Wyoming Marijuana Laws 2024

  1. Wyoming Cannabis
  2. Wyoming Marijuana Laws

Key Points

  • Recreational and medical cannabis are illegal in Wyoming
  • Recent attempts (bills) to legalize medical cannabis or decriminalize cannabis have failed
  • State law mandates harsh penalties for cannabis law violators. Wyoming has one of the strictest cannabis laws in the United States
  • Patients with intractable epilepsy are permitted to use marijuana-derived CBD oils, but there are no legal means of obtaining such products within Wyoming

Is Marijuana Legal in Wyoming?

No. Marijuana is illegal in Wyoming for recreational and medical uses. It is prohibited to possess, distribute, cultivate, sell, or use cannabis in the state.

Wyoming Marijuana Laws in 2024

Despite the changing landscape surrounding cannabis laws in many states, Wyoming remains among the minority that maintains criminalization for adults and patients who possess and use cannabis. Unfortunately, this outcome is expected to persist in the foreseeable future, as lawmakers did not make any progress in advancing legislation for cannabis reform during the 2023 legislative session. Wyoming cities have also failed to decriminalize cannabis within their borders. On March 27, 2023, the Cheyenne City Council rejected an attempt to decriminalize cannabis in the city with a vote of 6-3.

Timeline of Cannabis Law in Wyoming

Cannabis is illegal in Wyoming. While some lawmakers have sponsored and introduced several bills, none have been signed into law.

Federal Legalization of Weed in 2024

Presently, approximately 80% of the states in the United States have implemented regulated medical marijuana markets, while nearly half of the states have taken steps to legalize recreational adult-use marijuana. However, despite these state-level changes, the possession, distribution, and sale of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. This means that any financial transactions associated with state-legal marijuana operations could potentially be viewed as money laundering, exposing banks to substantial legal, operational, and regulatory risks.

Recent developments at the federal level have targeted to ease federal criminalization and prohibitions surrounding marijuana-related activities. On October 7, 2022, President Biden announced the pardon of all U.S. citizens convicted of federal marijuana possession and initiated a comprehensive review of marijuana's classification as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Prior to this, the House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) on April 1, 2022, which aims to decriminalize marijuana. Some of the key provisions of the MORE Act are:

  • The MORE Act intends to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level, ending the criminalization of cannabis going forward. It would also be retroactive, automatically expunging cannabis arrests, charges, and convictions at no cost to the individual. States could still choose to criminalize cannabis, but the MORE Act would make it legal at the federal level
  • The MORE Act would impose a 5% tax on the retail sales of cannabis, with the proceeds going to the Opportunity Trust Fund. The tax would begin at 5% and increase to 8% over three years. The Opportunity Trust Fund would be used to support programs that help people who have been disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs, such as job training, education, and legal aid
  • The MORE Act proposes the creation of the Office of Cannabis Justice to oversee the social equity provisions in the law. The Office of Cannabis Justice would be responsible for ensuring that the benefits of cannabis legalization are distributed equitably and that people who the War on Drugs has disproportionately harmed have a chance to participate in the new industry
  • The MORE Act would also prohibit the federal government from discriminating against people because of cannabis use. This would include discrimination in employment, housing, and access to federal benefits
  • The MORE Act would allow for research, better tax and banking laws, and help fuel economic growth

Additionally, several senators, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, introduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) to legalize and regulate cannabis at the federal level comprehensively. This act effectively removes cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act schedule, eliminating the looming threat of federal prosecution for both possession and licensed commercial activities. In addition, it empowers individual states to establish their own cannabis policies without federal interference. The CAOA addresses various challenges currently faced by regulated state cannabis markets, such as limited access to financial services, the inability to claim standard business expenses when filing federal taxes, and the absence of consistent national regulatory standards and guidelines.

In the past two years, the House has repeatedly passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which seeks to permit federally insured financial institutions to serve the marijuana industry. The SAFE Banking Act offers much-needed relief to cannabis businesses by allowing them access to financial services. Currently, these businesses face challenges due to federal laws that classify cannabis as a Schedule I substance, resulting in banks and credit unions fearing prosecution for serving them. This forces cannabis businesses to operate solely with cash, leading to safety risks, money laundering, and potential involvement in organized crime. The SAFE Banking Act aims to address these issues by providing a regulated banking environment for cannabis businesses, promoting safety, transparency, and economic growth in the industry.

The future of the MORE Act, CAOA, and SAFE Banking Act in the legislature remains uncertain as of now.

Can I Use Cannabis in Wyoming?

No, it is illegal to use cannabis in Wyoming for recreational or medical purposes.

How the Legal Sale of Cannabis in Wyoming Happens

The sale of cannabis remains strictly prohibited in Wyoming, as the state has not legalized the drug within its jurisdiction. Consequently, any sale of cannabis occurring in Wyoming is considered illegal under current laws and regulations.

Penalties for Marijuana-related Crimes in Wyoming

The penalties for marijuana-related offenses in Wyoming are listed under Section 35-7-1001 through Section 35-7-1057 of the Wyoming Statutes Annotated. These include:

Possession

  • Up to 3 ounces of cannabis: This is a misdemeanor that may be penalized with 12 months in jail and fines reaching up to $1,000
  • More than 3 ounces of marijuana: This is a felony that may be penalized with 5 years in jail and fines reaching up to $10,000
  • Note that possession of any marijuana within a 500 feet distance from a school is punishable by an additional $500 fine

Sale, Delivery, And Possession With Intent To Distribute

Selling any quantity of marijuana is a felony punishable by 10 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.

