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.
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.
Cannabis is illegal in Wyoming. While some lawmakers have sponsored and introduced several bills, none have been signed into law.
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:
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.
No, it is illegal to use cannabis in Wyoming for recreational or medical purposes.
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.
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:
Selling any quantity of marijuana is a felony punishable by 10 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Cannabis use is prohibited in Wyoming. You face serious penalties if caught using or possessing cannabis.