2022 came and went. Let’s take a look back on all things cannabis that happened last year, starting with some milestone moments.
New Jersey began recreational cannabis sales across 13 dispensaries. Eager residents started lining up before dawn, resulting in a whopping $2 million in sales on the first day.
Rhode Island became the 19th state to legalize cannabis when Gov. Dan McKee (D) signed the Rhode Island Cannabis Act into law.
Vermont began adult-use cannabis sales and was met with strong demand. By the end of the month, the Vermont Department of Taxes reported $2.6 million worth of product was sold by dispensaries.
President Joe Biden pardoned thousands of people federally convicted of marijuana possession and called on state governors to follow suit. Biden said the status of Schedule 1 substance for cannabis “makes no sense.” Biden also instructed Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and Attorney General Merrick Garland to begin reviewing how marijuana is classified under federal drug laws.
Maryland and Missouri voted to legalize recreational cannabis for adults 21+. Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota failed to pass cannabis legislation.
Governor Kate Brown grants a pardon for prior Oregon offenses of simple possession of marijuana, which impacted around 45,000 people and forgave more than $14 million in fines and fees.
An overnight shutdown of cashless ATMs rocks dispensaries across the United States. The “point of banking” system used customer bank cards to make withdrawals appear as though they were coming from different addresses; a loophole attempt to get around credit-card providers banning cannabis transactions. Fortunately, dispensaries can pivot to compliant cashless options.
Brittney Griner is released from a Russian prison in a prisoner exchange after being detained in February for possession of cannabis vape cartridges.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act failed to pass for the third time. First introduced to the House of Representatives in 2019, the bill aims to provide a secure solution for banks and credit unions to conduct business with cannabis-related ventures in legal states.
New York state’s first recreational dispensary opens in the heart of New York City by Housing Works, a non-profit organization that seeks to provide housing, healthcare, and vocational training to thousands of New Yorkers every year.