2018 Year in Review (January through June)

2018 is finally over. It was a long year, so it's worth taking a moment and looking back at the last twelve months. We’ll be focussing mainly on the world of weed (if we had to recap every bit of Trump news we’d be here til the end of January). So roll one up, get comfy and enjoy.

January

A bright bit of news to start the year: Phil Scott, the governor of Vermont - land of Ben and Jerry’s and Bernie Sanders - signed the legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. The bill took effect on July 1, 2018. 

Meanwhile, Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address. The Democratic Party rebuttal was delivered by Joe Kennedy III, scion of the Kennedy dynasty. His time in the spotlight revealed that young Kennedy is an opponent of marijuana reform. But even he eventually saw the light, calling for marijuana legalization in an op-ed published in November. 

February

One of our favorite stories of the month came from an Israeli study examining how medical cannabis benefits the elderly. It turns out that a vast majority of medical patients over 65 years of age - 93.7 percent, in fact - say that cannabis has improved their lives. So if you’ve ever needed an excuse to spend more time with your parents or grandparents, here you go.

News also emerged that increased marijuana legalization in the US has forced Mexican drug cartels to back away from cannabis. While they have turned their attention to heroin and other opiates, it’s worth noting that states with legalized marijuana have smaller rates of opioid abuse. It’s almost as though we should legalize marijuana on a federal level...

March

We got our first ever glimpse of what legal Canadian cannabis packaging would look like (plain!), and a series of rolling papers named after prohibitionist Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Plus, we mused on the cannabis lies and mistruths we never ever want to hear ever again.

April 

No question: The biggest story of the month was 4/20. To celebrate, Civilized released the results of its 2018 Cannabis Culture Poll. We discovered peoples’ favorite munchies, what kind of cannabis products people want to try most, and how many people are canna-curious and who’s hiding their use from you. We also met the average American and Canadian cannabis consumer, and much much more.

May

Royal wedding fever was in the air in May 2018 - to the point that now-Duchess of Sussex had a weed strain named after her. Turns out Meghan Markle’s nephew is a licensed medical cannabis grower, and unveiled a strain appropriately titled ‘Markle Sparkle’ to celebrate the nuptuals.

In other celebrity news, May found Kevin Smith returning to the publicity circuit after a massive heart attack. In an interview with Stephen Colbert, he related how weed may have saved his life.

And in a bit of personal news, music legend Michael Cohl joined Civilized’s board of directors.

June

This was a busy and exciting month, as we held the first annual World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, New Brunswick. Hundreds of delegates from the world of weed joined us to talk about the future - specifically the immanent legalization of cannabis in Canada. We heard from former Canadian cannabis task-force chair Anne McLellan, legendary activist Steve DeAngelo, comedian and author Chelsea Handler, and any more people.

Elsewhere, our founder Derek Riedle sat down for an extensive interview with former Mexican president Vicente Fox, and the Canadian Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) received Royal Assent, making things official for October.

Tune in tomorrow for July though December.

Latest.

Few other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space have their hands in quite as many ventures as Lorne Gertner. Currently dubbed the "godfather of the Canadian cannabis industry," Gertner told Civilized, "If we could live through normalization, we could change the world." Hailing from the fashion industry, this Toronto native says he's on a mission to "make the world a better place through cannabis and design excellence." The only catch is, well, normalizing cannabis — and that's where Gertner's keen eye for style comes in. "In the old days, you were going to be different or you were going to be normal," said Thom Antonio, Gertner's friend, creative director, and collaborator of 35 years.

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