2017 was a big year for cannabis, as there were many big news stories about marijuana research, policies, and attitudes that came out over the past year. As we approach the new year, here we reflect on the five biggest marijuana news stories of 2017 in America; Happy Holidays!

1. In November of 2017, a little more than a year after residents of Denver, Colorado, voted to approve Proposition 300, the city made headlines by implementing the law to regulate the social consumption of cannabis in certain private establishments. The Mile High City became the first metropolitan area in the United States to allow the open consumption of marijuana in state-licensed restaurants, bars, and other businesses on conditions of a pilot program that expires at the end of 2020.

2. One of the biggest news stories about cannabis in 2017 was the publishing of research showing that Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the chemical compounds found in marijuana, is an effective treatment for epilepsy. Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of NYU Langone's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, led the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on children with a Dravet Syndrome that showed CBD effectively decreases the frequency of convulsive seizures.

3.  A July 2017 Gallup Survey revealing that 45% of Americans have tried marijuana at least once in their lifetime (a record high number) was one of the biggest stories of the summer, as it was a record high number since the survey began in 1969. It also revealed that 12% of U.S. citizens smoke cannabis, a figure that's nearly doubled since 2013.

4. The state of Hawaii gained national attention in the fall of 2017 when about 30 medical marijuana patients received letters from the Honolulu Police Department asking them to surrender or transfer ownership of their guns.

5. And finally, some of the biggest weed news in 2017 was the surprising level of support for allowing research into it that was expressed by members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. For example, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study (MEDS) Act of 2017 and members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs pushed for research into the effects of cannabis on military veterans suffering from chronic pain and PTSD.