Welcome again to The 12 months In Weed, our annual roundup of cannabis-related tales. As standard, we’ll undertake Dave Barry’s Year in Review format and take a look at tales month by month. Last year, I needed for “higher issues” in 2021. Is that what we obtained? 2020 was such a low bar, it’s laborious to see how any yr couldn’t clear it. However 2021 began out badly and ended badly, with just a few good days within the center.
Let’s take a look again and see if 2021 was actually only a “variant” (to make use of Mr. Barry’s phrase) of 2020.
We’ll start in January when Arizona started authorized marijuana gross sales. They take the prize for quickest implementation of an adult-use market – poll initiative in November, gross sales in January. Word: these outcomes should not typical. On the federal degree, the USDA issued its remaining rule on hemp. The trade wasn’t delighted with the brand new guidelines, however considered them as an enchancment over the interim guidelines.
And on we go to February, when New Jersey legalized adult-use marijuana. It was an extended and winding highway, and there have been instances when it appeared all was misplaced, nevertheless it turned out okay ultimately for advocates of legalization.
Which brings us to March, when that federal hemp rule took impact. There had been some considered delay or further assessment, however all went ahead as deliberate. March is, in lots of components of the nation, Woman Scout cookie time. Fortunately, one Michigan troop was capable of preserve promoting exterior a marijuana dispensary.
April was one of many largest months for hashish information. New York legalized. New Mexico legalized. And, extra ominously for legalization proponents, the South Dakota Supreme Courtroom heard oral arguments on the 2020 poll initiative permitting adult-use.
After which it was the merry, merry month of Could. Merry, that’s, for supporters of medical hashish in Alabama, the place the Governor signed a program into legislation. Significantly much less merry for MMJ advocates in Mississippi, who noticed the state’s Supreme Courtroom overturn a poll initiative. The issue was not within the substance of the initiative itself, however in the truth that the state misplaced a Congressional seat in 2010, and the state by no means up to date its initiative guidelines.
On we went to June, the place we noticed Amazon weigh in on the MORE Act (in favor) and worker testing for hashish (not occurring). And Connecticut joined its New England neighbors in legalizing adult-use marijuana.
July introduced us the Olympics (a yr late) and the banning of athlete Sha’Carri Richardson, after a optimistic marijuana take a look at. If you happen to’re pondering that the disconnect between state and federal legislation on hashish is a dumpster fireplace of an issue, Supreme Courtroom Justice Clarence Thomas shares your view.
The canine days of August introduced us Louisiana decriminalizing marijuana. It additionally introduced us a call from the FDA that CBD isn’t a dietary complement. Regulatory confusion continues.
The yr pressed on to September the place New York‘s new governor made appointments to the state’s hashish boards. In the meantime, on the federal degree, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced his opposition to the SAFE Banking Act.
October introduced us Halloween, and the concern that there’s hashish within the sweet. Don’t fear – there’s not. Turning our gaze to Europe, Luxembourg turned the primary nation on the continent to permit rising and utilizing hashish.
And, impulsively, its was November. Polling confirmed that 68% of People help legalizing marijuana, an all-time excessive (no pun supposed – oh please, who’re we kidding? Pun very a lot supposed). Maybe the robust help was what prompted Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) to introduce a legalization bill.
Lastly, we arrived at December, the month of holidays and year-end critiques. Talking of endings, that’s what occurred to authorized adult-use hashish in South Dakota, because the state’s Supreme Courtroom struck down the poll initiative. That wasn’t the one setback for marijuana advocates; the SAFE Banking Act was stripped out of the Nationwide Protection Authorization Act. However, there was information from Europe to heat proponents’ hearts – Malta legalized hashish.
In order that’s your 2021 in a nutshell. There are such a lot of questions left to be answered in 2022 – and simply think about the poll initiatives we’ll be discussing! Get pleasure from your New 12 months’s celebrations, and we’ll be again starting January 7 to carry you a take a look at the information all through the approaching yr.