2021 : A Year In Review For The Cannabis Industry
Against the backdrop of COVID-19, people have tended to lament 2021 as if it were a repeat of 2020. While that may be true outside of the industrial hemp and commercial marijuana industries, it was, once again, a landmark year for cannabis, as I thought that it might be.
In many ways, 2021 was set to be a banner year for cannabis. The industry’s mood was broadly optimistic heading into 2021. The Democrats sweep of the 2020 electoral cycle brought into reach the possibility of federal legalization. Now, while legalization has long been touted as a Democrat-focused policy, I have always disputed that fact. The reality is well characterized by my friend and colleague, Chris Roberts. Ultimately, those high hopes concerning legalization were tempered as 2021 yet again delivered a mix of progress and frustration from a policy perspective.
The federal government moved forward with providing frameworks for the allowance of the research of cannabinoids and other cannabis-derived compounds through the Medical Marijuana Research Act (introduced Oct. 2021), and the Cannabidiol and Marijuana Research Expansion Act.