What 2018 brought us in the world of weed

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The New Year is officially upon us and looking back at 2018, it’s no wonder that it’s being referred to as the year of marijuana. Canada officially legalized marijuana for recreational adult-use and more countries seem to be inching closer toward doing the same. There were numerous medical breakthroughs now that more research is being allowed on the benefits of cannabis and it seems that 2018 really set the stage for what’s to come in the world of weed. Here’s a look at some of the top events that happened in cannabis in 2018:

The first cannabis-derived pharmaceutical drug is approved by the FDA

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British company, GW Pharmaceuticals created an oral solution for various forms of epilepsy that typically begin in childhood. The drug, called Epidiolex, is the first pharmaceutical-grade drug derived from cannabis to be approved by the FDA. Epidiolex can now be prescribed by a physician in all 50 states.

The 2018 Farm Bill signed by the President ends prohibition on hemp


President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill in December and in doing so officially legalized the cultivation of hemp across the United States. The bill was pushed by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell after including his own provisions that full legalized industrial hemp. The plants must have less than 0.3 percent THC to be considered hemp. It has officially been removed from the list of federally banned drugs under the Controlled Substances Act.

Canada legalizes recreational marijuana


Thanks to Canada’s Liberal party and leader, Justin Trudeau, Canada became the second country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis, after Uruguay and the first of the G7 countries. Parliament voted to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in June, with the official legalization date falling on October 17. It’s been an exciting time for Canadians but not without its obstacles. The country has faced nationwide cannabis shortages but suppliers are working diligently to solve these issues.

Support for legalization at an all-time high


It’s true that 2018 was the year of marijuana and that holds true for how the public views the plant. A Gallup poll taken in October found that 66 percent of adults, including a majority of Republicans, Independents and Democrats, support legalization. A poll conducted by Pew Research found similar numbers and a poll taken in June by the Center for American Progress found that 68 percent of voters support legalization which is the highest number for support ever recorded in a scientific survey.

Sessions resigns as Attorney General


Former attorney general Jeff Sessions, infamously known for his opposition to legalizing marijuana and for saying “good people don’t smoke marijuana”, was essentially forced out of his position by President Donald Trump in November. Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo early in 2018, a bill that protected legal stated from interference from the federal government. Since Sessions’ resignation, Trump seems to be warming up to the idea of legalizing marijuana so we will have to wait to see what 2019 brings.

California and Michigan legalize


California started the year off with a bang when cannabis was totally legalized in the Golden State. As one of the biggest cannabis markets in the world, other countries and states look to California as a guide for how their own market should run. Michigan also added its name to the list of legal states following a successful midterm vote. Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize with overwhelming support from the public.

 

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