Another year has drawn to a close. For many, 2021 was a mixed bag of a year — we were still grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but the global supply chain and economy was starting to show signs of recovery. The year brought a variety of wins to America’s cannabis industry, even though some events may not have seemed like wins at the time. For instance, the controversial suspension of American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson due to a positive THC test sparked an intense review of cannabis policy. Here is an overview of what happened to cannabis in 2021.
Several states legalized cannabis last year. New York State passed a bill that would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess cannabis as well as decriminalize the possession of up to three ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of concentrates. This bill would also expunge certain cannabis offenses from people’s records and provide a variety of protections for people who work in the marijuana industry or consume cannabis. In Virginia, lawmakers passed a bill to legalize cannabis possession and home cultivation. Cannabis-related arrests, charges, and convictions would be sealed away from public view.
New Mexico also joined the cannabis train, passing a law that would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to 16 grams of concentrates, two ounces of cannabis and 800 milligrams of infused edibles; they would also be allowed to grow up to six mature plants at home. Connecticut passed a cannabis law in June 2021, allowing for the possession of up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis and minimizing punishments levied on those between 18—20 who are found possessing cannabis. Retail cannabis sales for adults 21 and over will begin in 2023.
Alabama also joined the increasing number of states with cannabis laws, passing a medical marijuana bill that would allow patients with any of 20 qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana. Louisiana passed a marijuana decriminalization bill that would bring down the penalty for possessing up to 14 grams of cannabis to a $100 fine. According to Governor John Bel Edwards, there’s a chance this modest reform could result in broad legalization.
Lawmakers also made significant moves at the federal level. For starters, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and some congressional colleagues introduced a bill dubbed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act that would federally decriminalize cannabis. The bill would also expunge past convictions and allow states to craft their own cannabis policies. A key House committee passed a federal legalization bill that would promote social equity, but cannabis banking legislation failed to reach the finish line.
One of the most surprising events of 2021 was a GOP lawmaker unveiling an alternative federal legalization plan that would essentially treat cannabis like alcohol. Last year also saw safe consumption sites gain traction, with sites in New York preventing dozens of overdoses deaths.
California, currently the largest cannabis market in the U.S., has also enacted its own reforms to further streamline the marketplace in which entities such as Simply Sonoma Inc. operate.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Simply Sonoma Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/Sonoma
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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