Colorado and Washington are often referenced for pioneering the legalization of adult-use cannabis in 2012. Today, eight U.S. states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws legalizing cannabis for adult-use, with a total of 44 U.S. states providing legal medical or adult-use access or both. As recently as Jan. 1, sales of adult-use cannabis began in California and in Massachusetts retail sales will begin as early as this July. However, these states, along with others who have implemented legalization models, have crafted very different approaches. The diversity of these reform models, and the successes and failures from these legal jurisdictions have been and will continue to be informative to Canadian decision-makers as the government moves towards legalization.
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