This Election Day, Americans everywhere got all kinds of new stuff. New York City got a new mayor, gay Illinois residents got the right to marry, and Colorado got a new tax on marijuana. While that last one might not sound as fun as the other two, let’s face it, we knew it was coming. Weed can’t become a legal consumer good without being subject to taxation. Even though it feels weird handing control of the cannabis trade right over the same authorities that have been prosecuting it all these years, every state will have to do so with faith that they’ll use those dollars for good, and that the fist they rule local industry with will be one made of marshmallow. The amendment passed in Colorado last year stipulates that a chunk of the tax income will be used to build schools and cover other public services, which is good. The rest of it is going toward funding regulation of weed economy, wherein lies the potential pitfall. Who watches the watchmen? We’ll have to wait and see.
Lawmakers will have to forgive a little skepticism from the public, considering that the legal cannabis industry is a goldmine, and treachery lies where money and politics meet. Despite our trepidations, cannabis is going to be big business. A recent report, State of Legal Marijuana Markets (2nd edition), claims that the legal cannabis market is set to grow faster than the smartphone market. Kind of a weird comparison, but like smartphones, cannabis is quickly being adopted by the masses for its functional properties. On top of that, a huge portion of the market for weed is not simply coming into existence at rapid rates as much as the numbers are becoming legitimate at rapid rates. Regardless of why it’s growing so quickly, the business-minded are getting interested, and once it’s legal for trade, it’s subject only to the markets that govern our economy. We can keep loving cannabis as our own, but soon it will belong to everyone.
And out of that mass, quite a few people are curious. A study found that a quarter of Americans will buy and try cannabis once it is legal, at least occasionally. So even if these folks aren’t all smoking all day like they love it, there may be an ornamental jar of nugs next to the good scotch in the liquor cabinet.
It’s been a year since the first recreational legalization in the country, and with the legislative war all but won, weed is now gracefully captivating the hearts and minds of the public. Soon, after the initial excitement dies down, cannabis will assume the trajectory taken by most consumable mainstays of American society. It will get a lot cooler, and it will stay cool for a while before becoming corny, and finally it will be ubiquitous, novel only to teenagers discovering it fort the first time. Perhaps most of us just didn’t expect we’d live to see that final stage, but here it comes nevertheless.
I guess that means… WE’RE WINNING!
Get your herb on.