A Look Ahead: 12 States That Could Legalize Medical Marijuana in 2013

Last year was a significant one for the marijuana industry, with two states passing MMJ laws and another two legalizing cannabis for recreational use.

It will be hard to top that, but the industry could be poised for another big year in 2013.

As Medical Marijuana Business Daily reported last month, more than a dozen states could consider legalizing cannabis for recreational use this year, and the list seems to grow by the day.

But that’s only part of the equation: A dozen additional states will likely weigh medical cannabis legislation in 2013, according to information provided by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

Lawmakers have already moved forward in Alabama (House Bill 2), Illinois (House Bill 1), Kentucky (Senate Bill 11), New Hampshire (Rep. Donna Schlachman has requested that a measure be filed in the House) and New York (Senate Bill 1682). And just today a state senator in Kansas introduced an MMJ measure (Senate Bill 9).

Lawmakers in another six states – Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin – have indicated they will file medical cannabis bills too.

Note the geography of the states: Seven of them are in the Northeast and the South and the others are in the Midwest, signaling where big business opportunities could materialize in the near future.

Of course, passing any type of pro-marijuana legislation often takes years and requires multiple efforts to gain enough support.

A few of these states will weigh medical marijuana and/or cannabis legalization in earnest for the first time, making it unlikely they will be able to push through legislation this year. But others have considered the issue in the past – several times in some cases – and could finally pass marijuana laws.

With nearly two dozen states set to debate medical marijuana or general cannabis legalization, there’s a good chance at least one or two will move forward with legislation.

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