2018 was a spectacular year for the cannabis movement globally. Nations around the world took positive steps to reform laws surrounding cannabis as did several states throughout the United States. There were significant financial mergers between various cannabis specific brands and others looking to venture into the sector. Monumental steps were taken in the United States altering the controlled substances act for the first time in decades.
As the year comes to an end, we would like to take a moment to look back at some of the biggest news stories pertaining to the movement to end prohibition that occurred in 2018. It was quite hard to narrow down the list as it has been a monumental year for cannabis and 2019 is sure to bring great things!
Roll up a spliff, pack up a bowl, or dab a few dabs and check out the Expert Joints 2018-year-end cannabis review below.
Canada Became the First G7 Nation to Legalize Retail Cannabis
After a very lengthy wait, on October 17th of 2018 adults across Canada celebrated the first day of adult retail cannabis legalization in the country. Although the market has been plagued with recalls and a few bad decisions by executives since its inception, within the first two weeks of sells, Canadian adults bought more than 43 million dollars’ worth of cannabis products.
The first few weeks surprisingly found dispensaries with near empty and even sometimes empty shelves. Significant product shortages were experienced nationwide leaving some dispensaries with no other choice than to shut their doors just hours after opening on the first day. The government also just recently released regulations regarding cannabis edibles and sells are expected to begin next year. Nonetheless, this is a significant win for cannabis!
The U.S. Removed Industrial Hemp from the Controlled Substances Act
In 1937 when the MJ tax Act was enacted not only did it criminalize psychoactive forms of cannabis it also rolled up industrial hemp in the mix. Since that day, aside from a few research regulations hemp has remained highly illegal just like cannabis or what many refer to as marijuana. Hemp, unlike marijuana, does not provide a psychoactive effect but offers a plethora of different benefits for people, animals, and our environment.
In December of 2018 thanks to the work of countless activists including one of the most infamous Jack Herer and the support of like-minded politicians, the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill passed both the Senate and the House before receiving the signature of President Trump officially legalizing hemp in the United States for the first time since World War 2.
International Progress Has Been a Success in 2018
Internationally it has been a monumental year for cannabis as well. Here are a few highlights from positive cannabis reform news stories that have happened globally it 2018.
- Thailand became the first SE Asian country to legalize medical cannabis.
- Mexico declares that prohibiting an individual from consuming cannabis is a direct violation of human rights.
- Africa held its first cannabis event.
- New Zealand announced that residents would be voting on cannabis legislation in 2020.
- The Israel Parliament approved cannabis exports.
These are just some of the incredible stories that have come to light this year from places around the world. When it comes to what is next, there is great hope for several more states as well as more nations and countries globally to positively reform their cannabis laws next year.
A Closing Thought
As this year comes to an end, let’s take a moment to remember the many individuals that have helped make this happen. The countless individuals that have risked their freedom and their lives to keep this plant and culture alive. The thousands of men and women that are still incarcerated globally for consuming, growing, or transporting a plant.
Let’s remember the sacrifices that many have made to bring light to the injustices that cannabis prohibition presents. Let’s remember the many women, men, and children whose lives may have been able to be saved if only this plant was the first medicine available, and not an illegal last resort. Most importantly though, let’s remember that we still have much work ahead of us. There is a greater need now than ever before for education surrounding cannabis.
Let’s remember that it is going to take every one of us standing up against this tyranny not just for ourselves, but for people in every corner of the world before this plant will truly be free. With that note, I wish you a very dank New Year and many blessings in 2019! – Ashley