The year of 2015 was a huge one for cannabis. Here are some of the most significant events it is important to reflect on when considering the past year in the world of cannabis.
Legalization in the Recreational States
There is always work we are going to need to do, always more work to be done in the field of cannabis. At the same time, this past year we saw some great things happening. Specifically, one of the biggest of these was another state adding on the legalization of recreational cannabis. With Oregon joining in on the hubbub of allowing recreational pot to become a thing, there is definite reason to be excited. More and more states are allowing their voters and citizens to become involved in making the choice of legalizing weed.
This is huge because, yes, cannabis should be legal, but it also showcases a progressive push forward. More and more states are allowing their citizens to make choices. And more and more citizens are making the progressive choice to accept cannabis as a part of their lives. Even those who are not smoking are saying something with their votes: where not everyone might smoke or imbibe, more than ever before are people seeing cannabis as a legitimate thing. Whether they are excited by the chance to use it, want it to be a standard medical norm or even just recognize how it can help an economy, more and more people are normalizing cannabis.
The year of 2016 is going to be huge for pot in America. There are countless avenues marijuana could take and ways to explore what happens next, especially with the 2016 elections happening. Ideally, things will keep moving forward with cannabis in the coming months. Only times and the next presidential successor will reveal what happens, but with more and more states legalizing, there are positive shifts in the direction of cannabis.
More Legal Med States
Along the same token of the legalization of recreational marijuana, even more and more states have begun to move towards the path of legalizing medical marijuana. The beauty is that where these states are not quite there recreationally, more and more states are getting there with med. This is still a huge step in the right direction.
Unfortunately, due to the diverse level of state regulations and how each state is allowing it to become legal, there is still a variety of complex laws to navigate in each respective state. We are nowhere near where we need to be for the entire nationwide legalization, and even if we were at this point, it would be complexly interesting to figure out who got what, what goes where and how we would regulate everything. If there is nothing else to say, we are making progress, but even more progress needs to be made in these areas.
The hope will be as marijuana becomes more intertwined in our society, more people come to see the benefits of it and more businesses open, it will only further become legitimate. The power of pot in influencing culture is intimately well documented. Given enough time we can 100% get there. We just need a little more time, but every step forward is a step towards greater societal acceptance.
Less Strict Government Crackdown
Where this point could be seen as similar to the last two, it is much different in that we are not just talking about the state governments, we are talking about the federal government. The federal government has recently come out and loosened their chokehold on how people can research medical marijuana. Until only very recently, no one within the US could research marijuana without government approval. Not shocking, the government very rarely gave out permission for any testing to occur no matter how controlled.
That all changed this fall when the government began to allow more research to happen. The guidelines are still there, and they are still strict, but they are less strict than they were before. With the government allowing scientists the capability to study marijuana, it puts us in a place to learn new things. The more information that comes out about marijuana, the better, because the more information we have, the easier it is to realize fully what we are working with, the best ways to consume, and how the substance can best be utilized both medically and recreational. Information is power, and for the longest time, the government has used a federal ban on marijuana to spread misinformation and prevent concerned citizens from getting to the bottom of the truth.
Private and public researchers alike being able to study marijuana is only going to make our industry stronger.
Countless Medical Test Showing off the Positive Sides of Cannabis
Where the United States is significantly lacking in the levels of research being done, countless other countries have allowed their scientists the capability to study marijuana. The test results we see time and time again are positive. Yes, some bad information does exist around marijuana and how it might influence people. Overall, however, the information we find coming out of tests is overwhelmingly positive. We find it helps heal different ailments, aid in numerous medical processes, makes people live better and has some social benefits.
This year we also had countless studies emerge concerning how marijuana impacts people on a social and societal level. With numerous recreational and medical states approaching the end of their first few years of selling to customers, we have seen countless new studies showcasing how marijuana has positively impacted the places where it is legal. Not shocking, but in the places where it has been legalized, society has not crumbled. Even more so, there are instances where we have watched how minor crimes have decreased and how the excess income has been able to help the community. Even more so, we see how marijuana is not a gateway drug, a powerful myth that had been peddled for years but is not true.
The information we found out this year was tremendously positive for marijuana. This is important because in the 2016 presidential election, and local elections, many politicians want to push back against marijuana because of the gateway myth when really, we now know this is just that, a myth.
Information is our ally, and the information we have been finding is a powerful force for good within our communities.
National Cancer Institute Discusses THC as Way of Curing Cancer
The National Cancer Institute is a government run entity, meaning anything it publishes is somewhat approved by the government. They are who fun this source of information after all. Well, the good news about this then stems from a recent study conducted by the NIH. In a review of complementary and alternative medicines, the Institute freely discussed the power of cannabis in helping mitigate the symptoms associated with cancer particularly. Now there will always need to be more work done, and the studies do not talk about what other sources know about the prevention of cancer. Still the government making this kind of step is hugely important for the progression of cancer research.
Overall, there is a highly positive forward momentum happening. Less control, more legalization, more information. Things are headed in a great direction and will only seemingly keep moving from here.
$100 Million Month in Colorado
Over the fall, something exciting in Colorado happened. In just one months time, the industry was able to generate $100 million in revenue. Now this might just seem like something businesses should care about but really, it is something every consumer should love. The cannabis industry is growing, and we are not slowing down. As more states continue to adopt, there may always be concerns about how the existing industries within other states can maintain themselves. There are also countless conversations about what happens when existing industry giants begin branching into new marketplaces.
Across all of cannabis, there is an overarching theme we are a business. Whether we forget this or not, the industry of marijuana is just that, an industry. Like any other industry, there will be good companies and bad companies. There will also be winner and losers. Over time, the landscape can be greatly expected to change. For now, we are just riding a beautiful wave and seeing wonderful results.
It will be crazy to see where these results go in the next few years. For now, things are just starting to ramp up.
2015 was a great year for cannabis. We saw many changes emerge, and some huge things emerge. More are going to be coming, and 2016 will likely be equally as big. With the elections coming up, watching the future of cannabis is going to be intimately important. For now, we are on a good path. The information we cultivated and the work we have done has laid out a positive trail our industry can follow moving forward.
It will be interesting to see what comes next. But a great year for now.