Lots of legislation activity:
At both the federal and state level in the U.S., cannabis in its many forms is being discussed. While much of the news is positive, there always remains the threat of heavy-handed, misguided regulation. The USDA's "final rule" on hemp is set to take effect March 22, 2021. Democrats in the Senate will push for a marijuana legalization bill, but the party's razor slim majority may make passage difficult. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is pushing to increase the THC limit in hemp to 1 percent, so there is legislative interest in cannabis issues on both sides of the aisle.
For those seeking something between the traditional high of delta-9-THC in marijuana and the non-intoxicating effects of CBD, delta-8-THC has become a hot trend in recent months. Some users have described delta 8 as "marijuana light," offering a high without or with less of the anxiety and paranoia associated with delta-9-THC. Hemp industry officials caution against marketing delta8-THC products derived from hemp as intoxicating.
The stress of the pandemic led some to abuse alcohol, so this year, people are interested in experimenting with drinking less or going completely alcohol-free. From sparkling water to tea, coffee and juices, the market continues to grow. Check out my healthier beverage guide that includes some CBD-infused options, in addition to non-alcoholic and low alcohol options.
Environmental impact response:
The high demand for cannabis and a growing legal market for hemp and CBD products means a move towards mass production versus the individual or co-op farming of yesteryear. Mass production means a greater impact on the environment, so expect to hear more about what can be done to minimize the environmental risk.