As people around the world ring in the new year, it is important that time is taken to look at what can be expected in 2019. The new year will more than likely be a pivotal one for the cannabis industry in terms of both legalization and progression in general. In the United States, it is likely that multiple other states will pass legalization measures, joining those that legalized cannabis for medicinal and or recreational cannabis in 2018. Around the world, cannabis gained acceptance and saw legalization occur in vast swaths
Canada Fully Legalizes Cannabis
The most important piece of news in 2018 to many of those keyed into the future of cannabis was Canada implementing its long-awaited nationwide cannabis legalization. Though the legal cannabis program didn’t take effect until October, it has seen some short-term success. There remain some persisting questions about the impact cannabis legalization is having in Canada so 2019 will be a pivotal year for the future of a recreational cannabis that is still in its infancy.
A Cannabis Industry Progressing Quickly
This last year, the cannabis industry achieved a variety of major milestones. As mentioned previously, Canada legalized recreational cannabis federally. Michigan (recreational), Missouri (medical), and Utah (medical) passed cannabis legalization measures during the 2018 midterm elections. At the close of the year, through the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the United States government legalized the cultivation and production of industrial hemp. The removal of this ban could pave the way for the relaxation of federal restrictions on CBD (cannabidiol) production, sales, and use.
In what was another major milestone for CBD acceptance, Epidiolex was made available for prescription by doctors. This means that for the first time, the DEA and FDA approve of a cannabis-based CBD drug that can be prescribed to treat forms of childhood epilepsy. Based on the passage of the Farm Bill and the approval of a cannabis-based drug by the FDA, 2019 has a chance to be a massively successful year for CBD.
No matter how you spin it, 2018 was a turning point for the cannabis community. The cannabis industry in 2019 needs to be filled with victories similar to those of the last year if cannabis is to continue its progression from a despised “gateway drug” to a medicine on par with ibuprofen. It remains to be seen whether or not legalization and regulation will continue to occur quickly but the chances are rather high.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.