2020 was a year to remember for many reasons. To celebrate the achievements of Australia’s fastest growing industry, here’s a recap of the biggest events to happen across the country in 2020.
Data showed more Aussies supported cannabis than opposed it
Data released from the AIHW’s 2019 Household Drug Survey gave Australian supporters exciting news in a gloomy winter, proving that more Australian’s now support cannabis legalisation than oppose it. The survey reached 22,274 Australians, making it the most diverse drug study in Australia.
As you can see in the graph below, 41% of the survey’s respondents now support cannabis, while only 37% of respondents oppose it.
The call to legalise cannabis was Queensland’s most signed petition
When it came to petitions, Queensland’s pro-pot activists were on the ball in 2020. While 5,032 people signed the anti-Olympic bid petition and 11,049 people signed a petition to ban gel blaster toys, the state’s cannabis legalisation petition beat them all. Running for six months, the petition earned 14,736 backers and became Queensland’s most popular petition in the past year.
Australia’s largest cannabis database was launched
Despite the legalisation of medical and industrial cannabis, companies operating in the cannabis industry are notoriously difficult to find. This changed in 2020, with the launch of Australia’s largest database of cannabis companies.
The database covers 100+ cannabis companies, with new companies added as Australia’s cannabis industry grows.
You can view the database here.
Australians consumed records levels of cannabis
While Australian police and anti-pot politicians continue to (fruitlessly) fight the war on drugs, Australians consumed record amounts of cannabis in 2020.
According to a wastewater study conducted on 56% of the population (13 million people), cannabis use increased dramatically between December 2019 and April 2020. As confirmed by the AIHW’s household drug study, this means over 2.4 million Australians aged 14+ used cannabis in the past year.
Australia learned how much policing cannabis really costs
A study released by Curtin University may have shocked many pro-pot advocates back in August, but we are better for it. According to the results of study, Australia spends over $1.1 billion policing cannabis every year.
That’s more than cannabis costs our healthcare ($700 million) and more than cannabis costs in worker absence ($560 million).
In return, we get…stigma and more international cannabis criminals flocking to Australia. YIKES.
TGA made CBD oil available over-the-counter
After deliberating for months, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) made an industry-shaking decision: rescheduling CBD oil to make it available over-the-counter in pharmacies without a prescription.
While the decision (to take effect in February 2021) won’t legalise cannabis oil, it will provide easy access to CBD oil for Australians who need it the most, freeing them from the chains of TGA’s Special Access Scheme (SAS).
The decision was also hugely profitable for investors, as Australian cannabis stocks surged after the decision was announced.
Cannabis legalisation came to the ACT
While cannabis legalisation in the ACT was in the works in 2019, legalisation laws came into effect in January 2020. This meant that Australians over the age of 18+ living in the ACT are able to possess 50 grams of dried cannabis and grow 2 plants per person.
Canberra’s new pro-pot laws may not be perfect, as you cannot buy or sell weed – or even buy the seeds to grow it, but they did set a powerful example for the rest of the country. Nearly a year later, we can pretty much confirm that cannabis legalisation did not result in the territory imploding – and that’s a win against fear-mongering.
Australian Police seized $203 million in cannabis
While we don’t know how much cannabis there is in Australia, we do know that at least $203 million of it was seized by police.
There’s few words to describe this one, so let’s leave it with a 1994 quote from the Australian cannabis task force:
“Current total prohibition policies have been unsuccessful in reducing drug use and causes significant social harm.”
Here’s to 2021.