Medical marijuana is being mentioned in the press a lot lately, with scores of dispensaries opening their doors across the country. A particular compound found in the Cannabis plant known as Cannabidiol (CBD) has been tested and reported on fiercely over the years, as scientists discover how this missing piece to the medical puzzle has the potential to change lives.
Take Charlotte Figi, for example. The young girl was enduring up to 300 grand mal seizures daily, until the Stanley brothers discovered a cure – CBD oil. One of many prime examples of medical cannabis’ healing powers, it is not surprising that the plant is being legalized statewide and prescribed to patients as an alternative to opioid medication.
Let’s not forget about the alternative compound, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is being utilized to treat anorexia, Tourette’s Syndrome and neuropathic pain. Consumption methods are equally as diverse as the plant’s chemical composition, with users consuming the cannabis they buy from San Francisco weed dispensaries orally, sublingually, topically and even rectally!
This year, the medical marijuana industry is predicted to explode and in addition to the growth in economy, there is predicted to be expansion in legalization for 2018.
Trump’s Impact on America’s Marijuana Industry
Back when Barack Obama was the President of the United States, he made a lot of significant and positive changes, such as Obamacare. The aim of Obamacare was to revolutionize the healthcare sector and legalize medicinal pot. There was even a cannabis strain named after the man himself – Obama Kush.
However, when Donald Trump came into power, things changed somewhat. The latest war on marijuana comes under the Trump administration, which is essentially an anti-pot campaign. In October, Trump signed an executive order to repeal Obamacare, making it more difficult for cannabis consumers to get their hands on stinky nuggets of White Widow, Jack Herer and Granddaddy Purple. Not to worry though, because if you live near San Francisco weed dispensaries, your weed-buying ability will not be hindered.
California’s marijuana industry has not really been affected by the Trump administration, nor have the other cannabis-friendly states on the map, such as Colorado, New Mexico and Rhode Island. Numerous states are set to follow in their footsteps this year and since cannabis legalization offers so many benefits, it is understandable why.
The Benefits of Legalizing Marijuana
One of the main benefits associated with marijuana legalization is the increased revenue for states, with the industry expected to pull in $13.3bn by the year 2020, according to the Cannabis Industry 2017 Annual Report. That’s not all, though. Cannabis legalization could shut down the black market, thus improving safety control and bud quality. Furthermore, legalizing the leafy plant increases the availability of medicinal cannabis, boosts tax revenue for weed-friendly states and reduces drug-related violent crime.
States Set to Become Weed-Friendly this Year
The marijuana movement is progressive and real. It is inspiring other countries, such as Canada and Australia, to lift cannabis laws. Just because weed is becoming legal in a lot of places, this does not mean that the laws are exactly the same in each state, however. For example, qualified medical marijuana patients in California are able to grow a maximum of six mature plants, whereas in Arizona, 12 cannabis plants can be legally cultivated.
Below, we highlight five U.S. States expected to join the medical marijuana movement in 2018:
1. Oklahoma – Come June or November, medical cannabis could be legalized in the State of Ohio, depending on how Oklahoman’s vote at the election. The election date is yet to be confirmed by Republican Governor Mary Fallin. Question 788 must be approved for legislation to move forward. If it does, patients aged 18 or over will have the privilege of growing and possessing up to six mature cannabis plants.
2. Missouri – New Approach is a Missouri-based organization committed to legalizing medical marijuana. Members of the organization have collected approximately 100,000 of 170,000 signatures required to ensure the initiative is included on November’s ballot.
3. South Dakota – Back in November 2017, South Dakotans showed their approval for limited medical marijuana legalization by signing their signatures and submitting them to the secretary of state. Expect the results by March 2018. Should the state rule in favor of medical marijuana legalization, qualifying patients may be prescribed up to three ounces of the herb.
4. Utah – State residents of Utah are also pushing for medical marijuana legalization, with activists working hard to collect a total of 113,000 signatures for a 2018 ballot initiative. These signatures must be collected by April 2018.
5. Kentucky – “Many of Kentucky’s neighbors have already legalized medical cannabis to aid and help their citizens with pain. Kentucky is behind,” is a quote from Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Grimes regarding medical marijuana legislation. Grimes made an effort to legalize medical cannabis when she sent Republican Governor Matt Bevin a bill detailing how legislation would aid veterans and sufferers of serious illnesses, such as cancer. Whether or not the bill will pass is yet to be announced, but it is looking hopeful.
Monitoring the Cannabis Laws in Your State
Marijuana laws are being reformed at a rapid rate and if you don’t stay up-to-date, you might miss out on a golden opportunity. Check out the latest state laws on the NORML website. Also featured on the website is information about tax stamps, drugged driving and penalties, (should they apply to you in your place of residence.) Make a habit of reading cannabis-focused content every week on the web, because the industry is expanding and you’d better keep up if you want to benefit from legalized weed! Further information about cannabis legality is published on the FindLaw website.