2018 Was a Big Year for Marijuana: A Look Back at the Milestones
The year 2018 was a huge year for the marijuana industry, especially in the US and Canada. Taking a look back at some of the most prominent events and changes that shaped the industry further demonstrates that fact in more detail by drawing a clear and marked map of progress throughout the year.
Broad Marijuana Legalization in California
On the very first day of 2018, California’s new marijuana laws came into effect, turning the state into USA’s biggest market for legal marijuana. It meant that anyone above the age of 21 could use marijuana legally within the state.
Immediate Countermeasures by the Ex-Attorney General
Jeff Sessions was the Attorney General at the time and merely days after the law came into force, he annulled the policy which prevented federal prosecutors from charging and prosecuting licensed (by the state) marijuana businesses on January 4. However, no significant actions were taken by federal prosecutors against licensed marijuana businesses due to the complexities and somewhat absurdness of the situation.
Vermont’s Legislature: Legalization of Recreational Marijuana
On the 22nd of January, Vermont’s Legislature legalized recreational marijuana in the state of California, essentially voiding Session’s attempts at restricting cannabis use in the state. Given that the decision was made by the legislature, it was the first of its kind for marijuana related laws in the US.
The Approval of Epidiolex
On June 25, the US Health Department finally approved the drug Epidiolex for use in epilepsy patients, which was a huge step, given that Epidiolex is the first prescription drug obtained from marijuana that is legally available for purchase throughout the US.
Oklahoma Legalizes Medical Marijuana
On June 28, Oklahoma joined the list of US states that allow the use of medical marijuana, making the total number an even thirty out of fifty states.
The Rise of Marijuana in the Stock Market
Given the rapidly expanding legal marijuana business, it was obvious that the likes of MedMen, KushCo and CannTrust would soon see tremendous boosts in their stock price, which they did. Taking a look at the top 5 marijuana stocks on The Greenfund not only provides the current picture of the Marijuana stock prices, but it also helps to predict upcoming patterns and trends in 2019.
Business Investments from Major Companies
The American cigarette company Altria and the American alcohol giant Constellation Brands Inc. invested a massive $2.4 billion (Cronos Group) and $4 billion (Growth Corp) respectively into the Canadian marijuana business in 2018.
International Acceptance of Marijuana
While the US is the current area of focus for the marijuana industry, it was Canada that legalized marijuana for everyone above the age of 19 in almost all of the country’s provinces back in October. By making such a move, it marked Canada as the pioneer among the first-world nations.
The Supreme Court in Mexico ruled in favor of the idea that Mexican citizens have the right to choose marijuana for recreational use, while New Zealand accepted the use of medical marijuana with open arms. Even the extremely strict Thai government made room for medical marijuana by revising some Thailand’s drug laws.
To top things off, hemp is no longer a federally controlled substance, thanks to Trump signing off on a farm bill approving the same just before Christmas. This marked a grand end to the year 2018, which was already massive for the cannabis industry as a whole.