I’ll be honest: 2020 has been one heck of a year. As the year comes to a close, we at NisonCo wanted to reflect on the year in cannabis and the impact it’s made on our lives. 2020 was a big year in cannabis. Cannabis made history when the MORE Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives. It took the United States by storm amidst the pandemic, with states seeing an explosion in retail cannabis sales, and four states legalized cannabis for adult use. Not only was this an absolutely incredible year in cannabis, it also tells us a story of what’s to come. I wanted to write a letter of gratitude, for the strides made in cannabis from hard working folks in activism to those all across the industry and how cannabis has touched our lives.
I remember attending the Drug Policy Alliance conference in 2015. There were some activists I’d interacted with who had high hopes that in 2020, the United States would finally legalize cannabis federally. Unfortunately, that benchmark has not been met, but progress has indeed been made. In 2015, only 4 states had legalized cannabis for adult use. As of the 2020 election, that number now stands at 15 states and D.C.. To put that in perspective, about 1 in 3 Americans now live in a state where adult use is legal. Since 2015, medical cannabis has been legalized in an additional 13 states, bringing the total to 36 states with legalized medical cannabis. Furthermore, hemp has now been legalized at the federal level.
We’ve seen some amazing stories about people granted clemency for past cannabis offenses and money brought back to communities that have long been afflicted by cannabis’ illegality. Of course, there are still immense problems that ought to be addressed, including the fact that countless people remain imprisoned for cannabis related offenses and lackluster attention to inequity amongst BIPOC. These issues must not be ignored, but for the purposes of this blog, I want to reflect on the hard work that’s been done to bring us to this point.
Because of cannabis legalization, our future will look brighter. Less people will be charged and incarcerated for simple possession. Communities will be able to begin rebuilding after decades of destruction due to illegal cannabis, and the industry will continue to move forward, provide cannabis for those who need it and create jobs for thousands more. Due to the hard work of advocates everywhere, people are more supportive of legalization than ever before. What’s more is since the cannabis revolution began, folks have become more open to the idea that other long stigmatized substances may not be worthy of such stigma afterall, as evidenced by the passage of Oregon’s drug decriminalization bill.
To wrap up this post and 2020, I wanted to share a handful of quotes about how cannabis has made a direct impact, to demonstrate the good cannabis has done for Americans everywhere and why continuing down the path towards acceptance is the path best traveled. Thank you to the activists who have worked tirelessly to make this possible, to those who have been so vocal in their communities, and for people who have shared their experiences. You are making a world of difference.
“Cannabis has given me a chance to have new experiences, with a comforting familiarity. It has given me a chance to simply enjoy something and rest easy.”
“I don’t use it anymore, but I’m grateful for the friendships and connections that I’ve made through sharing it, using it, and being a part of the activism side of it.”
“I’m grateful that it’s led me to strong friendships, through activism and sharing in the joy, laughter, creativity, and peace that it brings when enjoyed together. I’m thankful that CBD helps manage my anxiety and helps me sleep well, while THC brings me a new perspective, almost a new lens to enjoy life through. I’m also thankful it’s helped my dad in his recovery from alcoholism, and enjoying it with family members has fostered bonding experiences between us.”
“I’m thankful for the opportunities cannabis has provided me, in my life and my work. I’m thankful to work towards something I care about and with people who share that same drive.”
NisonCo looks forward to 2021 with optimism that progress and change will forge ahead. For more reflections on this past year, feel free to check out our lighthearted “Funniest Cannabis Headlines of 2020”. If you’re as excited about 2021 as we are, get started on planning your next Social Media Content Calendar or your 2021 Cannabis PR Budget. Oh- and don’t forget to get a head start on your 2021 SEO Budget. In any case, we hope you have a safe and happy New Year!