What a year for cannabis! Sure, most people will remember this year exclusively for the corona pandemic, but specifically cannabis had a very good year. In this new Suzy’s Cannabis World Blog, we take a look at the cannabis news which happened throughout the year 2020.
Cannabis businesses are essential
While January and February went by quite smoothly still, March really was the month many parts of the world entered a lockdown for the first time. Everything closed down, except essential businesses. Even the coffeeshops in the Netherlands closed for a day, but after not even 24 hours were ruled essential businesses and were allowed to remain open. The same thing happened for cannabis dispensaries in the United States of America and Canada. A huge victory for the cannabis industry for the recognition it deserves!
When politics could start to think about the future again apart from just the pandemic, we heard in July from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia that it is going to legalise cannabis. Not much later, Portugal announced clear regulations for the industrial hemp industry.
September: good news from Pakistan, Guam, Brazil, Australia and Switzerland
In September the news got out Pakistan will legalise industrial hemp and CBD. It wasn’t all good news though, Indonesia decided to make medicinale cannabis illegal again. Still in September, the American island of Guam wants to include homegrowing in the cannabis legalisation bill. And in Brazil a bill was introduced which would legalise medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp. Australia also saw good news, CBD was rescheduled and you don’t need a doctor's permit anymore to get it. Meanwhile back in Europe, the Senate of Switzerland approved an experiment with recreational cannabis while the CBD industry is already flourishing in Switzerland. And some bad news in September from Luxemburg, as they will postpone legalising cannabis because of the corona pandemic.
October: good news from Vermont and for industrial hemp industry in the European Union
In October, Vermont legalized recreational cannabis sales after it already legalised cannabis in 2018. Even France saw some movement in October: a medicinal cannabis trial with 3000 patients who will get the medicine for free, will start in March 2021. The Netherlands saw the second lockdown closing the coffeeshops to socialize, but they were left open for takeaway. The Dutch government did also make possession and smoking outside after 20.00 illegal. Still in Europe, the European Parliament approved a measure to increase the maximum limit of THC to 0.3% for industrial hemp crops: the same limit as in many other parts of the world.
November: cannabis big winner at the US elections and a lot more!
November started off with a loss, but expected bad news from the cannabis legalisation bill in Germany. The Greens managed to get the bill up for a vote, but the majority rejected it.
During the presidential elections, cannabis turned out to be the big winner though: Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota legalised recreational cannabis while Mississippi legalised medicinal cannabis. Donald Trump lost and Joe Biden will be coming in. The new Biden government said it would decriminalize cannabis. It wasn’t just good news though in November. Sadly enough the cannabis legalisation referendum in New Zealand was narrowly defeated. Completely unexpected good news came from Argentina however, which legalised medicinal cannabis including homegrowing. Still in November, Israel announced a plan which could see them legalise cannabis within 9 months of introducing the plan. More good news from the European Union too: the highest European Union Court of Justice ruled in a French case that CBD is not drugs and free trade within the European Union is allowed. The Senate of Mexico approved a cannabis legalisation bill and the House is expected to approve it, making cannabis legal in Mexico. That vote has been postponed to February 2021 though. But, finally an end to the War on Drugs in Mexico which has suffered the most as a country. And just before the end of the month, Thailand announced it would reschedule cannabis for medicinal purposes.
December: historic vote at UN and American Congress
More good news from the European Union in December. Thanks to the court case in November, the European Commission also ruled CBD is not drugs and free trade within the European Union is allowed. Meanwhile back in the Netherlands, a lottery was done to decide the 10 private initiatives that can take part in the experiment to legalise the supply of the coffeeshops.
December was a very important month as it turned out. For the first time since making cannabis illegal, the UN voted to reschedule cannabis! And if that wasn’t good enough: the American Congress also saw something historic in approving the MORE Act. The MORE Act would legalise cannabis federally. It now needs to go to the Senate and is not expected to be approved, but who knows. The run-off elections in Georgia might turn out favourably for the Democrats and cannabis lovers in the United States.
Concluding: yes there was a pandemic, but it was a good year for cannabis!
So yes, it depends on your perspective how you will remember 2020. At least you can now also say at the corona-proof dinner table for Christmas that yes the pandemic set the tone for the year of 2020, but cannabis was the big winner! We can only expect good things from here and look forward to a future in which everyone can grow their own cannabis seeds legally!