Welcome back to The Year In Weed, our annual roundup of cannabis stories. As usual, we’ll adopt Dave Barry’s Year in review format and watch stories month by month. Last year, I wished for “better things” in 2021. Is that what we got? 2020 was such a low bar that it’s hard to see how a year couldn’t break it. But 2021 started badly and ended badly, with only a few good days in between.
Let’s take a look back and see if 2021 was really just a “variation” (to use Mr. Barry’s word) of 2020.
We will start in January when Arizona began the legal sale of marijuana. They win the prize for the fastest implementation of an adult-use market – ballot initiative in November, sales in January. Note: These results are not typical. At the federal level, the USDA published its final rule on hemp. The industry was not thrilled with the new rules, but saw them as an improvement over the interim rules.
And we go to Februarywhen New Jersey marijuana for adult use legalized. It was a long and winding road, and there were times when all seemed lost, but in the end it turned out well for legalization supporters.
Which brings us to Marchwhen this federal hemp ruler Has taken effect. We had thought about a postponement or an additional examination, but everything went as planned. March is, in many parts of the country, Girl Scout cookie time. Fortunately, a Michigan troop was able to continue selling outside of a marijuana dispensary.
April was one of the most important months for cannabis news. New York legalized. New Mexico legalized. And, more worrying for proponents of legalization, the South Dakota The Supreme Court heard arguments on the 2020 ballot initiative allowing adult use.
And then came the happy, happy month of Can. Merry, that is to say for supporters of medical cannabis in Alabama, where the governor signed a program into law. Significantly less cheerful for MMJ defenders in Mississippi, which saw the state Supreme Court overturn a ballot initiative. The problem was not in the substance of the initiative itself, but in the fact that the state lost a congressional seat in 2010, and the state never updated its initiative rules. .
On we went to Junewhere we saw Amazon weigh in on the MORE Act (in favor) and employee cannabis testing (no longer happening). And Connecticut joined its New England neighbors in legalizing marijuana for adult use.
July brought us the Olympics (a year late) and the banning of athletes Sha’Carri Richardson, after a positive marijuana test. If you think the disconnect between state and federal cannabis laws is a dumpster fire problem, the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas share your point of view.
The year pushed to September or New YorkThe new state governor has appointed state cannabis commissions. Meanwhile, at the federal level, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced its opposition to the SAFE Banking Act.
October brought us Halloween, and the fear of cannabis in candy. Don’t worry – there is not. Turning our gaze to Europe, Luxemburg became the first country on the continent to allow the cultivation and consumption of cannabis.
And all of a sudden it was November. Vote showed that 68% of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, an all-time high (no pun intended – oh please, who are we kidding? Very intentional pun). Perhaps the strong support was what prompted Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) to introduce legalization Invoice.
Finally we came to December, the month of holidays and end-of-year reviews. Speaking of purposes, this is what happened to the legal use of cannabis by adults in South Dakota, while the state Supreme Court overturned the ballot initiative. That wasn’t the only setback for marijuana advocates; the Safe Banks Act was removed from the National Defense Authorization Act. But, there was news from Europe to warm the hearts of supporters – Malta cannabis legalized.
So that’s your 2021 in a nutshell. There are so many unanswered questions in 2022 – and imagine the ballot initiatives we will be discussing! Enjoy your New Year’s Eve celebrations, and we’ll be back from January 7 to give you a look at the news throughout the coming year.
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