Cannabis is one of the North America’s newest and most promising industries. It is now medically legal in 29 states and recreationally legal in 8 states, with even more allowing CBD for certain medical conditions. A recent poll also shows that close to 60% of American support legalized cannabis and Canada is taking cannabis even further, introducing legislation to federally legalize the plant in 2018. All of this indicates a trend away from prohibition toward a regulated market. And yet, some are still wary of cannabis.
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Biosecurity is quickly becoming one of the most important topics in the cannabis industry. Testing standards are getting stricter and rates of tainted crops are sky rocketing, causing supply shortages and significant financial blows to cultivators all over the continent. Crops with mold or fungus can be deadly to consumers—especially those with lower immune systems, like many medical users. The alternative for many cultivators is to use chemicals like pesticides and fungicides to combat mold but unfortunately, these still pose a threat to consumers, placing cultivators in a catch-22 situation. Should you risk mold and fungus by avoiding chemicals? Or should you introduce potentially harmful chemicals to your plants to ensure against mold and fungus? Neither is a good option. Not only do these options put consumers at risk but, with increased regulation, they also put cultivators at risk of losing significant profits from having to dispose of sub-par harvests.
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Right now, cannabis in the United States is a hotly debated topic. Many people are anti-prohibition citing medicinal uses, economic growth, job-creation and removing its incentive from underworld criminals as reasons for creating a legitimate, regulated cannabis industry. Others see negative impacts of legalization, believing that cannabis is harmful and prohibition only keeps citizens safe. But more and more, the consensus is moving toward the former with a new poll suggesting 93% of voters support medical marijuana and 59% support full legalization. Elections in November highlighted this trend as four states adopted medical and another four voted in favor of adult-use programs. Now a record 60% of the United States’ population live in a state that has legalized in some form.
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Last year, eight new states were added to the ever-growing list of medical and recreational marijuana markets. With that has come a lot of discussion around the industry and its legitimacy and impact. Here at Surna, we’ve seen this discussion play out over and over during the last few months so we wanted to share what we think of the industry and its current and potential impact.
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