The Cannabis Industry: More Than Money

By Staff Writer
Cannabis legalization legislation have been sweeping across the nation. Although the substance is still illegal on a federal level, states have slowly become more progressive in their attitudes towards the previously-vilified substance.

From a financial perspective, cannabis is certainly an up-and-coming industry that is worth looking into. The emerging market is offering an enormous opportunity to smart investors who know what to look for.

The problem is, a lot of people really don’t know what to look for. The booming cannabis industry has brought a lot of people to the business, and they sometimes sacrifice quality in exchange for being able to introduce an inferior product during the hype to make a quick profit.

This leads to a number of stores going out of business just as quickly as they sprung up or the opening of illegal shops that fail to meet the federal regulations. Of course, there are also several reputable and successful dispensaries flourishing in this climate. With all the controversy surrounding the industry, it’s important to remember that clients are more than customers.

When researching how to meet market demand, companies can benefit from learning who is using their product. There are also a handful of prominent cannabis-related business owners that are self-proclaimed advocates.

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While there is undoubtedly a financial interest involved, making an impact at the forefront of a movement is a priority for many certified business owners. The thing is, these early businesses are more than just pioneers to a new industry— they will help shape and define the future of cannabis.

Experts of every field – from scientists to politicians – are watching every move. Every possible impact of these shops is carefully observed and analyzed under intense scrutiny.

These early dates arguably mark the most important parts of this movement. While the passing of legalization in some locations is cause for celebration, cannabis is not in the clear quite yet.

This is more of a social experiment. Legislators are waiting to see if cannabis crumbles or flourishes under the spotlight. On the positive side, this could demonstrate how safe having these legal shops can be. It’s also an opportunity to show that the average citizen is more responsible than many lawmakers had believed.

It can also show that cannabis is not as dangerous as many thought – on the contrary – it can even help a lot of people. With cannabis legalized, those who decide to turn to the substance for medicinal purposes will no longer have to do so in hiding.

This has the potential to revolutionize the pharmacology industry and provide relief to millions across the country suffering from debilitating diseases. Beyond the “human” interests, there are also the economic benefits that are expected to arrive from the legal revenue.

When other, more conservative states see the success that comes with legalization, it can encourage them to loosen their reins a bit. When the movement has a foot in the door, so to speak, it will be easier for radical change to take place.

Unfortunately, with all eyes on the “test” states, there is still the other side of the coin to consider: we are still in the infancy of the radical legalization movement.

While we can have optimistic predictions, there is still room for error. Although a few hiccups are always to be expected when something new happens, people will use it as an excuse to limit the movement.

There are some people, especially powerful lawmakers, that are rather reluctant to let cannabis become so accessible. They are waiting to capitalize on a single slip-up that they can use to help push their own agenda.

Even if there is overwhelming evidence in support, enough anecdotal evidence could potentially hinder progression.

Initially, you may think “so what?” A few states out of the nation refuse to move forward with the times. This kind of thing is always expected a bit, as some states like to hold on to traditional values and perspectives.

The thing is, even the most conservative states still have at least a few citizens that are looking for this kind of reformation. You may want to argue that they could just leave, move to a more open-minded state, but is this a fair thing to expect?

Cannabis isn’t just a recreational good time for some people. Cannabis has several different, very real medical applications that can change a person’s life.

There are people out there who could have their lives drastically improved if they could get access to this plant without facing any life-destroying penalties. This is especially true for people who incurred traumatizing experiences for the sake of the U.S. military.

Veterans face both physical and psychological trauma during their military service. If they do make it home after tours, a lot of them report they are no longer the same.

The veteran community, as a whole, suffers from many more problems than the general population. Upon return, they face complications with reintegration and often report a number of disturbing symptoms (Demers, 2011). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), physical disabilities, depression, and suicidal ideation are just some of the challenges they must confront off of the battlefield.

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Untreated, these problems can manifest in other aspects of their lives and contribute to substance abuse, homelessness (Fargo et al., 2012), unemployment (Savych, Klerman, & Loughran, 2008), and problems dealing with their personal relationships (Jordan et al, 1992.).

While there is no permeant cure for many of these issues, several clinical trials have demonstrated that cannabis can offer some symptom relief in certain cases. Cannabis compounds may even be able to substitute some of the harsher medications that these individuals are generally prescribed. (Cohen et al., 2020).

Keep in mind that more research will need to be conducted, but initial tests look promising. Of course, this is generally on a case-by-case basis and should always be discussed with a physician— something that is a bit uncomfortable to do when it is illegal.

Being able to manage physical pain and psychological symptoms without the harsh side effects of other substances is the kind of break people of all walks of life are looking for. While many have found relief in using cannabis-related products, many have also failed to try.

Why wouldn’t someone try a potentially life-changing drug? Legalities, stigmas, and misinformation are often at the top of the list. Unfortunately, these things we cannot fix overnight.

What we can do is stay informed and educate where we can. The tide of time changes perspectives— it wasn’t that long ago when it was illegal for women to vote or for couples of the same sex to get married.

Cannabis hopefuls have to sit through this prolonged waiting game and do their best to make the kind of impression they want to leave for the sake of the future of this movement. As it stands, the cannabis industry has much more at stake than your everyday money-making venture.

For now, the future of this powerful medicine hangs in the balance.

Citations

  1. Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology
  2. Journal of Loss and Trauma
  3. Preventing Chronic Disease
  4. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology
  5. RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA