To say that 2017 was quite a year would be a blunt understatement. The United States and its people experienced quite a few highs, some significant lows, and many WTFs. While you may have mixed feelings about where our country stands at 2017’s close, one thing is for sure: The cannabis industry has never been higher. So let’s start 2018 on a high note: Here are 7 wins that disrupted the cannabis industry in 2017.
1. 64% of Americans are for weed legalization—an all-time record.
In the U.S., weed’s approval rating hit a record high. According to a Gallup poll released on October, 64% of Americans who participated were in favor of the idea of legalizing weed nationally. This is up from the 60% in 2016, and a huge leap from 25% back in 1995. This is the highest level of public support Gallup has seen in the half-century it’s been measuring these statistics. Now that’s what we call progress.
2. San Francisco held its first legalized cannabis recreational event.
On April 20th, 2017 (of course), San Francisco held its first legal cannabis event in Golden Gate Park. This “festival” has been around for a while, but it was unpermitted, unofficial, and becoming unsafe. As popularity and attendance inevitably grew, so did the violence and amount of trash left behind. (Seriously—it was 11 tons in 2016.) So to avoid shutdown, the city of SF decided to step in to regulate to make sure the event was fun and safe for everyone in 2017. There were sponsorships, food trucks, DJs, increased security, and 175 port-o-potties (!!!). For a taste of this day full of hazy play, check out our recap below.
3. Canada is budding towards national legalization.
When it comes to poutine, publicly-funded health care, welcoming people, and now, the ganja industry, Canada is king. Canada’s prime minister, Parliament, and provincial governments all moved to squash the cannabis prohibition come 2018. That’s right—it’s really happening, and it’s opening next summer. Cannabis will be regulated and, in some provinces like Ontario, be sold in cannabis stores. Moving to Canada is sounding better each day, eh?
4. Cannabis company displays first ever ad at major airport in California.
If you took a flight out of Ontario International Airport (ONT) in 2017, you may have put your laptop and shoes in one of the controversial “CANNABIS IS LEGAL” security trays. This groundbreaking campaign was the brainchild of Organa Brands—one of the largest cannabis companies in the industry. The ad alerted travelers about California's recreational marijuana law with fine print not to take pot across state lines. In full, the ad read: “CANNABIS IS LEGAL. Traveling with it is not. Leave it in California.”
5. Cannabis weddings are a thing—and California just had its first expo.
When you think of a wedding, you think of a bride and groom, free-flowing champagne, and a room full of love and loved ones. Until 2017 came along and threw cannabis into the mix. California just held its first Cannabis Wedding Expo, which is an event that features progressive wedding vendors and specialty cannabis brands. Their mission is to help couples learn how to incorporate cannabis into their wedding day with class and taste. We can safely say that weddings in 2018 are going to be lit.
6. Adult use becomes legal in Nevada.
Ganja-aficionados from all over lined up at midnight on July 1st, 2017 for the opening of Nevada’s first adult-use retail store. State Senator Tick Segerblom, a trailblazer for the state’s legalization movement, made the honorable first purchase at Reef Dispensaries just after they opened their doors. Next stop: Vegas, baby!
7. Medicinal cannabis became legal in Germany and Mexico.
While both of these milestones weren’t highlighted much in the U.S., it was a major win for the legalization of cannabis worldwide. Germany passed a legislation that requires health insurers to cover medical cannabis used with a doctor’s prescription. (Hopefully soon the rest of the EU will follow suit.) As for Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto legalized medical cannabis by decree on June 19th, 2017, with tons of support from the nation’s lower house of Congress. C’mon, America, the whole world is about to roll up—it’s time to take a hit.
Let’s smoke to the highs of 2017, and toast to an even higher 2018!