Legalization and Sales Are 18-24 Months Apart

Business opportunities are finally catching up with the wave of legalization, with several states that already started the medical and recreational sales of marijuana last year and four states set to legalize medical marijuana this year.

According to the Marijuana Business Daily’s latest data, on average, there is a 18-24 month period between the moment of marijuana legalization and the moment a person can buy marijuana from a licensed dispensary/recreational storefront.


In some states, such as Delaware and Massachusetts, this period from legalization to marijuana sales, was several years. Minnesota and New York on the other hand moved much more quickly. Colorado, Oregon and Washington State averaged a wait of about 15 months after legalization before kicking off recreational retail sales.

Alaska legalized recreational cannabis in 2014 and its citizens are still waiting for the legal sales. This being said, columnist Becky Olson points out there are hurdles to be cleared in any new market, even after legalization.

“Marijuana businesses in each of the recreational states,” writes Olson,

“have […] met varying degrees of local government and community pushback, bans or moratoriums, creating ongoing challenges to establishing operations even in states with full legalization.”

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