Eighteen states have legalized adult-use cannabis to date, providing 18 different examples of how to establish a licensed and regulated market.

NORML announced March 29 the release of a new report, “Marijuana Policies in Legal States: A Comprehensive Review of Adult-Use Marijuana Rules and Regulations,” which examines various aspects of the regulated adult-use cannabis programs in the 18 states that have legalized.

The report is meant “to educate decision-makers at the state and federal level on the common features of states’ adult-use marijuana legalization laws and regulations so that they can make informed decisions on cannabis policy and better understand how existing state-licensed programs are successfully being implemented in jurisdictions throughout the country,” according to NORML’s announcement.

“Despite the continued expansion of regulated adult-use cannabis markets and overwhelming public support for ending cannabis prohibition, many elected officials are still relatively unfamiliar with the specific policies that states have implemented over the last decade or with the lessons they have learned,” NORML Political Director Morgan Fox said in a public statement. “We are releasing this report in anticipation of a vote on the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and ahead of the impending introduction of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act in the Senate, which will put a spotlight on cannabis policy reform and jumpstart conversations at all levels of government on how to best regulate this substance to ensure justice, efficacy, and public safety.”

The MORE Act, House Bill 3617, is sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y. The legislation, which aims to remove cannabis from the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, was first introduced in July 2019 and was passed by the full lower chamber in December 2020.

The bill stalled in the Senate under the leadership of then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., but has since resurfaced earlier this month. The House Rules Committee has a March 30 hearing scheduled for the legislation, which could then see another floor vote in the full chamber.

RELATED: MORE Act Receives 10 More Proposed Amendments, 15 Total

Similarly, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, tax and regulate cannabis at the federal level, and grant states the power to keep or administer their own oversight programs.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., unveiled a preliminary draft of the CAOA in July 2021. Schumer then announced in February that he will formally introduce the bill in April.

RELATED: Industry Organizations Submit Feedback on Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act

In addition to the momentum at the federal level, NORML said in its announcement that the report was inspired by the numerous campaigns that are currently underway to place medical and adult-use cannabis legalization measures before voters in the November 2022 election.

“Implementing adult-use legalization is an opportunity for lawmakers to significantly improve criminal justice and facilitate restorative justice, while also providing job creation and tax revenue via the regulation and oversight of what was formerly an entirely unregulated, underground, and pervasive marketplace,” NORML said in the announcement.

“States have fulfilled their roles as laboratories of democracy, and in this case, the experiment has proven to be a resounding policy success,” NORML concludes in the report, according to the announcement. “The number of states enacting legalization as an alternative to marijuana prohibition is growing, and public support for these policies is at an all-time high, including in early-adopter states. The success and popularity of these policies are due in no small part to the fact that legalization has been carefully crafted by lawmakers and regulators in a manner that addresses common health and safety concerns and that seeks to provide common sense market controls.”