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Medical Cannabis Year in Review 2023

Medical Cannabis Year in Review 2023
Table of Contents

2023 has been a year marked by groundbreaking research, regulatory advancements, and evolving public attitudes toward cannabis. Whether you’re a patient, healthcare professional, investor, or simply curious about the world of medical cannabis, this comprehensive review will provide valuable insights into the most significant developments that occurred within this rapidly expanding industry over the past year.

What Trends Emerged in the Medical Cannabis Industry in 2023?

Younger Consumers

In 2023, younger consumers began purchasing more medical cannabis products. Several factors contributed to this trend. The progressive destigmatization of cannabis played a crucial role, as did increased awareness about the medicinal benefits of cannabis, largely due to extensive digital and social media campaigns.

Popularity of Edibles, Vape Pens, Pre-Rolls, and Beverages

In 2023, the medical cannabis industry witnessed an unprecedented surge in the popularity of edibles, vape pens, pre-rolls, and cannabis-infused beverages. As consumers became more health-conscious and sought alternatives to traditional smoking, edibles emerged as a favorable option. Vape pens also saw a spike in demand due to their portability and perceived healthiness when compared to smoking.

Pre-rolls became popular for their convenience and simplicity. Meanwhile, cannabis-infused beverages gained traction as a novel and social way to consume cannabis, fitting seamlessly into the burgeoning market of drug-infused beverages. The increase in popularity of these products in 2023 is a testament to the evolving preferences of cannabis consumers and the industry’s ability to innovate.

Rise in Cannabis Sales

In 2023, medical cannabis sales saw an unprecedented boost. This surge was largely tied to increased legislative recognition of cannabis as a viable treatment for numerous medical conditions, from chronic pain to depression and more.

Furthermore, increased legalization efforts and the subsequent expansion of dispensaries helped make medical cannabis more accessible than ever before. The rise in sales can also be attributed to ongoing research and development efforts that have led to the introduction of more refined and potent medical cannabis products that’ve allowed dispensaries to cater to a wider range of patients.

Rise in Cannabis Jobs

2023 saw a significant upturn in cannabis employment opportunities in states like Illinois. A confluence of factors, including policy liberalization, growing acceptance of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and increased research funding led to notable job growth within the industry.
Job roles continued to expand, from cultivation and processing to research, distribution, and dispensary services. This surge in employment underscores the evolving role of cannabis in the medicinal landscape and signals a promising future for those seeking a career in the medical cannabis industry.

Medical Cannabis Industry Face in 2023

What Setbacks Did the Medical Cannabis Industry Face in 2023?

2023 was not without its setbacks for the medical cannabis industry. Some of its most prominent issues included:

  • In many regions, a lack of legislative progress restricted the expansion of the medical cannabis industry. This resulted in lost potential for market growth and development.
  • The stigma associated with cannabis use still remained a key challenge in 2023, causing reluctance from potential patients and medical practitioners to adopt it as a viable treatment option.
  • The medical marijuana industry faced increased competition from the recreational cannabis sector in 2023 as a result of more states legalizing recreational weed.
  • The industry faced supply chain disruptions due to lingering logistical challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in an unstable supply of cannabis products and compromising the industry’s reliability.
  • The high cost of medical marijuana cards and medical cannabis products continues to limit patient accessibility, especially for those in low-income brackets.
Medical Cannabis Year In Review 2023

Did Any States Vote on Medical Cannabis Bills in 2023?


In 2023, California passed two bills to expand medical marijuana patients’ rights. Senate Bill 302 permits qualified patients who’re at least 65 years of age to access certain cannabis products in private hospitals and other eligible healthcare facilities. Senate Bill 700 made it illegal for employers to question job applicants about their prior use of cannabis.

A third bill, AB 374, which would’ have allowed cannabis consumption facilities to serve customers non-cannabis food and beverages and sell tickets to live performances, got vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom.


In 2023, Florida passed House Bill 387, which allowed medical marijuana doctors to conduct telehealth evaluations of patients seeking to renew their MMJ cards. However, the bill stipulated that patients’ initial evaluations must be conducted in person and that subsequent evaluations can only be held online if the patient is seeing the doctor who performed their original one.

New York

The state of New York has not passed the bill yet, but in 2023 the Senate began reviewing Bill S1203, which would make two changes to local medical cannabis regulation. First, it would provide for reciprocity agreements with other states that have medical marijuana programs. In addition, it would enable the state’s cannabis control board to regulate the approval of pre-roll products.

North Carolina

In March of 2023, the North Carolina Senate passed the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act, which would legalize medical marijuana, but the bill has since stalled in the state’s House of Representatives, which has yet to vote on it.

South Carolina

Medical cannabis remains illegal in South Carolina, but that could soon change. A bill known as the Compassionate Care Act was introduced to the SC Senate in early 2023, but they have yet to vote on it. The bill did get passed and reach the state’s House of Representatives in 2022, though, so it could very well get passed into law in 2024.


Texas, which is traditionally conservative when it comes to cannabis policy, came close to passing a bill that would expand its list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana patients in 2023. Namely, House Bill 1805 would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for chronic pain and empower the state to continue expanding its list of qualifying conditions without additional votes.

The Texas House of Representatives passed the bill by an overwhelming majority in April, but the Senate has yet to follow suit.


In 2023, Vermont passed House Bill 270, which increased the number of plants patients can cultivate at home, increased the maximum allowable THC content in the edibles sold at state dispensaries, expanded the state’s list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis treatment, increased the number of patients a caregiver can assist, and eliminated the annual registration fee for caregivers.

Did Any States Legalize Medical Marijuana in 2023?


Kentucky was the only state to legalize medical marijuana in 2023. Governor Andy Beshear did so by signing Senate Bill 47 into law on March 31. The law will enable Kentuckians suffering from at least one of the state’s 21 qualifying conditions to purchase medical marijuana products from local dispensaries.

The law won’t go into effect until 2025, but an executive order from Beshear will allow residents with qualifying conditions to obtain medical cannabis from out-of-state facilities in the meantime.

Why Choose the Sanctuary’s Medical Marijuana Doctors?

At the Sanctuary Wellness Institute, our team of experienced medical marijuana doctors adheres to the highest standard of care. We offer a streamlined, compassionate approach to treatment, with a focus on each patient’s unique needs.

When you work with us, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation and assistance in completing all necessary paperwork to obtain a medical cannabis card. We believe in the power of medical marijuana, and we are committed to making this treatment accessible to all eligible patients.

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