Legalization will bring a bright light to the recent black market product. As it should!
The stigmas are thawing and slowly disappearing. As this happens the more opportunity it will create for business, small and large alike. As people start becoming more open to cannabis legalization there will be a growth boom within the industry and not where you would think. Yes the first influx of investment will be in grow operations and shops, but what follows is what truly is intriguing. When laws are written to stimulate growth, amazing things can happen. So what can this mean? Think high class, think luxury and a service industry to match.
The possibilities are endless. For now we watch.
‘I don’t feel like I’m doing something wrong’: Yuppies have discovered weed. And they like it.
Emilia Montalvo tried marijuana in high school like so many others, back when sneaking bong hits behind your parents’ backs was half of its allure.
But she had put it far behind her. She started a family and launched a career as a doula in the Washington area.
Then, three years ago, the District of Columbia decriminalized marijuana, and suddenly, what had once been illicit seemed ubiquitous, even in her suburb of Springfield, Va. So at 27, Montalvo decided that she’d try pot again — not to get high or rebel, this time, but maybe just to ease the hum of anxiety. She opted for a vape pen, with its discreet, near-scentless oils.
“It’s getting more comfortable for me as I go out and see more people doing it,” she says. “I don’t feel like I’m doing something wrong or illegal.”
A nationwide legalization movement is chipping away at old stigmas — last month, Massachusetts opened the floodgates to recreational marijuana sales, joining California, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state, with the District perhaps headed the same way. And suddenly, the kind people who had never tried pot or, like Montalvo, hadn’t touched the stuff in decades, are lining up to try it, even well into adulthood.
The ranks of marijuana users are growing among all adults, but particularly those who settling into their child-raising, 401(k)-contributing years. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that in 2017, the number of people older than 26 occasionally using marijuana had grown by 3.2 million in three years.
“We see stay-at-home moms, lawyers, chefs, construction workers and baby boomers,” says Case Van Dorne, a co-founder of the Oregon dispensary chain Five Zero Trees.
And as with every other yuppie craze, an industry has grown up to support it, with crafty appeal to upscale and middle-aged tastes. There are gourmet “infused” dinners, dispensaries with the sleek aesthetic of an Apple store, and artisanal treats (Mints! Chocolate truffles!) that look as if they were bound for the shelves of Whole Foods.
Even as thousands of people languish in prison or carry arrest records for marijuana-related crimes, pot has suddenly been defanged and demystified for a risk-averse and well-heeled new clientele. It was oddly symbolic that in Northampton, Mass., it was David Narkewicz — a 52-year-old Air Force veteran and the city mayor — who bought the state’s first legal recreational pot. As the cameras furiously clicked, Narkewicz, in suit and tie, ponied up the cash for a chocolate bar spiked with THC, pot’s psychoactive compound. “Can I get a receipt?” he whispered. Old pals emailed him that they saw the news, he says, and found themselves a little curious: I hope you saved some chocolate to share with your friends.
It was clear something was afoot with the typical marijuana customer when vaporizers packaged like iPhones in gleaming gold hit the market, and MedMen, a marijuana-dispensing chain claiming the mantle of “the Barneys of weed,” opened this spring on New York’s Fifth Avenue. One San Francisco dispensary resembles a swank hotel bar.
“If you can walk down to a nice retail storefront, and you’ve got really clever marketing and packaging . . . there’s some allure to that,” says Ryan Vandrey, a cannabis expert in the Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.