January 1 – Colorado celebrates one year of legal marijuana sales
Colorado made over $70 million in tax revenue in 2015 solely from marijuana sales. A majority of that money went directly to the public school system.
January – The Italian Army plants its first cannabis farm
The Italian Army has been supplying the nation’s pharmaceutical drugs for the past few years. In January, they began growing their first cannabis farm in hopes to cut the cost of importing the plant.
February 25 – Jamaica decriminalizes marijuana
In February, Jamaica made the the possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana a petty offense. If caught with up to 2 ounces you would be charged with a $5 fine and no criminal charges.
February 26 – Washington D.C. Legal Marijuana Law Goes into Effect
In February, Washington D.C.’s legal marijuana law went into effect making it legal to posses, grow, and smoke marijuana in the nation’s capital.
April – Chile harvests first medical marijuana crop
In April, Chile harvested its first ever medical marijuana crop. The crop will be used to treat 200 cancer patients in the country.
April 20 – Denver celebrates 4/20
On April 20, the city of Denver held multiple different events to celebrate the smoking holiday. People from around the world came to the mile high city to experience and celebrate legal cannabis.
June – Costa Rica lays out guidelines for medical marijuana bill
In June, the Costa Rican government laid out the guidelines for a potential medical marijuana bill. If passed, Costa Rica would be another South American country to add to the list of marijuana reform in 2015.
October 1 – Recreational cannabis sales begin in Oregon
On October 1, Oregon became the 3rd state in the United States to allow the recreational sale of marijuana. In just the first week, Oregon raked in over $11 million in revenue, just from cannabis sales.
October – Australia OK’s medical marijuana
In October, Australia legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
October 15 – Croatia legalizes medical marijuana
Croatia’s medical marijuana law went into effect in October, yet there are still not any prescriptions available to be prescribed by doctors.
October 18 – Justin Trudeau is elected prime minister of Canada. Trudeau pledges to legalize cannabis in Canada.
Since his election as prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau has pledged that he will legalize the adult-use of cannabis. He has already began taking the necessary steps to nation-wide legalization.
October 28 – Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders calls on U.S. to end the federal ban on marijuana.
In a speech at George Mason University, presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders became the first presidential candidate to ask the United States federal government to remove the federal ban on marijuana.
November 3 – Ohio says “NO” to legal Cannabis
In November, the people of Ohio said “no” to a bill that would legalize marijuana for recreational use. The bill was turned down because of the way that the industry would be setup. If the bill passed it would have setup an undesirable oligopoly market.
November 4 – Mexican Supreme Court clears path for legalization
The Mexican supreme court opened the door for legal marijuana with a ruling challenging the nation’s strict substance abuse laws. The ruling declared that individuals should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for their personal use.
December 18 – President Obama pardons 95 non-violent federal drug offenders
On December 18, President Barack Obama pardoned 95 non-violent federal drug offenders. Of the 95, two were serving life-sentences for marijuana-related offenses.
December 22 – Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree legalizing and regulating medical marijuana
To end 2015, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree fully legalizing the medical use of marijuana. Although the medical community agrees this is the right move, many people are concerned that Colombian narcos (drug-traffickers) will take over the industry.
2016 looks very promising for the cannabis industry. With multiple states and countries looking to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, it looks like 2016 will be a huge year for progress in worldwide legalization of cannabis!