLicenced dispensaries are expected to be allowed for recreational cannabis sales in Guam in coming years.


19. Virginia


Pathway to legalizationApproved: April 7, 2021.SB 1406/ HB 2312 Virginia, 2021Effective: July 1, 2021.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana2 oz. of usable marijuana
Cultivation limits4 plants per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLicenced dispensaries may start selling recreational cannabis in Virginia by September 2022.


20. New Mexico


Pathway to legalizationApproved: April 12, 2021.New Mexico 2021 Special Session – HB 2Effective: June 29, 2021.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana2 oz. of usable marijuana
800 milligrams of edible cannabis
16 grams of cannabis concentrates
Cultivation limits6 plants per adult12 plants per household
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLicenced dispensaries may start selling recreational cannabis in New Mexico by April 2022.


21. Connecticut


Pathway to legalizationApproved: June 22, 2021.Connecticut SB 1201, 2021.Effective: July 1, 2021.
Right to possession of recreational marijuana1.5 oz. of usable marijuana
5 oz. of usable cannabis in a locked container
7.5 grams of cannabis concentrates (with up to 750 mg of THC)25 grams of cannabis concentrates (with up to 2500 mg of THC) in a locked container
Cultivation limitsRecreational users in Connecticut are not allowed to grow Cannabis plants at home.
Recreational cannabis retail sales statusLicenced dispensaries are expected to be allowed for recreational cannabis sales in Connecticut by the end of 2022.


U.S. regions where recreational cannabis has been decriminalized

29 US states and one territory have decriminalized recreational cannabis use as of February 2022. These regions have revised the penalties for recreational users in recent years. Possession and consumption of recreational cannabis is no longer a felony and is considered a misdemeanor in most of these states.

Here’s the list of all the U.S. regions where recreational cannabis has been decriminalized:


  • Alabama
  • Delaware 
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana 
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana 
  • Maryland 
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio 
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina 
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • West Virginia 
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
  • US Virgin Islands

Some of the above-listed states may legalize adult-use cannabis in the near future. While the efforts to legalize recreational cannabis on the federal level are also taking place in DC.


U.S. regions where recreational cannabis is still a felony

Recreational cannabis is still strictly illegal in three states and two territories. Consumption or possession of weed is a felony in these regions and comes with a heavy fine and long prison sentence.

Following are the U.S. regions where adult-use Cannabis is strictly illegal:


  • Florida 
  • Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • Puerto Rico
  • American Samoa


Wrap up: What’s the public opinion on adult-use Cannabis legalization?

cannabis is one of the most popular mind-altering drugs in America. Many people across the U.S., including the states where recreational cannabis is still illegal, are in favor of adult-use Cannabis legalization. 

They support recreational cannabis legalization for the versatile physical and psychological benefits of cannabis products. These supporters also quote various economic benefits such as investment options, job opportunities, and increased tax revenues to advocate the legalization.

On the other hand, many other people believe legalizing adult-use cannabis carries various health and social risks. In particular, they have doubts about how U.S. states plan to keep legalized pot out of their kid’s hands. That’s why the possession and retail of recreational cannabis are still illegal in most of the U.S. regions. 

However, this blog post reflects an increasing number of U.S. regions every year where recreational cannabis has been either legalized or decriminalized. Therefore, we could conclude that the day is not too far away when possession and retail of adult-use  Cannabis will no longer be a legal offense across America.