People’s passions are as varied as the wildflowers that coat a fragrant hillside. They’re vibrant, they’re colorful and ofttimes more than one passion is plucked for life’s journey. People who are passionate about pot are passionate for a number of reasons, ranging from it feels good to its healing properties and social impact.
Activists and advocates who love weed from seed to consumption can rattle off state laws, pontificate on the many wonders of the plant, give lectures on the virtues of hemp and likely smoke one under the table, but that passion, that love, doesn’t always equate to business acumen in the cannabis arena.
There’s no question that cannabis has become big business, and though its roots are grounded in compassion and societal wellbeing, the fresh leaves that are getting the most monetary sunshine aren’t necessarily native to the plant; people have literally spliced themselves onto the marketplace because of rapid growth and high yields.
Not to say that newcomers aren’t joining for the right reasons. There are plenty of venture capitalists, investors and CEOs who have seen the proverbial light and recognize that they have an opportunity to not only make beaucoup bucks, but to help people in need. Philanthropy is practically built in when it comes to the business of cannabis.
What having this new wave of ganjapreneurs will ultimately mean for the marijuana movement isn’t clear quite yet, but a few things are for certain. Being able to smell test Maui Wowie versus Lemon Haze no longer a resume makes in this burgeoning industry and the business of cannabis has gotten a lot more serious.
While it’s an uncomfortable shift for many who never felt it right to monetize on a plant or especially on the very ill, with bigger businesses comes more regulation, and that can be a good thing, depending on the intentions of the people doing the regulating. Tracking weed from seed form to its final sale and testing pot for mold or pesticides are well intended, patient friendly practices. In another way, the taxes that come with to pay for it all are a hardship for many who need marijuana’s relief the most, such as seniors and veterans.
Striking a balance will take the efforts of those whose true love is making numbers crunch, those whose love to make businesses grow, grow, grow, and, importantly, those who love cannabis through and through. We can all learn from each other to create a non-exclusionary market if we can accept each other as the uniquely passionate beings that we are.