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ember logoA Journal of Cannabis and Culture
December 27, 2018
2018 The Year in Cannabis

18 moments and cannabis facts from the monumental marijuana sea change that’s taken place over the last 365 days. Here's to cannabis in 2018!

2 DOPE QUEENS Following a run at the top of the iTunes chart, Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams weed-centric, inclusivity-minded podcast debuted as an HBO special in February 2018, directed by Tig Notaro, and featuring A-list guests like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jon Stewart.

BATH As in, CBD bath bomb. Wherein one soaks in a bath full of cannabidiol oil until muscles turn to putty, stress vanishes, and pain is a thing of the past.

BILL WALTON Technically, it was January 2017 when Bill Walton opined against the war on drugs while commentating an NCAA game, but Walton could certainly be credited for helping to usher in an era in which, in June 2018, basketball’s BIG3 became the first pro sports league in the US to allow its athletes to use CBD for pain management.

CANADA As of October, Canada became the first major world economy to legalize marijuana nationwide: adults 19 and over can buy, use, possess, and grow marijuana from Vancouver to Quebec and all 9,984,670 square kilometers in between.

CANNABIS Marijuana. Mary Jane. Weed. Pot. Bud. Grass. Ganja. Green. Or, simply: herb. The plant’s medical term has been in use, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, since 1548, but we think it’s never sounded better than it did in 2018: cannabis. That’s because January 1, 2018, marked perhaps the largest milestone in cannabis history: California’s legalization of adult recreational use, which opened the largest legal market in the world.

What Else Has Happened in The Cannabis World

CBD Boasting myriad pain-relieving properties, cannabis’s non-psychoactive component, cannabidiol or CBD, burst onto the wellness stage with a bang, quickly garnering a celebrity following, among the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Wilde, and Jennifer Aniston.

CORONA A zero-calorie cannabis drink that helps combat depression? When Constellation Brands, owners of beer label Corona, invested $4 billion in the cannabis industry in August 2018, its newly acquired cannabis CEO, Bruce Linton, projected the possibility of such future-forward beverages. Cheers!

ANDREW CUOMO On August 2, 2018, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo made a giant leap towards recreational legalization by announcing work on a forthcoming bill implementing Department of Health recommendations towards regulation: here’s to a 2019 of coast-to-coast cannabis!

KRISTEN BELL “I like my vape pen quite a bit,” admitted The Good Place star on Marc Maron’s podcast WTF in September 2018, adding: “Weed rules.” No small words, coming from the same mouth that voiced the heroine of Disney’s Frozen.

Cannabis and Legalization

LEGALIZATION Canada’s not alone. In the US, 30+ states have passed legislature enabling citizens to buy and possess cannabis for medical or recreational use, including, most recently, Oklahoma (medical use) and Vermont (recreational use.)

LOBSTER In September 2018: the state of Maine officially asked Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound, to stop feeding cannabis to lobsters to ease their pain pre-lobster-pot. Following a subsequent visit from a medical marijuana inspector, Gill reportedly remained hopeful that her medicating method would, in the long run, comply with state regulations, dubbing her technique “high-end lobster.”

MARY JO SHANNON It was four years ago that Kris Kardashian and her octogenarian mother, Mary Jo Shannon, gobbled medical-marijuana gummies together on Keeping up with the Kardashians, and we can all thank Mary Jo for breaking the cannabis ice, allowing for Kris to smoke a joint on camera in celebration of her daughter, Kourtney’s, happy (and high?) birthday on 4/20/2018.

MISS IOWA If there’s any doubt that perceptions of marijuana have radically changed over the past five years, take former Miss Iowa, Jessica VerSteeg, as a case in point. During her 2014 onstage pageant interview, VerSteeg admitted she approved of legalization, only to offer up a tearful televised apology in light of public outcry. Cut to 2018: VerSteeg, an outspoken cannabis advocate, is founder and CEO of Paragon, dubbed the “bitcoin of weed,” a multimillion dollar cryptocurrency company.

MOM Speaking of bellwethers, the baby boomer generation’s embrace of pot is no small matter. On March 2018 Charlize Theron talked weed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, this time to report that her mother, Gerda Maritz, had recently bought cannabis edibles for Theron in hopes of helping her daughter’s sleeping problems. Nice work, Mom!

MONTANA In its first year of cannabis taxation, Montana collected more than a million dollars in tax revenue—exceeding expectations—at $1.8 million, to be precise.

ROYAL In August 2018, Princess Diana’s 27-year-old niece Lady Kitty Spencer caused a British commotion by posting an Instagram photo of herself sporting a diamond-and-emerald- encrusted marijuana-leaf Bulgari necklace inspired by the scene in Desperately Seeking Susan in which Madonna shares a joint with her husband.

SPA Another boon of legalization? Spa culture’s love affair with CBD. NY celebrity facialist Ildi Pekar combines CBD oil with electric stimulation and oxygen therapy to illuminate and uplift the skin at the tune of $400, while LA’s trendy spa boutique The Now offers a CBD oil enhancement to any massage for a mere $10.

TIFFANY HADDISH From Girls Trip to hosting SNL, comedian Tiffany Haddish seems to have hit an unstoppable stride, such that Vogue’s September 2018 issue proclaimed her “Comedy’s New Queen.” And while Haddish’s rise is rife with achievements, we can’t help but call out her early weed-smoking Jada Pinkett-Smith swamp-boat riff as a crucial—and hilarious—milestone.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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