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Medical Cannabis Now Legalized in 33 States​

Medical Cannabis Now Legalized in 33 States

Cannabis legalization is sweeping the United States (U.S.). In January 2018, Vermont became the first state to legalize cannabis through its legislature rather than a ballot initiative when the governor signed the bill into law. As of the November 6, 2018 elections, there were 33 states, with Utah and Missouri being the most recent, with legalized medical cannabis and 10 states where recreational use was legal, with Michigan being the latest vote in recreational use.

Canada became the world’s only major industrialized nation to legalize retail cannabis sales starting Oct. 17, 2018. The Canadian cannabis sector is estimated to generate billions of dollars of revenue in coming years resulting in Canadians flocking to take jobs and buy stocks in the booming industry. However, this move has the possibility to disrupt border crossings between the U.S. and Canada for travelers who are in conflict with American drug laws, even if their activities were legal in Canada.

If a traveler admits to past use of any illegal drugs, including cannabis, the traveler will be prohibited from entering into the U.S. Canadian Border Patrol (CBP) typically will allow them the opportunity to “voluntary withdraw” from the border or face an expedited removal. Even if the traveler does not enter the U.S., a record will be kept by CBP and that traveler will not be allowed to return to the U.S. If this happens then the traveler will be given the opportunity to apply for a waiver from a lifetime ban, which costs $585 (USD) and requires several months to process.

As more and more states, pass some sort of cannabis legalization the need to ensure safe consumable products, whether they are for medical or recreational use, is of the utmost importance. The professionals at Vitale Scientific Associates are experienced and positioned to assist processing companies and laboratories with assessing, preparing, and implementing standards such as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). If you would like more information, please reach out to Shane Penn at 865-376-7590 or


Shane Penn, MBA

Account Executive

This article is brought to you by Shane Penn. For more information you can reach him at