Looking back at big cannabis related stories from 2018

Published Feb 15, 2019 12:34 p.m. ET

Why was there such a surprise when cannabis was made legal across Canada that there would be a shortage of the product? The line-ups were tremendous, that was in the provinces that had brick and mortar shops. Ontario chose to supply its residents with only one option to purchase legal weed, online. The OCS was bombarded with online orders when it opened officially for business.

Those issues and a few other cannabis related stories warrant a mention.

• Legalization of the cannabis plant in Canada October 17, 2018, a memorable day for all. Canada became the largest country to legalize cannabis. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fulfilled a promise he made to the Canadian public.

• Shortages of the product proved to be a problem for the country. Supplies dwindled, complaints flocked in and began to pile up. Issues with price packaging and the availability of the product were huge. The promised dream of legality providing easy access for adults who wished to purchase cannabis was not how it was first promised to be. The thrill was short lived. The approval of licenses for new stores is still being worked out. The issue of supply seems to be the concerning issue still.

• The United Kingdom along with South Korea licensed the use of medical marijuana. Mexico is now on the verge of legalization.

• The legalization of cannabis has legitimized the business opportunities that cannabis is providing between Canada and some U.S. states. Projected business sales could reach $14 billion by 2022

• It is expected that global sales could reach $32 billion.

Let's look further into newsworthy stories of 2018:

Cannabis news in Canada

The home of one of Canada's licensed producers was once a chocolate making factory. The parent company was the first Canadian marijuana grower to make its fabulous debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The parent company, Canopy is said to be valued at more than $10 billion.

Cannabis news in the US

Say hello to the cannabis sibling Hemp. Industrial hemp was put in the limelight in 2018. Federally legal hemp thanks to the Farm Bill that President Donald Trump signed on December 20, 2018, is now a regulated agricultural product. The signing of this Bill has made projections of the $22 billion in worldwide revenue by 2022. Colorado which presently has the most acreage devoted to farming registered hemp in the U.S. is ready to embark on this business venture.

Cannabis news worldwide:

The first East Asian country to legalize cannabis for medical use, South Korea, eased up on their laws allowing non-hallucinogenic doses to be used. Patients with some rare diseases and those suffering from epilepsy will be legally able to access this medicine. An interesting side-note: citizens of Korea who possess, transport or smoke cannabis will be penalized for the offense.

Thailand is set to legalize medical cannabis in a similar fashion to Korea soon.

Worldwide it is apparent the topic of cannabis is gaining acceptance. Moving forward in this new year cannabis is moving right along with us. As always, indulge responsibly and enjoy!

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