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Inside the Cannabis Industry

As the legalization of cannabis and marijuana is becoming more commonplace the industry is establishing itself as a widespread and profitable business. The policies regarding marijuana cultivation, possession, and distribution still vary from state to state, but there’s no doubt that the country as a whole is slowly shifting to the side of legalization and seeing the benefits.

The marijuana industry is growing steadily, and for some, this is great news. For others, however, it can be concerning. Many people still regard cannabis as a dangerous substance that shouldn’t be legal, but in reality, it’s far less dangerous and just as profitable as the tobacco and alcohol industries.

Cultivating the Product

Cannabis cultivation is very thoroughly regulated, even in states where marijuana is completely legal even for recreational use. That being said, these regulations are different in certain areas and often differ depending on the purpose of cultivation, be it research or commercial sale.

While there are of course still independent cultivators that operate illegally, legal marijuana is mostly grown on farms that are licensed and certified by whichever state they reside in. There are some states that legally allow individuals to grow cannabis in or near their homes, with restrictions of course. No matter where or how marijuana is grown, each state has different laws about the amount that can be cultivated and what can be done with the cannabis afterward.

There are also many scientific facilities that grow cannabis for research purposes. Marijuana research programs seek to better understand the effects of the drug on the human body, its medical properties, and the environmental effects of cultivation, among many other things. This research is hugely beneficial to further developing cannabis regulations as we further our understanding of the risks of marijuana use and how to keep people safe.

No matter how cannabis is grown or where it goes after being harvested, cultivators and distributors need to be very diligent when it comes to security. Given the popularity of marijuana and the limited or lack of legal availability in certain areas, any place that grows or houses the plant can potentially be a target for theft. This is why many cultivators, research facilities, and dispensaries implement cannabis security procedures to prevent break-ins and loss of products.

Distribution Practices

The owning and selling of marijuana are also strictly regulated and vary by state, so each individual business may operate a bit differently. Shops selling marijuana or cannabis products can be in person or online and offer large varieties of products.

A dispensary is a commonly-used term for a store that legally sells marijuana products for medicinal and/or recreational use. These dispensaries must always have proper licensing in order to be authorized to sell cannabis products and they need to comply strictly with their state’s laws about marijuana. Dispensaries can be very profitable depending on the quality and variety of products they sell.

It’s important to know the difference between medicinal and recreational marijuana. Some states have legalized marijuana for recreational use, while many only allow medicinal use currently. Recreational cannabis mainly utilizes the chemical THC, which is what produces the intoxicating effect or “high” that the drug is mainly known for. Medicinal marijuana, however, mainly uses CBD, which also comes from the cannabis plant but does not create the same intoxicating effect and instead is utilized for its health benefits.

There are also a wide variety of products available that contain either TCH or CBD in addition to traditionally smoked marijuana. These products include edibles like baked goods or candy, pills, and even topical salves. Different products contain different cannabis strains and can have varying effects.

Economic Effects

Like any business, the rise of the cannabis industry is affecting the economy and will only continue to do so. As the industry grows, its impact is solidifying and we’re beginning to see just how beneficial the legalization of marijuana and the addition of the substance to our consumer base can be.

As marijuana becomes legal in more places, more cultivation farms, research facilities, and dispensaries are being created. New demand and new businesses of course lead to new jobs and an overall decrease in unemployment. Job generation due to the legalization and growth of the marijuana industry is undoubtedly beneficial and will help many individuals who may have previously been struggling to find a stable job.

The legal selling of cannabis products will also generate more tax revenue that can be used for societal necessities like education and city infrastructure. Before legalization, independent dealers could charge whatever they liked for marijuana and none of that revenue would go back into the community via taxes, but with actual dispensaries selling products with tax, that’s no longer true.

Decriminalization is also a big factor in the move toward legal marijuana. Many states have changed their policies around the punishments for illegal possession of marijuana. Instead of being largely considered a felony, most minor possessions now only receive a warning in most states. This is greatly reducing the number of individuals sent to prison for cannabis possession, which in turn serves the economy as well as being better for individuals, many of whom are marginalized already. Fewer arrests mean more people available to work and fewer people struggling to be hired after a conviction.

The cannabis industry is slowly growing to be a powerful business and we’re beginning to see real benefits because of it. No matter how you feel about the legalization of marijuana, it’s important to understand the business and how it affects our society.

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