Cultivation

The cultivation of any number of marijuana plants is a misdemeanor that may be penalized with 6 months imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.

Hash And Concentrates

  • The possession of up to 0.3 grams of liquid hash and concentrates is a misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in jail and fines reaching up to $1,000
  • The possession of more than 0.3 grams of liquid hash and concentrates is a felony punishable by 5 years in jail and fines reaching up to $10,000

Marijuana Paraphernalia

  • The delivery or possession of marijuana paraphernalia with intent to deliver is a misdemeanor punishable by 6 months in jail and fines reaching up to $750
  • The delivery or possession of marijuana paraphernalia to a minor is a felony punishable by 5 years in jail and a fine potentially reaching $2,500

Driving Under The Influence Of Marijuana In Wyoming

  • For a first offense of drugged driving, the punishment is up to 6 months in jail, a maximum fine of $750, or both. The offender's driver's license will also be revoked
  • If the violator is convicted of a second marijuana possession offense within 10 years of the first offense, the punishment is at least 7 days but no more than 6 months in jail. The offender must also undergo a substance abuse assessment and cannot be released on probation or suspended sentence until they have served at least 7 days in jail. The offender may also be fined between $200 and $750. The offender's driver's license will also be revoked
  • If the violator is convicted of a third marijuana possession offense within 10 years of the first offense, the punishment is at least 30 days but no more than 6 months in jail. The offender must also undergo a substance abuse assessment and cannot be released on probation or suspended sentence until the individual has served at least 30 days in jail. The offender's driver's license will also be revoked
  • If the violator is convicted of a fourth or subsequent marijuana possession offense within 10 years of the first offense, this is considered a felony offense. The offense is penalizable with a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to 2 years, or both. The offender's driver's license will also be revoked

Confiscation Of Assets In Wyoming

In Wyoming, cannabis violators can have marijuana and related items used in the commission of their crimes seized by law enforcement. Assets, including money, and personal and real property obtained directly or indirectly from the crime, may be seized.

Additional Limitations

  • A third or subsequent offense for possessing more than 3 ounces of marijuana is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment, a maximum of $5,000 in fines, or both
  • An adult who distributes marijuana to a minor (an individual not yet aged 18) who is more than 3 years his junior is subject to the felony charge, punishable with up to 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. A conviction within a 500-feet radius of a school is subject to an additional $500 fine

Possible Remedies For Violators Of Wyoming Marijuana Laws

Juveniles caught possessing marijuana may be eligible for diversion programs. These programs allow the offender to avoid a criminal record and instead complete a rehabilitation program. The program typically lasts for 6 months to 1 year and may include community service, drug education, monitoring, and drug testing.

Adults who are caught possessing marijuana may also be eligible for diversion programs. These programs are similar to those for juveniles but may also include counseling and treatment for addiction.

Wyoming courts may also mandate diversion programs instead of jail time for minor drug offenses. These laws are targeted at reducing the number of repeat offenders and the costs associated with incarceration. However, diversion programs and other alternatives to jail time can be expensive. In some cases, the cost of treatment, therapy, supervision, and drug testing can be more than the fine that the judge would impose.

Other remedies that you may consider include:

  • Challenging the circumstances of your arrest: A thorough examination of the circumstances of your case can help identify potential weaknesses in the legal basis of the charge. By undermining the basis for the charge, your lawyer may be able to force the prosecutor to dismiss the case or negotiate a reduced charge
  • Consider alternative sentencing: When facing a marijuana possession charge, defending against it often involves engaging in pretrial negotiations with the prosecutor. Your attorney will work to reach an agreement that may include a reduced charge or an alternative sentence. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, you may qualify for a deferred prosecution, which allows you to avoid a criminal record by completing a drug rehabilitation program or meeting specific conditions set by the court

If you are charged with a marijuana law violation, it is important to speak to an attorney about your options. An experienced Wyoming attorney can assist you in navigating the complex Wyoming cannabis laws and your rights and can help you select the right remedy in court.

What is Wyoming’s Cannabis History?

Wyoming has yet to pass any laws relating to the accepted use of medical or recreational forms of the drug. The state's prohibition on drugs dates back to 1913. Although Wyoming passed HB 32 in 2015, allowing for the use of cannabidiol by patients of intractable epilepsy, the law only permitted the use of CBD with low-THC concentration.

Still, proponents of cannabis legalization in Wyoming have made several moves to push for the legalization of cannabis. As recently as 2021, two bills were sponsored by lawmakers in the state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of recreational cannabis and to legalize medical cannabis. HB 106 sought to only fine persons possessing no more than 3 ounces of cannabis up to $100, while HB 143 proposed to legalize medical cannabis and allow for the operation of medical cannabis establishments. Both laws have failed to progress in the Wyoming legislature.

What are the Restrictions on Cannabis in Wyoming?

Cannabis use is prohibited in Wyoming. You face serious penalties if caught using or possessing cannabis.

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