Marijuana: A Unique Industry

Oct 11, 2017 by

There’s no industry quite like the marijuana industry. That’s because marijuana has a strange legal history in the United States, and because modern regulations have made running a marijuana dispensary or marijuana farm a little complicated. But despite the complications, the marijuana business is booming, and the great people in the industry wouldn’t want to do anything else for a living besides work with this amazing plant.

Legalization: a long road and sudden changes

The marijuana industry is unique in part because it is so young. For generations, marijuana was an illegal drug in the United States (just as it was in many other parts of the world). There were plenty of reasons for this, but none of them had much to do with the drug itself, which is among the safest and most popular recreational drugs on the planet. Marijuana gained a powerful enemy in the form of sensationalist journalists, became associated with minorities at a time when racism ran rampant in our country, and was the target of a misinformation campaign that stretched on in various forms for decades. Marijuana prohibition benefited some business and political interests, and for years, legalization seemed like a pipe dream. The truth, of course, is that a marijuana high is safe and enjoyable – but marijuana remained illegal for years anyway.

But thanks to consistent and diligent political organizing and a slow but accelerating change in public perception, support for medical marijuana and, later, legal recreational marijuana grew and grew. States began to legalize medical marijuana, leading to the establishment of legal marijuana farms and dispensaries. Then came recreational marijuana, and an explosion in business for those in the legal marijuana industry. An industry that simply did not exist a decade before was now a major part of the economy in states with legal marijuana.

That fast growth has led more and more entrepreneurs into the industry. And the culture of this business is unique, because its history is as short as its growth has been fast.

Red tape galore

There’s another reason that this business is so unique, and it also has to do with that long path to legalization. For years, many of us imagined legal marijuana becoming available along the lines of cigarettes, with big companies packaging boxes of joints and selling them over the counter at places like convenience stores. But as legalization was debated, it quickly became clear that a more restricted industry was an easier sell, politically speaking. That meant heavy regulation: marijuana would only be grown and sold in certain places, and the number of people allowed to start marijuana businesses would be limited by state licenses.

Further complicating the situation is the fact that marijuana has been legalized at the state level, but not the federal level. While the federal government has been relatively hands-off regarding legal marijuana within states, their laws are still on the books. And state marijuana laws aren’t identical, making marijuana law an even more complicated area.

All of this makes the marijuana industry very different from most other industries. While a good marijuana business attorney can help entrepreneurs cut through the red tape, the situation makes marijuana unique. Marijuana is a fast-growing young industry full of entrepreneurs and a complex web of regulations. It’s a business like no other. And while not everything that makes the marijuana business unique is fun for business owners, those of us who work in this industry wouldn’t trade the marijuana business for anything.


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