2017 is drawing to a close, and it didn’t have as many major marijuana headlines as we would’ve liked. While Nevada implemented legalized marijuana, and Canada passed a bill to do so in 2018, the new Trump administration appointed one of the most anti-cannabis politicians in the country to lead the Department of Justice.
So with a somewhat disappointing 2017 nearly in the books, here are 10 things marijuana users have to look forward to in 2018.
1. New Jersey Legalizing Marijuana
In November, New Jersey voters elected Democrat Phil Murphy to take over as governor in 2018. One of Murphy’s campaign promises was to legalize recreational marijuana in the first 100 days of taking office. While it may take more than 100 days, you better believe Murphy will work hard to get his promise fulfilled.
2. Vermont Legalizing Marijuana
The state of Vermont may beat Murphy in the race to become the next legalized marijuana state. Several politicians said that a bill to legalize recreational cannabis is ready and likely to pass in Vermont next month. So it won’t just be the West Coast with a monopoly on legalized marijuana.
3. California Implementing Legalized Marijuana
Last November, California voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in the state starting on January 1st, 2018. Although there were concerns early on, it appears the state will be mostly ready for the recreational market when the New Year begins, and the U.S’s largest state will have legal cannabis.
4. Massachusetts Implementing Legalized Marijuana
Massachusetts voters also approved a ballot initiative last November to legalize recreational marijuana starting on January 1st, 2018. However, the state government felt they needed a little more time and delayed implementation until July 1st. In the meantime, Massachusetts may add several interesting features to the recreational market, including social marijuana lounges.
5. Canada Implementing Legalized Marijuana
Right around the time that Massachusetts will implement legalized marijuana, the entire country of Canada will do so as well. Suddenly, America’s neighbors to the North will have 100 percent legal cannabis for people to enjoy. You might have to change your destination for next summer’s vacation.
6. New Recreational Marijuana Initiatives
Next November is a big mid-term election year, which means there will also be many initiatives proposed to change state laws. Inevitably, there will be some recreational marijuana initiatives. Michigan voters will almost certainly get a chance to legalize recreational cannabis, and other states such as Arizona may have the opportunity as well. After adding three new legalized states in last year’s election, who knows how many more will be added in 2018.
7. Pro-Marijuana Candidates
Also next year’s midterms will provide an opportunity for many pro-marijuana candidates to take public office. Republicans are vulnerable in nearly every state thanks to Donald Trump’s unpopularity, which means pro-cannabis Democrats could sneak into some high-ranking positions.
8. Jeff Sessions’ Possible Resignation
The Trump administration has already seen several high-ranking figures resign in less than one year. You have to think Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on the hot seat as well. He nearly resigned last May when his Deputy Attorney General appointed an independent prosecutor to investigate the White House. Considering Sessions’ only makes headlines for backwards statements about marijuana, Trump’s patience may run thin with his top law enforcement official.
9. Marijuana Flip-Floppers
Every year, more and more elected politicians step out and announce their support for legalized marijuana. This year, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker started the trend by introducing a bill to allow for legal cannabis throughout the country. Many others took on the charge, including Republican Senator Orrin Hatch who announced his support for medical marijuana. Soon, Congressional leadership will be unable to hold back the rising tide of legalized marijuana.
10. Improving Technologies
Every year, new tech hits the market that improves the marijuana experience. Products that improve your high, ones that make cooking edibles easier, ones that keep your stash fresh, etc. 2018 will bring even more.