There is no denying it, 2018 has been a revolutionary year for the cannabis industry – and we’re only halfway through! We have seen perhaps one of the biggest influxes of legal changes that the market has ever known, and it’s excellent news for cannabis lovers the world over!
With so many troubling things going on every day across America, it is a pleasure to be able to revel in some good news! In keeping with the spirit of 2018, we have put together our TOP FIVE favorite pieces of BIG cannabis news that have shook the U.S. so far this year!
#1 Legalization is On the Up! Oklahoma Legalizes Weed!
2018 may be the most exciting year for many of those living in states such as Oklahoma, California, and Vermont! With all of the above states have changed their laws this year to allow for a more lenient approach to marijuana, we can hardly contain our excitement!
Oklahoma has gone down in the history books as being perhaps one of the least likely states to accept cannabis as anything but illegal and harmful. So imagine everyone’s surprise on June 27th, when the voters of the state approved a ballot making it the 30th U.S. state to allow medicinal marijuana!
Lawmakers didn’t go down without a fight, with governors like Mary Fallin arguing against the policy for fear of the drug becoming recreational for all intents and purposes! However, with a majority vote of 90%, proving that the will of the people can be victorious, it is an excellent time for Oklahoma residents.
The new law not only legalizes cannabis for medicinal use, including the growing of the plant (up to six plants and six seedlings), but unlike most other states it is much more flexible in who can obtain it. With no list of qualifying diseases, a doctor can prescribe medical marijuana for any condition for which they feel marijuana would help.
This is HUGE news for the marijuana industry across America, as it shows a clear indication that politicians are finally beginning to get behind the plant!
#2 Recreational Breakthrough!
Massachusetts Opens Up Shop to Weed Lovers
In 2016, Massachusetts became one of a small group of states that legalized marijuana for recreational use, earning itself a spot in the list of the best places to live in the U.S!
If that wasn’t enough to get you packing your bags for a one-way ticket to Massachusetts, you might when you hear the latest updates! Yes, the rumors are true; Massachusetts is set to open up cannabis shops this month, making it one of only seven states to do so!
This has been a long time coming for residents of the state, two years to be precise – but the time has finally come, and things are looking very positive. July 1st marked the momentous moment that recreational marijuana should have gone on sale LEGALLY in dispensaries across the state. However, while the legislation did pass, the dispensaries are yet to catch up.
Much like with all things, there is a lot of red tape to get through, which has been the primary cause for delay in getting this off the ground. From resistant local communities to confusion around licenses, it seems the state may have bitten off more than it can chew. As it stands, there is one store now up and ready to go with the sales of weed, but things are likely to pick up over the coming weeks, so watch this space!
#3 Marijuana Medical Marvel!
The FDA Approves Marijuana-Based Drug
In an industry first, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the go-ahead for the legalization of a drug derived from marijuana! Most of us have understood for years that marijuana has the potential to help with a lot of conditions, but never before has an official body approved it in this way.
June 25th marks the day that the epilepsy drug, Epidiolex, became approved by the FDA. The anti-seizure medication made to target two rare forms of childhood-onset epilepsy is made from Cannabidiol (CBD), which is the non-psychoactive component found within the marijuana plant. Epidiolex contains less than 0.1% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound known to create the feeling of being high, therefore making it relatively unlikely to leave any mind-altering effects.
This isn’t just fantastic news for the many Americans suffering from epilepsy; it is also a huge deal for the rest of the country, with official backing from a huge body providing a lot of faith in the future of cannabinoids.
GW Pharmaceuticals is the company behind Epidiolex, and they have dedicated the past ten years to researching cannabinoids for their medicinal benefits. With no signs of stopping now, the company have big plans for future cannabinoid drugs for a range of diseases, particularly neurological conditions,
The approval of Epidiolex is sure to pave the way for future cannabinoid-based drugs!
#4 A Legal First!
Vermont Becomes the 9th State to Legalize Recreational Cannabis!
July 1st marked the date that recreational cannabis became legal in Vermont, making them the 9th state to do so! This is wonderful news for residents of the state, but that isn’t all that is special about this. Vermont may have been ninth to legalize cannabis for this purpose, but they made a U.S. first by legalizing the plant through its state legislature!
While the dos and don’ts may need a little more ironing out due to many of the rules being unclear, it is without a doubt an incredible moment for the U.S. marijuana market. With all other states having legalized marijuana through a residential vote, Vermont has certainly stepped into the unknown here.
The new law in Vermont allows adults to possess anything up to 1 ounce of cannabis, two mature plants, and four immature plants. However, as it stands, there is no legislature for the taxation or sale of the plant.
With celebrations on-going across the state – we couldn’t be happier for Vermont!
#5 The End of Prohibition as We Know it?
California Opens its First Ever Marijuana Market
Did you ever believe a day would come in America where over 400 businesses were given license to sell marijuana for recreational use? We sure didn’t – but that is exactly what happened in California this year!
On January 1st, California opened up its first-ever marijuana market, which allowed for the sale of recreational cannabis. This is HUGE news, as not only is California the biggest state in the U.S. but it is also the world’s sixth largest economy, meaning this could be financially invaluable!
The marijuana industry in this state is now set to be worth around $5 BILLION by the end of this year alone, which is great news for America. With a considerable percentage of residents backing this new legal move, it seems that there is no going back for California as it goes from strength to strength as one of the biggest players in the cannabis world.
The 2018 RoundUp
2018 has been a significant year for cannabis across the U.S., with so many small and BIG wins for our favorite flower, we can’t help but be excited for things to come!