Even with the 2020 election mere months away, cannabis seems to lay at the bottom of the totem pole in terms of Presidential to-do checklists. We haven’t heard much cannabis talk from Joe Biden or Donald Trump, likely due to other more pressing issues, such as COVID-19 and the BLM movement. At this late in the game, federal legalization in all 50 states seems unlikely—but there’s still hope for certain states!

With everything that’s been going on this year, we could sure some positive news right about now. No matter your country or zip code, we cannot escape the clutch of 2020. Emerging from the dark clouds are four states that are likely to legalize cannabis in November. Each state comes from a different political background: some Republican, some Democratic. Some already legalized medical cannabis, some still have it classified as a Schedule 1 drug. 2020 might be the turning point for the following states…

New Jersey

Surprisingly, we don’t see New York making much cannabis-related progress by November 2020. Rather, we have New Jersey, the Garden State, with legal recreational cannabis on the horizon. According to Fool.com, “New Jersey’s two legislative houses voted very decisively in favor of putting a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would legalize recreational marijuana.”

Unsurprisingly, it’s the younger demographics (mostly college students) who will vote in favor of recreational cannabis. A Monmouth University poll revealed that 61% of its students support legalization for adult-use. Additionally, leading medical and wellness cannabis operator Curaleaf already has a presence in New Jersey, which could make their battle for legalization easier.


Yes, it’s true, a generally red Republican state might legalize cannabis in November. Why Arizona, though? Back in 2016, The Grand Canyon State’s Proposition 205 came awfully close to passing with 48% in favor of medical and recreational adult use. Have enough millennials moved to Arizona in the past four years to tip the scales? It sure seems likely.

Marijuana Moment also claims, “65% of Arizona voters favor adult-use legalization, which is up from the 54% support garnered last year in favor of legalization.” We have proof that the amount of support for legal cannabis is growing in the Southwest state. Arizona legalized medical cannabis in 2010, so this would be the natural next step.


Who would have thought that Mississippi would make the list? No need to clear off your glasses; you read that right. Despite being a historically conservative state, stats show that Mississippi has a good chance of legalizing cannabis…at least for medical purposes in November. The state likely won’t be ready for recreational use this year. 

The process to legalize cannabis comes in two steps on the voter ballot. The first requests their vote on whether medical marijuana should be legalized in their state. If “yes,” voters move on to pick between Initiative 65 and Initiative 65A.

  • Initiative 65 allows for a more lax use of medical cannabis by patients with more than 20 qualifying conditions.
  • Initiative 65A would make smoking medical pot available only to terminally ill patients and dramatically increase the medical oversight of patients using cannabis.

South Dakota

Lastly, we have yet another Republican state. You don’t hear much news and ground-breaking headlines from South Dakota but trust when we say they’re taking the steps to legalize cannabis. The Mount Rushmore State has a good chance of legalizing cannabis this year because it’s the first to put a medical AND recreational initiative in front of voters at the same time.

Even though cannabis remains entirely illegal at the moment, voters have the chance to pass either medical or recreational (or both!) at the same time in November. Cannabis could make the massive leap from illegal to recreationally legal in just one step. No other state has ever presented such an option on the voter ballot. Most states usually take the gradual steps to legalize medical use first, possibly followed by recreational.