Cannabis advocates have a lot to be excited about as cannabis reform continues to gain progress around the world.

The latest highlights below are more proof that we are indeed in the midst of a cannabis revolution unlike ever before.

Which story excites you most?

Federal hemp prohibition is likely ending soon

What happened: The 2014 version of the federal Farm Bill included a provision providing exceptions to federal hemp prohibition. Since that time a number of states have taken advantage of the provision.

However, industrial hemp production remains illegal at the federal level, which is a public policy that has never made sense. It appears that may change soon with an end to federal hemp prohibition making it into the final draft of the 2018 version of the Farm Bill.

Why it matters: Hemp was once the greatest crop that farmers in the United States cultivated. Hemp has been regaining its glory in states that allow its cultivation, but if federal prohibition was lifted across the country, it would be great news for farmers and hemp consumers.

Recommended to Watch: NoCo Hemp Expo 5

Adult-use sales launch in Massachusetts

What happened: Adult-use cannabis sales have officially begun in Massachusetts. Only two stores are open so far, but they have already sold an eye-popping $2.2 million worth of products (in just the first 5 days).

Why it matters: Massachusetts is the first state to implement legal adult-use cannabis sales on the entire East Coast. Opening day was a truly historic event and ushers in a new era on the East Coast for the cannabis industry. Hopefully, it leads to other states following suit.

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Legalization efforts are heating up in the Tri-State area

What happened: This week New Jersey lawmakers in multiple committees approved a cannabis legalization measure. Members of both legislative chambers have expressed a strong desire to see legalization happen, as has New Jersey's Governor.

The legalization winds have also been picking up in Connecticut and New York. Both states share a border with Massachusetts. The upcoming legislative session in both states could get very interesting.

Why it matters: New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are at a crossroads when it comes to cannabis policy. The numbers coming out of Massachusetts are hard to ignore, and this could turn into a legislative footrace to see which state can legalize first, and with it, get the industry upper hand.

Recommended to Watch: How to Be a More Effective Cannabis Activist

South Korea approves medical cannabis measure

What happened: South Korea became the first country in East Asia to approve a medical cannabis measure. Legal sales of medical cannabis products are expected to begin in 2019.

Why it matters: With South Korea becoming the first country in the region to legalize medical cannabis, it's likely that other nations could follow. The first cannabis reform victory in a region is always the hardest. South Korea now has a chance to be a model for the area. 

Recommended to Watch: Beginners Series -- Health Conditions & Cannabis

Joe Kennedy III evolves on cannabis policy

What happened: United States Representative Joe Kennedy III wrote an op-ed for Stat in which he called for Congress to end federal cannabis prohibition. Up until that point, Representative Kennedy had opposed federal cannabis legalization.

Why it matters: Representative Kennedy obviously comes from the most prominent U.S. political dynasty family. Kennedy issued the Democrat's 2018 State of the Union rebuttal.

He is going to play a major role in politics for many years to come, and considering that he's the last 'young Democrat' in Congress to support legalization, the future just got brighter for federal cannabis reform efforts.

Recommended to Watch: Coming Out Green

Greece issues its first medical cannabis industry licenses

What happened: The European nation of Greece issued its first medical cannabis cultivation and processing licenses. Medical cannabis legalization was approved earlier this year.

Why it matters: Greece is not the first country in Europe to legalize cannabis for medical use. However, it is somewhat unique in that it is allowing domestic production and processing. Several other nations are only allowing imports. Greece's hopeful success at domestic production will likely encourage domestic production in other European nations.

Recommended Training: Cannabis Cultivation Certificate Program


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Chuck Grassley stepping down

What happened: United States Senator Chuck Grassley is stepping down as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley historically blocked votes on cannabis reform bills.

Why it matters: Senator Grassley is one of the biggest cannabis opponents in Congress. He is being replaced by Senator Lindsey Graham. Graham is not necessarily crazy about cannabis reform, but he can't be worse than Grassley. It is a welcomed change.

Recommended to Watch: Ask Steve DeAngelo

Michigan legalization gets an effective date

What happened: The state of Michigan certified election results, which means that adult-use cannabis legalization will take effect in Michigan on December 6.

Why it matters: Once legalization takes effect in Michigan, it will increase the number of legal states in the U.S. to 10. Washington D.C. has also legalized cannabis for adult use. Successful legalization in Michigan will no doubt increase momentum for legalization in surrounding states.

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Oregon taxes higher than projected

What happened: Tax revenue generated by Oregon's cannabis industry continues to outpace initial projections. Recent numbers show that Oregon's cannabis taxes have exceeded original expectations by over 7%.

Why it matters: Whenever the cannabis industry succeeds in one state, it helps boost reform efforts in other states because they can then point to states like Oregon as justification for legalization. Oregon's cannabis industry is generating jobs and helping fund schools and even law enforcement. It's a great example of how the cannabis industry can help communities if given the chance.

Recommended to Watch: Smart Cannabis Investing

MJBizCon sets a new record

What happened: MJBizCon took place in Las Vegas earlier this month, and attendance for the event set a new record - 27,600 attendees! That's a 52% increase from the previous year, which in itself was a record at the time.

Why it matters: I was actually at the first MJBizCon in 2012 when it was held in Denver, Colorado. The event had 402 attendees, and I have to assume that was counting literally everyone, even staff. The event's exponential growth is symbolic of the growth of the entire industry. 2019 is going to likely be even bigger and better, and the Green Flower team will absolutely be there!

Recommended to Watch: MJBizCon NEXT 2018


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