Once again the cannabis universe has had another momentous week. Very exciting and lots to be thankful for!
Here’s the last, and maybe the best, round of big cannabis highlights for 2019:
Hemp legalization is signed into law
What happened: Arguably the biggest news story of the year occurred recently when President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill which ended hemp prohibition in the United States. It will take time for a program to be put in place for farmers to get signed up, but it’s coming sooner than later.
Why it matters: Hemp has been prohibited in the United States for many decades. Now farmers in all 50 states will have a path to get approved to cultivate hemp. It’s as historic of a moment as there ever has been in the history of the reform movement.
Thailand moves to legalize medical cannabis
Why it matters: South East Asia is considered to be the strictest place for cannabis policy on the planet. Reform there is very much needed, and Thailand will hopefully help usher in a new era for the region.
Cannabis border seizure rate plummets
What happened: The CATO Institute released a report this week that examined cannabis seizure rates at the U.S./Mexico border. The study found that seizures for cannabis dropped 78% in the last 5 years.
Why it matters: This comprehensive report is one of the best arguments in favor of cannabis legalization. “State marijuana legalization starting in 2014 did more to reduce marijuana smuggling than the doubling of Border Patrol agents or the construction of hundreds of miles of border fencing did from 2003 to 2009,” the report stated.
Israel approves cannabis exports
What happened: Israel moved this week to finally allow cannabis exports. Israel has long been a cannabis policy powerhouse, and due to various political reasons, it has avoided allowing exports.
Why it matters: Israel is home to some of the oldest cannabis companies on earth. The Middle East nation has long been a global leader for cannabis research and patients around the globe will now benefit from that research via cannabis exports from the country.
Harborside wins a huge victory in tax court
What happened: Harborside, one of the most iconic cannabis brands on the planet, was found not liable for accuracy-related 280E penalties by the U.S. Tax Court.
Why it matters: This is a huge win not just for Harborside, but also for the cannabis industry as a whole. Harborside has led the fight in the legal arena, and this week’s victory will hopefully not be the last great victory that the company achieves.
Alaska to allow on-site consumption
What happened: Alaska cannabis regulators approved on-site consumption this week. Cannabis consumers will now be able to consume cannabis where cannabis is sold.
Why it matters: Social cannabis use reform is the next frontier for cannabis reform efforts in states that have legalized cannabis for adult use. A win in Alaska helps bolster efforts in other states.