No two ways about it: 2020 was rough, for all of us.
Even so, we’re all about silver (and green) linings, and when it comes to cannabis advancement, there have been a lot of those in this otherwise dark year. Legal cannabis sales are at an all-time high in the U.S., five new states have legalized marijuana, and more cannabis research was conducted this year than in any other year in history. Safe to say, 2020 revealed the nation’s need for weed. (We wonder why?)
We compiled the top five reasons for cannabis-enthusiasts to celebrate as we move into the new year. Here’s to even more progress in 2021!
1. South Dakota, Montana, Arizona and New Jersey legalized recreational marijuana this November
Legalization has prevailed in states across the political spectrum this election. Voters in five very different states have all sent the same message — the time has come for marijuana reform.
— Marijuana Policy Project (@MarijuanaPolicy) November 4, 2020
2. Also in November, South Dakota and Mississippi legalized medical marijuana
South Dakota, a historically red state, legalized both recreational and medical cannabis this year, and Bible Belt state stalwart Mississippi passed a robust medical marijuana initiative, even after facing intense opposition from certain members of the state legislature.
Now that medical marijuana is legal in the Bible Belt pic.twitter.com/o9zu0R2baq
— brandon (@Kid_Schwenkie) November 6, 2020
3. Cannabis businesses were deemed essential during the pandemic
In states where recreational marijuana is legal, cannabis businesses were permitted to remain open and deliver to consumers throughout the pandemic, and the decision made cannabis sales soar. According to Leafly, Americans spent nearly $18 billion on cannabis this year.
According to @AkernaCorp research, online cannabis ordering increased by 355%, delivery sales went up by 280% and pickup orders increased by 118% in the end of March 2020. #CannabisIsEssential https://t.co/BHSB96QPdK pic.twitter.com/R5Cgs4nvpx
— National Cannabis Industry Association (@NCIAorg) May 3, 2020
RELATED: Cannabis Sales Soar Despite COVID-19
4. The NBA announced that they would not test players for marijuana through the 2020-2021 season
Overall, cannabis-consuming athletes scored in 2020. The NFL has also ceased suspending players who test positive for marijuana.
The NBA says it won't test players for marijuana use this season — anybody check on JR yet? pic.twitter.com/VmBUAgomv9
— Jeremy Berke (@jfberke) December 4, 2020
5. More cannabis research was conducted in 2020 than in any other year in history
According to data compiled by The National Library of Medicine, the rise in cannabis use during the pandemic seems to have amped up the motivation for researchers to take a hard look at our favorite plant.
— Nick Jikomes, Ph.D. (@trikomes) December 31, 2020
Elissa Esher is Assistant Editor at GreenState. Her work has also appeared in The Boston Guardian, Brooklyn Paper, Religion Unplugged, and Iridescent Women. Send inquiries and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.