Cannabis has been a prevalent part of society for many decades, over its last few years cannabis has changed the light it is shown in. With international research into the possibilities it holds for our health and wellness, new markets welcoming cannabis into their folds and southern states looking towards a change for both health and civic reasons; marijuana is continuing its march to freedom. People around the world are beginning to accept the reality of what this plant can be. These shifts in society are a sign that as humankind we are able to work towards betterment for our fellow people. Reform of marijuana regulations and legislation would allow hundreds of thousands of people to restore some form of normalcy, whether for fear of incarceration or for possible health reasons.

As of October, Canada will have full legalization go into effect, while there is going to be a large transition period of licensing, organization and regulation it is a plan in action to bring access to the citizens. Part of the hurdles for newly legalized marijuana markets is the supply, which has now become an international opportunity. Israel, a world leader in medical marijuana, has plans to export the marijuana it grows in state approved farms to nations who have legalized for medical use. Colombia is also planning to be a major exporter of medical marijuana, having legalized for medical use as a country and giving over 30 licenses to growers who plan to sell domestic and to the large international market. Even Lesotho in southern Africa is beginning its export of medical marijuana to the new Canadian market. Lesotho is the first African country with legal marijuana and it is becoming one of their largest cash crops.

With the love that marijuana has been getting it is no surprise one of their closest competitors has taken notice, and wants in. Large and small beer companies alike are making investments and creations in the growing marijuana market. Companies like Two Roots Brewing Co. and Coalition Brewing decided they did not want to miss out on another branch of their current consumer base. Two Roots has taken the THC route and left out the alcohol, these products have limited availability due to the legal hurdles to produce. Coalition Brewing has taken another route with CBD infused in to highlight how CBD and hops can work together, and even how terpenes are able to bring out new flavors in their India Pale Ale. Even the large powerhouse beer companies are sending investments to Canada for the opening of the marijuana market. Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors, and the makers of Johnny Walker and Smirnoff have either invested or shown interest in marijuana ventures, bringing marijuana even more mainstream.

There are two much publicized gubernatorial contests being fought in the south that could play an impactful role in the direction marijuana goes in the southern U.S. In Georgia, a notoriously red state, Stacey Abrams is running on the Democratic ticket and if elected would be the first female African American Governor. She wants to help the economy and grow jobs in the state, and is also a fan of expanding the medical marijuana market and allowing better access in a state with no way for patients to get it. Georgia has legalized medical marijuana to a degree, however there is no access for patients, and they cannot even legally produce their own or transport it into the state. She wants to allow in state cultivation and open up the market for patients in need. In Florida Andrew Gillum, another Democrat, has said that marijuana is not only a health issue, it is a civil rights issue. If the state of Florida decides to legalize recreational marijuana he wants to move it forward and use the revenue for education.

Marijuana has not always had a positive connotation, but we are changing that. As we learn more about the benefits the old propaganda begins to fade. Marijuana use is widespread across the globe, for both recreational and medical purposes. It is a crime in some places and the penalties may not always be fair, this is one reason we do need education. Many people are having charges dropped and convictions erased for marijuana crimes in places with new legislation. Education in the industry will always be the best way to grow the good image that marijuana deserves. SVBS

Cameron Spinks has been a sales lead, social media director, and marketing manager for Stash CBD since its inception in July 2017. Previously he worked for a smoke and vape wholesaler. When he isn’t outside with his dog you can find him playing video games with his girlfriend to unwind. He can be contacted by email at [email protected] or on the website