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Cannabis' Best Victories of 2018

Between stories of success and a life changed, to political progress, SO much took place last year to serve the on-going possibilities and knowledge of Cannabis. Ugh - these stories and statistics fuel my passion to report on this stuff. So here goes nothin'.

Honestly, no matter which perspective you view this from, 2018 was the biggest year for marijuana legalization and Cannabis related progress. From medicinal uses to plain ole recreational use - public support for cannabis is at an all time high. ;)

1. California's recreational marijuana market opened for business

On Jan. 1, 2018, California's much-anticipated recreational marijuana market opened. There were plenty of problems early on, including sluggish issuing of licenses, burdensome tax levels, and an overly complicated regulatory system. These issues caused sales of recreational marijuana to be lower than expected. However, the California marijuana market is still the biggest in the world, with Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics projecting annual sales of $7.7 billion by 2022. Shoo! That's some gnarly increase.

2. Canadian legalization of recreational marijuana

Another marijuana milestone came with Canada's legalization of recreational marijuana. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered on a campaign promise when the country's Parliament voted in June to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use. This new market launched on Oct. 17, 2018, with rampant supply shortages across the country. Supply and demand, people!

3. Big Deals in the Cannabis Industry

It was also a year for major deals in the cannabis industry. The biggest transaction of all was Constellation Brands' (NYSE:STZ) $4 billion investment in top Canadian marijuana producer Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC). This deal sparked a surge in marijuana stock valuations. It also brought increased visibility to the cannabis industry. Economic growth and health is something we have always harped on when it comes to the positive reactions of legalization of sales everywhere. I'll post the link to my segment on just that, below this content!

4. Actual Lawmakers Start Passing Legalization Bills

After Jeff Sessions attempted an attack on the potential of legalization, I'm sure some expected an impact, but it only caused some to very briefly question things. Where they landed at an answer: "No way, Jose. We know better." I applaud you, America. Governor Phil Scott actually signed the legislation leading to the allowance of adults to grow and possess small amounts of cannabis - but no legal sales yet. It's a promising start, though. This made Vermont the first state to legalize based on a lawmaker's initiative rather than through a ballot.

5. Three "Red" States Legalize Medicinal Cannabis

Missouri, Oklahoma, and Utah. I try my hardest to steer from politics but this is progress if we have ever seen it! It just goes to show that the goodness of Cannabis will win eventually, no matter where we reference it's potential.

6. More Countries and States are Catching On.

On election day in November, voters made Michigan the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana. Missouri and Utah residents approved initiatives to legalize medical marijuana. The United Kingdom and South Korea also legalized medical marijuana. And in Mexico, the country's Supreme Court overturned a ban on the use of recreational marijuana, a move that should lead to legalization by the Mexican Congress. Our concern starts here, in our community of course. But the end goal is on a WORLD WIDE SCALE. No one person is more important than the other on a grander scale, and we want to make sure and reach every edge of the earth, eventually, with the good news.

Lessons learned

Perhaps the biggest lessons from 2018 are that the cannabis industry is legitimate and its opportunities are increasing -- takeaways that are underscored by estimates of what the industry could achieve.

Canada, California, and Michigan -- all of which have legalized recreational marijuana -- together represent an annual market that's projected to total more than $14.5 billion by 2022, according to estimates made by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. The growing number of states and countries that have legalized medical marijuana should boost the total global marijuana market to $32 billion by 2022.

Although Sessions opposed the legalization of marijuana, the fact that the DOJ didn't take any actions to prosecute marijuana-related businesses during his tenure may reflect the increasing realization among those in the federal government that the cannabis industry is legitimate.

A Look Ahead - 2019

We are fully convinced that 2019 is going to give last year a run for it's money. On this route, there's no way we won't out do it. We grew as a company, as a staff, as a community with one goal - The greater good. Health. Awareness. Self love. Loving on each other, despite our differences - God knows Jonesboro needs love. But let's take it further and make a BOOM of positivity and growth all around us. No one ever did well and did GOOD while hanging around in their comfort zone. So, bring it! We're armored and ready for whatever is to come. We're thrilled and anxious to watch a WELL of progress and relief come to every one of you guys. We are so grateful to those of you who have opened up and let us be a part of your life's journey in feeling better.

Our theme this year: Don't just do well, do GOOD for yourself and everyone around you.

So much love,

Emerald's Triangle LLC

~Hay

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