If someone had declared fifty years ago that marijuana would be legal in 2021 and would have transformed into a lucrative commercial product that is highly popular, nobody would have believed them.
Fast forward to the present day, and the cannabis industry is growing from strength to strength. Legalization has swept across large parts of North America, and industry lobbies have their sights firmly set on the untapped European market.
Many people are surprised at how large and profitable the sector has become. As the plant’s medical benefits continue to gain scientific backing, it looks like this trend is set to continue.
Marijuana has come a long way since the days when it was smoked in secluded parks and the privacy of homes. What was once the exclusive product of the black market is now floated on stock markets and is continually attracting the attention of eager investors.
Let’s take a look at how the world of marijuana has changed in recent decades
There are many ways to consume it
Before legalization, there were only a few ways to consume cannabis. You either rolled a joint or blunt or smoked it through a pipe or bong. Times have changed. Legalization has opened the doors of marijuana research and development. Not only are there more forms of cannabis, such as shatter, wax, and other concentrates, but consumer technology advancements have led to new ways to consume these products. Moreover, online retailers, like MagicVaporizers, strive to continually make the best products available to the public.
One method that is grabbing the attention of recreational and medical users alike is dry herb vaporizers. Dry herb vaporizers are different from traditional consumption methods because cannabis is not combusted. Instead, vaporizers heat the herb to a precise temperature that releases the psychoactive compounds that produce the high effect without generating the thick smoke full of toxins and tar. In an increasingly health-conscious world, this cleaner way to consume cannabis is bang on-trend.
Another result of more investment and research into cannabis is that strains are becoming more potent. In the heyday of the hippy movement, cannabis was thought to contain somewhere around 4-5% THC. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to find marijuana with up to and over 15% THC levels.
As the industry progresses, cultivators and breeders are in hot competition to grow strains with higher THC and CBD levels and produce hardier plants that generate higher yields with a vast array of flavors and psychoactive effects. It’s now possible to grow cutting-edge cannabis strains at home with little assistance that were only possible to cultivate in lab conditions just a few decades ago.
Public opinion has changed
Cannabis is legal in many places, but the plant has a long history of criminalization. Many politicians and activists placed cannabis in the same category as hard, highly addictive drugs like heroin, cocaine, and meth. For decades people connected marijuana with criminal activity and gangs, and the plant was largely seen in a negative light.
As legalization has spread, this image is slowly being reversed. People are becoming more accepting of cannabis, and a lot of the negative connotations around the plant are melting away. Medicinal cannabis has played a large part in the shifting public opinion of cannabis, as many sufferers of long-term illness are turning to the plant for relief.
It will create more jobs
The cannabis sector has grown from nothing to become a billion-dollar industry. It is estimated that spending in the US alone will top $23bn by 2022. Politicians are praising the cannabis industry for raising the tax revenues of countless states, money that has been reinvested into schools, healthcare, and public infrastructure.
Another widely celebrated result of legalization is the creation of nearly 250,000 jobs. Experts expect cannabis industry jobs to increase by 250% by the end of the decade, and the industry is being touted as the largest source for new jobs in America.
As the industry becomes more sophisticated and more people gain an interest in consuming cannabis, jobs are created up and down the supply chain, from breeders and cultivators to dispensary staff and researchers working on nailing down the medical benefits of this highly-profitable plant.