The Evolution of the Legal Marijuana Industry
You can find legal marijuana in more and more states with every passing election.
Now, if only the feds would also pass similar laws. But, no… it’s still a Schedule I drug, the same class as Heroin (but, interestingly, not meth because that’s a Schedule II drug).
Full legalization might be down the road yet, but the legal marijuana industry is growing and evolving.
In this post, we’ll discuss where marijuana is legal, how tech is influencing the industry, banking in a cash industry, and more.
Where Can You Get Legal Marijuana?
Marijuana is being legalized throughout the nation in one form or another.
And if it isn’t legalized outright for either recreational or medicinal use, it’s been decriminalized. In reality, there are much greater scourges to society than legal marijuana.
Check out the legal status in different states in the two sections below:
States With Medicinal Marijuana
The first state to legalize medicinal marijuana (in 1996) was California. A couple of years later Washington, Oregon, and Alaska followed suit.
Since then, medical marijuana has made its way to, and beyond, various ballot measures. Currently, there are total 29 states (and the District of Columbia) which have legalized medical marijuana.
States With Recreational Marijuana
Some areas are taking it a step further and completely lifting the prohibition.
There are now eight states, as well as Washington D.C., in which recreational use of marijuana is now legal. In 2012, Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. Two years later, they were joined by Alaska, Washington D.C., and Oregon.
Then, most recently in 2016, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and California passed voter initiatives in general elections which legalized its recreational use.
Changing Public Perception
Gone are the days of Reefer Madness. However, it would seem that the people old enough to remember that propaganda film are those still in opposition to legal marijuana.
But the public sentiment in support of legalization continues to grow. A recent Gallup poll found that 58 percent of those surveyed said they support recreational marijuana use.
Evidently, people are beginning to realize there is such a thing as a responsible pot smoker.
Marijuana Meets Tech
The legal weed industry has a new and interesting bedfellow: big tech.
For example, Microsoft has recently gotten involved in the marijuana industry. In doing so, Microsoft has also added a bit of credibility to the formerly black market.
The company is working with other marijuana tech companies to develop a system which would allow the government to keep tabs on the legality of operations. This would ensure that all parties are in compliance with cannabis labeling and shipping laws.
Marijuana and the laws governing its use have come a long way in recent years. The legalization movement is only going to keep moving forward.
For more recreational and medical marijuana news, check out the USA Collective blog here! Or, if you liked what you read, share it with social media.
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