As 2021 comes to a close, we would like to bring attention to the accomplishments that have been made this year in the name of cannabis. Through much work and dedication by advocates, researchers, and educators there was a lot of positive news and much to celebrate! Let’s recap some of that positivity here:
- On February 1, 2021 Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated cannabis reform as a top priority for 2021 to right the wrongs of the War on Drugs. On July 14th, the 163-page Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) was introduced with an aim to “decriminalize and deschedule cannabis, to provide for reinvestment in certain persons adversely impacted by the War on Drugs, to provide for expungement of certain cannabis offenses, and for other purposes”.
- Alabama legalized a medical cannabis program with overwhelming approval by the legislature on February 24, 2021.
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a cannabis legalization bill into law for recreational adult-use and expungement of previous cannabis convictions.
- In April, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill to legalize cannabis in the state, as well as expunge records for individuals with prior, low-level cannabis convictions.
- Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut signed a bill to legalize cannabis, which became effective on July 1, 2021.
- Virginia adults were able to legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis on July 1, 2021.
- State-licensing began in South Dakota for medical cannabis dispensaries.
- California rallied together to urge the passing of AB 45, signed by Governor Newsom in October. This established an overdue, comprehensive regulatory framework for the manufacture and sale of hemp products in California, making it so non-intoxicating cannabinoids like CBD can be sold as dietary supplements.
- Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4295, making it so individuals with cannabis-related felonies or misdemeanor convictions on their record may now qualify for medical cannabis business licenses.
- In late November, the leaders of Germany’s next governing parties aligned to legalize cannabis in this upcoming four-year term in an official agreement.
- Lawmakers in St. Louis voted unanimously to approve a bill to decriminalize cannabis possession and cultivation for adults.
- In early December, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) expressed they are in favor of research on schedule I drugs, such as cannabis and specific psychedelics, as proposed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). DEA Principal Administrator Louis Milione said, “It is critical that the scientific and medical community study Schedule I substances, as some may turn out to have therapeutic value…DEA supports the administration’s legislative proposal’s expansion of access to Schedule I research.”
We look forward to more cannabis advances heading into 2022. Want to get involved but not sure where to begin? Follow Realm of Caring to stay informed on what votes and initiatives are coming up that you can be a part of.