The Year In Weed: 2018 Becomes Banner Year For Legalization, But What’s Next?
Published on 2/20/19
Recreational and Medical Marijuana were the clear winners in 2018 making huge strides in legalization. CBD was a clear runner up when President Trump signed the farm bill making hemp legal. With a landmark year in weed, Vermont and Michigan became the ninth and 10th states to legalize recreational marijuana, which is also legal now in the District of Columbia.
Voters in Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah overwhelmingly approved ballot measures making medical marijuana legal. Meaning 33 states plus D.C. approve marijuana for medical use, raising the question of whether the U.S. will follow Canada in legalizing marijuana nationwide. Yeah, we agree that this is totally “reefer madness” of the awesome variety!
While 2018 was a banner year for all things hemp and marijuana, where does that leave us going into 2019? With states passing bills and sitting on it for ages, arguing back and forth as to how much weed one can grow for personal use - we are seeing bills pass but no real results. Ohio and West Virginia are among the states who have passed medical marijuana but still have no dispensaries. These states also have medical marijuana advisory councils in place that can’t seem to convince state legislature that “Betty Sue in the holler needs to be able to grow four plants on her back deck, because she won’t be able to treat her glaucoma with the limited supply she can buy from the one dispensary in Charleston, WV when it finally opens, because she can’t drive there every day.”
What’s next? Lobbyists are steady in getting bills amended, making sure that programs take off on dates expected, medical cards are being issued, and patients who were promised treatment can finally get it! In the year to come we’ll see more farmers take on growing hemp. We’ll likely also see a lot more scientific research into both THC and CBD. Which ultimately means more cooperation and backing from agencies like the FDA when it comes to helping patients.