2016- The Year of the Cannabis Awakening
2016 was an epic year for the progression of cannabis legalization across the United States, Canada and in countries around the world. Thanks to the grassroots efforts of activists the amount of education and facts surrounding cannabis that was shared increased significantly and the reeducation of the masses led to amazing developments and accomplishments around the globe. As we set out to make 2017 even more groundbreaking and successful let’s take a few minutes to review some of the greatest developments seen this year that have investors, entrepreneurs and activists rejoicing!
Canada Outlines Recommendation for Legal Retail Cannabis Market
In December of 2016, a Canadian federal task force released their recommendations on how to implement a regulated retail cannabis industry across Canada. Their recommendations included but were not limited to the following;
- “Set a national minimum age of purchase of 18, acknowledging the right of provinces and territories to harmonize it with their minimum age of purchase of alcohol”
- “Require plain packaging for cannabis products that allows the following information on packages: company name, strain name, price, amounts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and warnings and other labelling requirements”
- “Require all cannabis products to include labels identifying levels of THC and CBD”
Canada has an existing medical marijuana market in place and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau built his campaign around this promises to bring a regulated legal retail market into place. Many investors are banking on his promise and putting their money into the cannabis scene in Canada which is sure to only grow in the coming months and years.
The US Added 8 States to the List of Places Where Cannabis is Legal
In 1996 California made history when they became the first state in the US to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes. Then in 2012, Colorado became a pioneer when they became the first state in the US to legalize retail or recreational cannabis for adults over the age of 21. Today there are now 28 states who have implemented medical marijuana programs and 8 states that have legalized cannabis for recreational consumption for adults over the age of 21.
In 2016 alone, the United States saw the addition of 8 states to their roster of places where cannabis is legal for retail or medicinal purposes showing just how fast cannabis legalization can progress when there are dedicated activists working to make it happen. On November 8th voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine said yes to legalizing retail cannabis in their states while citizens in Florida, North Dakota, Montana and Arkansas helped to pass initiatives for comprehensive medical marijuana programs. This is the cause for great celebrations as the US federal government is still standing strong with their propaganda, lies, and opposition to this miraculous, safe, and beneficial plant.
States that have legalized cannabis are defying all odds and standing against the federal opposition with more strength than ever before. We can only expect to see more great things in the months and years to come!
Colorado Surpasses $1 Billion in Cannabis Sales
Speaking of defying all odds. In 2016, Colorado reached $1 Billion in legal cannabis sales across the state! This number however does not include sales from the months of Nov. or Dec. The estimated yearend total is between $1.2 and $1.3 billion! This is absolutely epic! Just think about it for a moment. Almost every person that bought weed in Colorado this year has been buying weed illegally on the black market in the past.
That means instead of $1 billion + being infused into the black market, it was infused into the economy and the pockets of employees and business owners in the cannabis sector across the state. With the average sales tax of retail cannabis being 27% this means that the state also brought in around $270,000,000 worth of tax revenue off of legal cannabis sales! Just imagine what this will do for the economy in Colorado!
Mexico Voted to Legalize Medical Marijuana Across the Country
On Tuesday December 13th, the Mexico Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of medical marijuana legalization across the country. With only 7 of 105 votes being in opposition, you can clearly see that Mexico has opened their eyes to the progression of legalization in the US and Canada and the benefits that it offers.
As Lisa Sanchez the Director of Drug Policy for Mexico stated, “It’s been years that we’ve been fighting for acknowledgment and approval and recognition of the medical and therapeutic uses of cannabis, and today we finally have something.” This is a cause for celebration on many levels not only in Mexico but also in the United States. As more places move to legalize and implement regulated markets, the illegal drug trade and market of the past will be drastically reduced.
When it comes to cannabis, 2016 was a win and the foundation for what’s to come in this thriving green industry and culture!