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DON’T SMOKE THE MESSENGER: Looking Ahead – A New Decade of Cannabis

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It’s a new year—and a new decade—and I hereby declare this to be the “decade of cannabis.” The legalization of hemp in the U.S. at the end of 2018 opened the floodgates of access the cannabis plant for the country. Now, the 50,000 rumored uses for one of the world’s most important sustainability tools are becoming a reality before our very eyes. Some we couldn’t have known were possible. But who doesn’t want to guess at some of those possibilities, right? So here are my four predictions about cannabis for the upcoming year—and decade.

Banking. Now. Please.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “…The #SAFEBankingAct passed the House in September & I urge the Senate to do the same so we can protect businesses, employees & communities.”

Access to banks for cannabis businesses—especially LEGAL hemp businesses, is something nearly everyone can get behind. Consumers can support it because they love an easier way to spend money. Business owners should support it because they need a place to put money. Bankers—whether they can publicly admit it or not—do support it because they really want to hold on to your money. And politicians can support it because their constituents support it . . . and because, well, ya know—money. With that said, I predict access to banks this year.

Research and Medical Uses—That Blow Our Minds

The thought that the medicinal properties in cannabis could hold an even more potent promise is just one possibility. But this new research brings to light an important fact: there is new research on cannabis! It has become common knowledge that the cannabis “research” that has been done at the University of Mississippi has been a bit—limited, to say the least. Recognizing that more legitimate studies need to be done on the examples of cannabis Americans are actually consuming, even the DEA has put out a call for “research growers” to produce some dank for a more accurate look into what all the buzz is about. 

Beyond the medicinal side and the CBD craze, there has been a quiet explosion of industrial hemp products worth noting for their regenerative and sustainability potentials, as well as the rewarding quality of products that come from manufacturing with one of nature’s strongest and most resilient renewable resources. There is nowhere this is more clearly needed than in the world of construction. The construction industry is one of the most harmful industries on the planet in terms of environmental damage (Ever heard of sand wars?!) and hemp is making a worldwide comeback none too soon. Enjoy this cannabis renaissance as it blossoms over the next decade. 

No Politikin Without Pot-Lickin’

In a stark reversal from the War on Drugs waged for decades under Republican and Democratic administrations, presidential candidates are now embracing full legalization. 

I look at cannabis news every week. Which means I get a sense of the trends that happen in our media surrounding my favorite plant. And this year, a trend in politics started to emerge: You better be pro-cannabis or the elections don’t look good. A recent Gallup poll said that two-thirds of the country supports legalization. So by proxy, two-thirds of elected officials should be sporting cannabis buttons at town halls. In my (very biased) news feed, they are generally pro-weed. I predict the next president will also be pro-cannabis and so will your next local elected official!

National Adult-Use Legalization

With bipartisan support, it’s just a matter of time. The M.O.R.E. (Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act) represents the first real chance a federal cannabis legalization law could become a reality. While there are still many hoops to jump through, bipartisanship on this bill reflects a generational shift in sentiment towards cannabis. It’s just a matter of time. But I’ll put a small gamble on 2021 being the year we become The United States of Cannabis.

 

 

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