It is truly an interesting time for the global cannabis industry as we navigate our way through the economic and social highs and lows. It could not be a better time for an ancient plant shrouded by mystery and controversy of tribal and social perceptions, to emerge and claim center stage as the next breakthrough in medical health and wellness.
Along the journey to fame, some of the pertinent challenges to overcome across the global cannabis arena are legalization vs decriminalization, both distinctly different yet many times used synonymously. Legalization being the act of lifting/abolishing laws prohibiting the possession and personal use of marijuana, essentially also enabling governments to regulate and tax cannabis production and sales. Decriminalization is the easing up of criminal penalties related specifically to personal cannabis use, while still maintaining the illegal production and sales status. There are many voices for the pros and cons of both approaches. However, it would seem to be a case of the chicken and egg. Really, what determines which comes first? The big question the industry as well as governments globally must answer is how can legalization and decriminalization lend into each other, to ensure the cannabis plant shares its essence across all spheres of life.
Another critical component for consideration as the healing elements like CBD make their way to mainstream consumers, is the products’ regulation and quality standards. Being driven by a smarter, more aware and educated consumer base, the shift is being witnessed from previously little legal or oversight on quality assurance, to creating and formalizing quality guidelines in testing and production of the full-spectrum cannabis products. Worth noting is the fine line of over consumerism when products like CBD are used as a selling point in everything from soaps and detergents to hair and body sprays. This could very likely tilt the scale towards undervaluing the potent benefits of the cannabis plant. Learning from consumer history will be one of the crucial stepping stones determining the continual ever rise of the marijuana industry.