Recreational marijuana use has become a hot topic across the United States. As law agencies and various government entities fight against the tide of making use of this drug lawful, many people and organizations have made it their goal to have the drug legalized in the U.S. The reasons for wanting to legalize marijuana are numerous. They include the fact that prohibition of the drug hasn’t worked, prohibition wastes public resources, arresting marijuana offenders prevents police from focusing on serious crimes, marijuana laws are extremely enforced, and regulation allows for control.
After many years of consideration and studies on the effects that legalizing this drug might have, some states in the United States have legalized the drug. These states (including the District of Columbia) include Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, and Nevada. If you reside in one of these states or live in a state where the topic of recreational marijuana use is being discussed, it’s best to be prepared when this takes place. Below is some insight into what to expect once marijuana is legalized in your state or area.
Marijuana-related businesses will begin to pop up.
As with any new entrepreneur opportunity, the legalization of marijuana will bring with it the growth of new businesses in your state. When the doors are opened for the cannabis-rich product to be sold, a variety of different businesses will crop up to grab hold of the money that will possibly come with it. The same could be said back during the Prohibition Era when alcohol was finally legalized after years of being enjoyed only in backroom speakeasies.
At the end of the day, every entrepreneur wants to make money. Marijuana use was something that was illegal for a while and people were penalized for using it. There is going to be an influx of users (new and old) who now want to partake in marijuana without being subjected to possibly being arrested. Some businesses which might crop up in the wake of the legalization of marijuana can include marijuana production shops, cannabis processing businesses, marijuana delivery services, marijuana edibles stores, non-edibles stores (soaps, lotions, oils), and cannabis accessory stores which might sell items like the Veil Weed Odor Eliminator.
Underage use of marijuana declines.
According to studies conducted by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, between 2014-2016, marijuana use amongst teens declined, in four out of five states which legalized marijuana use. This includes the use of such items as street purchased marijuana and CBD pre rolls. For teens between the ages of 12-17, recreational use actually dropped upon the legalization of the use of the drug. The states where the usage dropped included Colorado, Washington D.C., Oregon, and Washington state.
Reasons attributed to this decrease in use include teens possibly seeing smoking weed as not being cool because their parents were doing it, and teens being dissuaded from recreational drug use due to anti-drug public service campaigns which these states often utilize. Whatever the reason, marijuana use amongst teens in some of these states is seeing a marked decline.
The demand for marijuana creates an increased supply.
As mentioned before, when states legalize recreational marijuana use, businesses pop up to meet the new demand for the drug. One of those businesses includes cannabis processing or marijuana production locations. These are the places where simply put, weed is grown. When the demand for marijuana increases in light of its legalization, you’ll have more businesses that will pop up to meet the demand. This can lead to an increased supply of weed in the legalized states.
As a prospective grower who is moving into a state or area where there’s a market for legalized marijuana, it helps to learn about the supply and demand for the product in these areas. For instance, say you are moving to San Francisco, which is located in a state (California) where marijuana use has been legalized. There are certain things to know before moving to San Francisco when it comes to the supply and demand aspects of the local market.
In Oregon, at one point, the increased supply actually created an over-saturation of marijuana. When the state legalized marijuana use, they legally gave potential growers low barriers to enter the industry. As a result, there were many black-market gardeners who went legal. As a result, this resulted in a larger supply for the industry, over-saturating the market. Be sure to know the supply and demand for marijuana in an area before opening up your business.
Conservative areas stand opposed to marijuana use even when legalized.
We live in a politically polarized country, which shows no signs of finding a middle ground with every passing day. This fact pops up when certain issues are brought to the ballot in many states throughout the United States. The legalization of marijuana use is one of these very topics.
When marijuana is legalized in many states in the country, there are more conservative-minded spots in each state which will push back. If this is the case, you’ll have to realize there are areas where your legal right to enjoy marijuana will be opposed and frowned down upon. As a business person, you would do well to do research for your area before setting up a marijuana-focused business.
For example, let’s say that you are looking for marijuana-themed gifts for your boyfriend, to add to the many gift plants delivered to your home. Imagine you go to one of these conservative areas where marijuana use is frowned down on. More than likely, you won’t find what you are looking for, due to increased opposition to the legalization of marijuana.
Your state might push to purge marijuana-based offenses.
A lot of states are making a push to purge marijuana-based offenses. Across the country, marijuana is being legalized, and the disparities in incarceration and conviction rates of people of color when it comes to marijuana based convictions are being brought to light. As a result, many states are doing their best to make it easier for anyone who was convicted of certain marijuana crimes expunged or sealed.
In September of 2018, in Seattle, Washington the city attorney, Pete Holmes, ordered courts to purge all marijuana convictions which took place between 1996-2010. His goal was to “right the injustices of a drug war that has primarily targeted people of color.” In light of the social and judicial topics surrounding legalized marijuana use, you might see a push to purge marijuana-based offenses in your state.