More than 188.7 million people over the age of 18 in the United States live in a state or territory where cannabis has been legalized, whether for medical or adult use. This means that more than 73% of the US adult population has some access to legal cannabis in some way, according to an analysis by GrownIn.
California and Illinois have the largest number of adults over the age of 18 accessing the medical consumer and adult consumer markets. New York, which rivals Illinois, could open its sales this year and swell the ranks of adult consumers.
More purely medical states
Of the states that report cannabis patient numbers, the average enrollment rate in states where only medical cannabis is legal is 1.84%, with Oklahoma leading the way with more than 12%. of its population enrolled in the medical program. The state with the lowest number of patients is West Virginia, with 0.37% of the population over 18 enrolled.
For states that have both a medical market and an adult-use market, the average medical patient enrollment rate is 2.16%. The state with the highest percentage of its adult population registered as medical patients is New Mexico, at 7.97%. The lowest is Alaska, with only 0.07% of the adult population registered.
This portion of the data is limited, however, as seven states with a medical program did not report their numbers. Two states — California and Louisiana — also don’t keep track of those numbers. Also, the patient numbers for the Virginia and South Dakota medical programs are not public records.
Unconditional support for legalization
According to the most recent survey of Pew Research Center published in April 2021, 91% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legalized for medical or recreational use. Regarding the legalization of cannabis for adults alone, 69% of Americans were in favor of it on the same date.
In 2016, “only” 75 million Americans had legal access to cannabis.