Pot, weed, dope, marijuana, and a variety of other names describe the controversial drug derived from the flower of the cannabis plant. Up to 52% of Americans believe that the cannabis should be legal with 69% of Americans believing that legal alcohol is significantly more harmful to the general health of people than cannabis. With so much attention devoted to this issue in recent years, it is helpful that those on both sides of the conflict familiarize themselves with the facts on marijuana legislation in our country.
When Did Cannabis Become Illegal and What Has Changed?
Before it became the controversial topic of today, cannabis was widely used to produce hempen products like rope, clothing, and other textiles. Following the 1900s an influx of Mexican immigrants entered the United States, bringing specially breed cannabis plants with them for recreational use. Fear of the plant’s use as a drug arose in the 1930s during the great depression with films like “Reefer Madness.” Over the years cannabis was first taxed and eventually criminalized in the 1950s with fines and mandatory jail time for possessing the drug. For decades the debate raged on until California legalized medicinal use of cannabis for patients with AIDS, cancer, and other serious and painful diseases.
Medical and Recreational Cannabis Use in the Nation
Since up to 76% of doctors support the health benefits of medicinal marijuana though peer-reviewed studies, 23 American states currently allow the use of medicinal cannabis — the states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington also allow for recreational. Every state handles cannabis differently; for instance, Washington imposes taxes of 25% on producers, processors, and retailers. While there are two sides to this debate, in Colorado, sales of retail marijuana have reaped about $18.9 million in state taxes (with a percentage to go to local governments) from January through June 30, according to the state Department of Revenue.
The Basics of Investing in the Marijuana Industry
For those looking for marijuana investment opportunities in their state, professional medical marijuana consulting companies familiarize themselves with the legislature of each state with regards to growing, distribution, marketing, and sales. Since this is a recent development, starting a medical marijuana business requires a full knowledge of state legislature to ensure that one is operating within state law — growing without medical marijuana consulting can lead to mistakes that can result in serious jail time and fees.