Cannabis is here to stay

As of today, 36 states have legalized cannabis. The opportunities are vast. For all intents and purposes, building an industry that has illegally survived decades is not seamless. It is now going through a once-in-a-lifetime transformation of becoming a legal, taxed, and highly regulated state by state business. Consumers want to treat it like alcohol without the stigma.

The ability of state governments to react quickly and efficiently on this has yet to happen. When we need to get something done in the tech world, coding engineers get together for a few days and nights to make the changes needed. There are no politics involved, just a mission to create a better site. Perhaps the politicians could put all politics aside and take a lesson from this.

After all, the beneficiaries of this are everyone because of the taxes. As of May 2021, $8B (yes billion) in taxes have been collected among all the states that regulate marijuana use. That is a huge number. For example, this past month, in the state of Illinois, cannabis taxes has surpassed collected liquor taxes. Think about that.

Listening to some politicians still discuss cannabis as a gateway drug or comparing it to heroin is so ridiculous. I’d like to know how many of those politicians have ever had a puff. There are countless medical benefits from cannabis that are coming to light as we have not allowed for this; instead, using cannabis as a way to keep many communities, especially the Black and brown communities, in jail.

This is from John Ehrlichman, Richard Nixon’s Domestic Policy Chief 50 years ago. “Besides medical benefits, We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then, criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did”.

Recreationally, people have been using it regardless of being illegal for decades. Nobody is going to put this back in a bag. The business of cannabis is moving forward every day. The politicians would do us all a big favor by getting laws passed around dispensaries, growing cannabis, and creating products quickly. The Federal Government should be passing banking laws first and foremost. The sooner each state benefits from the taxes, the better off we will all be.