Q. Why is it important to know about marijuana?
Since the legalization of marijuana in 25 US states, Shan Li of the Los Angeles Times said “the now legal market has grown to more than $6 billion and is forecast to grow beyond $50 billion by 2026”. Also, medical marijuana can be used to help treat a variety of conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis and nerve damage. There has even been a recent push for legalization by veterans for treatment of PTSD. This shows that marijuana is a fast growing industry and may soon become a major part of american commerce and life.
Q. How is the market for marijuana different from before?
Shops that sell marijuana have been changing with the growing market. Shan Li from the Los Angeles Times reported on a recent change with shops modernizing. Shops are beginning to go for a more commercial look by adding better lighting and polished wood shelves. Shan Li also pointed out that small shops are starting to grow into very large chains, contrary to the small one man corner stores people expect. The customer base is also changing. One shop owner said that most of his customers are busy professionals not the typical unemployed skater that people expect. This shows that the industry is being accepted as a normal business that people are accepting into the their daily lives.
Q. What groups are the main consumers?
Legalization has brought out many new customer groups like business professionals, veterans and even the elderly. When asked about the customers in their store Adam Bierman told the Los Angeles Times that most of their customers are professionals that just use it to relax. He also mentioned that his company plans on advertising to nursing homes to show the elderly the medical benefits of using marijuana and how it may benefit their health. The strongest push for legalization has come from military veterans, especially those coping with post traumatic stress. One veteran that was diagnosed with PTSD after his time in Iraq said, “It helps calm my nerves so I can get back to my old life”.
Q. What are the physical effects of marijuana.
While marijuana has been highly praised for its potential medical benefits it has also been criticized for some of its detrimental effects. Medical Marijuana is used to treat a variety of brain and nerve diseases like alzheimer's, Crohn’s, muscle spasms, seizures, and even cancer. The American Cancer Society says that marijuana is most commonly used in cancer treatment to help patients going through chemotherapy by easing pain and reducing nausea. However, use can reduce short term memory and may lead to long term addiction. Marijuana even raises the heart rate of the user which increases their risk of stroke.
Q. What will happen to the marijuana industry in the future?
Based on what has already happened, it is reasonable to assume that states will continue to legalize medical use and eventually recreational use. As this happens the stigma will slowly fade and use will become more common . Based on previous state trends shown by Business Insider this will most likely happen in the medical field first with marijuana growing in use to treat various nerve and anxiety conditions. After a bit more time marijuana shops will be about as common as liquor stores and will look the same as any other commercial store as is hinted at in Shan Li’s article from the New York Times.