The history of Marijuana in Colorado culture dates back many decades. According to IUSPH, Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in the US. Under Amendment 20, which passed in November 2000.
Medical use of Cannabis was legalized in the state. Recreational use of Marijuana was legalized in November 2012. Weederies now allow users to witness the growing process and even purchase onsite. This is a long departure from past trends of highly restricted indoor production.
We see the first legislation on Marijuana in March 1917. The state of Colorado passed legislation criminalizing the use and cultivation of Marijuana. The people were not very receptive to the plant at this time. Possession distribution and sale became a felony offense in 1929. The federal government followed suite in 1937, marking the climax of the process.
According to Cannabis Life Network, the Mexico Revolution drove many Latino immigrants into the southern states in 1910. This Mexican population used Cannabis recreationally. However, white American culture was already using Cannabis medicinally. They were unfamiliar with the term “marijuana” nor the concept of using Cannabis recreationally.
Marijuana, as a drug, became associated with Spanish-speaking immigrants. The great depression during the 1930’s caused widespread poverty and unemployment throughout the US. Anslinger blamed drugs. He claimed that Cannabis led to “insanity, criminality, and death.” Anslinger later started a racially-targeted, national hatred towards Cannabis. The above events became the foundation of the long-running stigma against Cannabis.
Benefits To Humans
According to Procon.org, medical use of Cannabis predates recorded history. The first written reference to medical help is found in the Rh-Ya. A 1500BC Chinese Pharmacopeia. Cannabis extract is also believed to part of the “Holy anointing oil” recipe described in Exodus (30:22-23).
There has been a lot of studies to try and understand the effects of Marijuana. According to Discover Magazine, the plant is believed to, among others, confer the below benefits:
- Relieving pain– synthetic Marijuana is used in the production of an oral medication known as dronabinol.The medication proved capable of lowering pain in patients above 80 years of age. This was evident in a clinical study issued in Der Schmerz, a German publication.
- Fighting cancer– Analyzing data on slightly over 1,200 patients who regularly used medical Marijuana to control their symptoms. A team of researchers in Israel found that over 95 percent of the patients reported improvements in symptoms.
- Treating spasticity and sleep disorders – in a clinical research conducted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society it was observed that a range of THC medications used orally, aided patients control symptoms linked with spasticity and sleep ailments.
- Treatment and prevention of glaucoma – Studies in the early 1970s showed that Marijuana when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.
- Decreasing anxiety – According to Emma Childs, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an author of the study, “we found that THC at low doses reduced stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect.”
Trends After Legalization
The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice stated that, the total number of marijuana enterprise licenses issued increased sharply for the first two years after legalization, up 30% from 2014 (2,249) to 2016 (2,934). Entrepreneurs have spotted business opportunities brought about by legalization.
Between the years 2016 and 2018, growth was more moderate, up 6% (from 2,934 to 3,101). The number of medical licenses dropped slightly (‐5%) during this period. On the other hand, however, the total number of retail permits increased by 18% between 2016 and 2018.
Total sales of retail marijuana products have almost quadrupled in four years, from $303 million in 2014 to $1.09 billion in 2017. In 2017, about $90 million in retail marijuana products were sold, an increase from $25 million in 2014.
The sales of medical marijuana products increased initially but gradually decreased in recent years, from $445 million in 2016 to $416 million in 2017. The average monthly sales of medical marijuana products also declined, from $37 million in 2016 to $34 million in 2017.
The number of cultivated medical marijuana plants ranged between 2014 and 2017, and in December 2017, just over 300,000 plants were under cultivation. The number of plants in the retail market increased each year, up from 216,802 in 2014 to 669,044 in 2017 (+208%).
Since 2014 sales of the retail flower have gone up 516%, infused edibles up 226%, and infused non‐edibles up 135%. Clearly, both medical and retail sales have shown increases.
We can see legalization setting the tempo. The number of enterprises and products sold has increased as more legislative space opens up. Close to 70% of all marijuana sales in Colorado can now be now be attributed to recreational use.
Marijuana is consumed in a verity of forms. They include smoking, drinking, ingestion, and vaporization. In Colorado, growing Marijuana for recreational use is now legal; there are restrictions to be met. Growers must be above 21years.
The law further stipulates strict conditions that most growers find hard to meet. For example, plants can only grow in an enclosed, locked space that cannot be publicly viewed. Growers must also plant no more than 12 plants.
Some cities have even lower plant limits. Possession limits prescribe the maximum amount of Marijuana growers can have in their possession at any given time as one ounce.
The strict laws on growing Marijuana make it very expensive and unattractive to grow. According to Christian Hageseth, the high cost of growing led him to develop the first Weedery in Colorado. Besides a weed dispensary, the Weedery includes a bar, restaurant, and public arena.
Historically Marijuana is consumed in hiding. This has, for a long time, compounded the stigma and stereotype surrounding Marijuana. Recreational use of Marijuana is now legal in 11 US states. Medical use is legal in 33 states. Marijuana is, however, still illegal under federal law.
This points to increasing acceptance of the plant. Favorable legislation in recent decades has unlocked business potential. Medical Marijuana use enjoys widespread support compared to recreational use. Recreational Marijuana is challenging alcohol and tobacco as a top recreational drug.
Wineries are giving way to Weederies due to increased demand and high returns. The rise of the Weedery is a direct result of Marijuana Legalization.
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