Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"Marijuana legalization is having an incredible impact on illegal marijuana use"

The title of this post is the headline of this interesting new Business Insider article, which includes these excerpts:

With legal allowances for both medical and recreational use on the rise all over the US, the favored illegal drug of Americans has never looked more professional. That's because the business of legal marijuana has never been better. We're talking about a $7 billion market, according to ArcView Market Research (a firm that tracks the legal cannabis trade).

The world of dimebags is long gone, replaced with complex breakdowns of Indica vs Sativa percentages on packaging, flavor profiles, and high-end edibles.  The market for legal weed in the US outpaces Girl Scout Cookies....

than ever, buying cannabis in the US is more akin to buying craft beer or charcuterie.  This is to be expected in places like Colorado and Washington, where marijuana is outright legal.  [And] another effect of the ongoing march toward national legalization: marijuana is growing up.  It looks less like a drug transaction and more like a product purchase. It looks normal.

The ripple effect of this maturation — the move away from baggies on street corners to artfully labeled products on store shelves — is creeping into places where legality is dubious at best.... New York City's recreational marijuana dealers are getting more and more professional in their wares. Some offer edible candy, or tinctures of CBD (a non-psychoactive derivative of marijuana used medically), or high-potency THC wax.

Many are already brands unto themselves, professional packaging and all. We spoke with dealers from several services that all function as retail outlets without physical locations (delivery only); all asked not to be named....

The benefit for NYC's cannabis consumers is clear: more transparency into what they're buying and consuming, to say nothing of consumer choice. People we spoke with from the service say it's a measure of consumer demand as much as it is a measure of availability.

Customers visit places where marijuana is either partially or entirely legal, like California or Oregon, and have their eyes opened to [new] stuff ... And dealers in NYC are increasingly stepping up to that demand, which leads to the bizarre juxtaposition of illegality alongside professional branding we have here.

Medical Marijuana Commentary and Debate, Recreational Marijuana Commentary and Debate | Permalink


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