Even in 9th grade, I did not understand why cannabis was illegal. Call me the eternal optimist or someone who believes that if you believe, it will happen, but I am not shocked to see cannabis becoming legal in some states and more on jumping on the bandwagon. The cannabis industry has existed for so many decades/centuries only for one reason; people like to consume cannabis.
Unfortunately, the Government used that desire of Black and Brown people to partake by making cannabis illegal and keeping these people in jail. Comparatively, let’s count how many white people went away for cannabis use over the years. In the past eight years, 52% of all drugs arrested were for marijuana, and Black/Brown people were 4X than whites to be arrested. In NY alone, 94% of the people arrested for cannabis are Black.
If you have not been paying attention to this “new” industry, here are more facts. In the state of Illinois, Jan-Sept 2021, has sold almost $1 billion in sales. That is the data in legal cannabis. During Labor Day weekend, the majority of dispensaries in MA ran out of product.
According to the Washington Post, the US now has more legal cannabis workers than dentists, paramedics, or electrical engineers. 321,000 Americans now work in the industry, a 32% bump from last year.
The key, as always, is following the data. The jobs, the opportunities, the use for mental health. Some more data. 64% consume for relaxation, 43% for sleep aid, 37% for wellness, 39% for recreation, 40% for pain management. Certainly better than Oxy-Cotin or many pharmaceutical drugs.
Think about all of this data, and there is much more that points to an industry that will make a massive impact on our economy.
The most significant and crucial issue is how we make retribution for destroying countless families and lives who have spent time in jail. Each state has attempted to do the right thing, but as always, with Government, the heart might be there, but the execution is never seamless.
I hope we begin to see every person, or company that receives a license, be it for growing product to CPG to retail, get creative in their giving back program. There couldn’t be a better opportunity for social good to happen in the brave new world of weed.