The Past, Present, and Future of the Cannabis Industry 

Forty-two people were arrested over the last three days in one of the largest black market marijuana enforcement actions in Colorado history, announced U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn, DEA Denver Division Special Agent in Charge William T. McDermott, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler and 17th Judicial District Attorney Dave Young.  During the last two years, over 250 locations have been searched. 

Cannabis is an ancient herb that has always been a part of societies around the world. Despite the illegal status of cannabis in many places, it remains a popular topic of discussion. In this blog post, we will be taking a look at the past, present, and future of the cannabis industry and we’ll also be exploring some of the controversies that are surrounding this special plant. It doesn’t matter whether you’re pro-cannabis or against this ancient herb, there is no denying that marijuana is a hot topic on the streets right now so keep reading to learn why. 

The past 

Cannabis has a rocky history. It has always been used and cultivated in the US. George Washington once wrote about growing hemp and using it to treat toothaches. Thomas Jefferson also cultivated hemp and James Madison once said that hemp gave him the mind to create a new democratic nation. In the late 1800s, cannabis cultivation was widespread and products were sold in pharmacies until the 20th century when it became criminalized. Once this happened, public perception started shifting as well and the herb gained a racial stigma when recreational use of cannabis became popular amongst immigrants escaping the Mexican revolution. 

By 1931, cannabis was prohibited in 29 states across the US, and propaganda was used to fuel the stigma that cannabis was a dangerous drug. Even movies depicted this substance as something that can cause users to murder and be led into insanity. These films and other depictions of cannabis led to stricter sentencing in the 1950s. By the 1970s, during Nixon’s presidency, there was a growing and intense fear of cannabis spreading, and although it was proposed by the federal commission that cannabis be decriminalized,  Nixon dismissed this and classified cannabis as a schedule 1 drug that has zero medical value and high potential to be abused. 

The decades that followed saw mandates coming into effect that would see repeat offenders get life sentences. There was also an increase in raids and seizures, even in the United States where cannabis was legal. By the time Obama took office in 2008, many hoped the war on drugs would come to an end however, Obama left the decisions of federal policy to the states.

The present 

Despite the negative stigma, in 1996, people saw California’s compassionate use act come into effect which stipulates that medical marijuana is allowed to treat those suffering from serious illnesses. The public perception then began changing however, progress only started escalating decades later. Today, 33 states in the US allow cannabis for medical use and 11 states have legalized the herb for recreational use. Washington and Colorado were the first states to legalize recreational cannabis in 2012 and since this has been signed into law, the state of Colorado has welcomed over $1 billion in cannabis revenue which has resulted in more states wanting to legalize it. Cannabis is still technically illegal under federal law however, it is very likely to change very soon. Polls reveal that most Americans support cannabis and 59% of participants in the poll support the full legalization. Additionally, 32% are in favor of cannabis for medical use only. Today you will find different types of cannabis products and devices that range from simple vaporizers to pipes that are a real work of art. You can also find tinctures, topicals, pills, and edibles. The safest and healthiest ways to consume are methods that don’t involve inhalation such as tinctures, topicals, and edibles. 

The future 

While legalization continues to spread, illicit cannabis markets are still very active. Cannabis businesses that are licensed still need to remain vigilant when securing their locations as well as protecting their employees, products, and customers. The demand for cannabis and cannabis products continues to increase and there is also a demand by the state to safeguard businesses that operate legitimately. Businesses in the cannabis industry, especially dispensaries, want to be perceived as retailers that are welcoming and there is a strong hope that in the future, cannabis will have a legal presence in every state, whether it is for medical or recreational use. It is also predicted that in the next few years, we will see the cannabis security industry expand. There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs in this rapidly growing industry and there is plenty of room for continued growth and innovation. 

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