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Five biggest pot-related stories of 2021

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Over half of Republicans support legalizing recreational cannabis.

Given the activity in the news cycle during 2021, some of the more hard-to-believe or impractical news stories may have flown under one’s radar. A surprising number of these seemed to have been cannabis-related in one way or another.

As the stigma around cannabis in the U.S. continues to evolve, it’s safe to assume that the most surprising cannabis-related news stories of 2022 will make this list seem like child’s play. Here’s a small sampling of some of the more unexpected weed stories of the year.

Most massive marijuana brownie of all time unveiled

When it comes to marijuana edibles, it’s fair to assume that as of 2021, most cannabis enthusiasts have seen them all at this point. That was likely the case before Massachusetts-based cannabis company unveiled an 850-pound (386 kilograms) cannabis–infused brownie on National Brownie Day. The company produced the supersized stoner snack to draw attention to its new brand of edibles called Bubby’s Baked.

The edible contained 20,000 milligrams of THC and measures in at three feet wide and three feet and 15 inches tall. The previous record for the largest brownie was set at 243 pounds. Needless to say, the record set by the Bubby’s Baked brownie could remain in place for some time.

Marijuana use among teens falls in the midst of U.S. reforms

When it comes to the legalization of recreational cannabis, one of the biggest objections proponents deal with from opposition is that youth consumption would increase. Some early results indicate those concerns have been disproved.

Over the course of 2021, teen cannabis use in the U.S. dropped from 11 per cent to seven per cent for eighth graders. For 10th graders, rates of marijuana use fell from 28 per cent to 17 per cent.

There are numerous factors that could have contributed to the decline in teen marijuana use, including school shifting to remote learning, which may take away associated peer pressure. Taking that into consideration, rates of teen marijuana usage will continue to be something to watch heading into 2022.

Jaleel White of Family Matters launches cannabis brand

Jaleel White may be best remembered for his time on television portraying Steve Erkel, but cannabis enthusiasts will likely be associating him with something totally different pretty soon.

That’s because back in April White made the decision to launch his own cannabis line called itsPurpl. He partnered with 710 Labs to launch the strain throughout California back on April 20, more affectionately known as 420.

Among his motivations for starting the cannabis brand, White said he hopes to debunk stereotypes associated with cannabis and celebrate medical breakthroughs, too.

He hasn’t been the only celebrity to get involved in the cannabis industry in recent years, so it will be interesting to see which celebrities follow his footsteps in 2022 by starting their own cannabis brands.

Sha’Carri Richardson suspended from summer Olympics over weed use

U.S. track sensation Sha’Carri Richardson stole the nation’s heart this summer after qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Richardson’s charisma and style was reminiscent of Florence Joyner back in the 1980s, so to say she had the support of both casual and die-hards fans of the sport would be an understatement. That’s why spectators couldn’t believe the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned her from the Olympics after returning a positive test for THC.

Richardson claimed she used cannabis to help cope with the stress of losing her mother, but the IOC nonetheless continued to ban her for a month as punishment, which barred her from competing in the games.

The resulting outcry did not allow her to compete, but it did raise enough attention that offers hope to fans of the Olympics that the stance on cannabis use among athletes will eventually be reversed.

Over half of Republicans support legalizing recreational cannabis  

Among the most surprising U.S. weed-related headlines in 2021 was also the one most likely to cause readers to do a double-take: 54 per cent of Republicans now favour federally legalizing cannabis.

The support that Republicans have for the federal legalization of marijuana in the U.S. could lead to an entirely different landscape for cannabis consumers and investors in 2022 and beyond. That’s the case because Republican lawmakers could begin to increase the pressure on President Joe Biden to enact cannabis-friendly legislation sooner rather than later.

There are already numerous bills that have been introduced by Republicans that would federally decriminalize and tax weed. Receiving scrutiny from both sides of the aisle could be exactly what it takes for the Biden administration to make much-needed legislative changes to federal cannabis laws.

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