It is no longer news that recreational use of weed is legal in 8 US states including California. This festive season, a lot of weed gifts have been delivered across the 8 states. Studies show increase in pot sales for December, and we expect more as we enter Christmas week.
While not everyone has reason to smile this Christmas, most California weed lovers have. Gift giving is largely embraced in weed culture, and its new legal status has caused much celebration among owners of marijuana dispensaries, weed growers, and other industry stakeholders in the four states.
Last year, voters in Maine, California, Massachusetts, and Nevada voted to legalize use of cannabis for recreational purposes. Many types of foodstuffs have been infused with weed for presentation as gifts this Christmas, such as weed-infused cakes. In these four states, weed is no longer a substance to smoke in the closet or behind the curtains.
According to Roy Bingham, the CEO of BDS Analytics that specializes in compiling data about marijuana Industry, past data for legal sales of weed show a modest sales boom around the festive season. In the Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington where recreational cannabis is legal, the industry has been doing really well for December, better than Nov. and Jan. During this time online marijuana shops make more sales than expected.
According to a report by BDS Analytics, in 2016 December sales for weed accounted for 9.38 percent of Colorado’s sales revenue, which is around 1 percent above average.
Meanwhile, California will implement retail laws in January, while Massachusetts’s retails laws will be implemented in July and Maine’s are still under development.
Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, says people has always been smoking weed and giving out as gifts privately as it was legal, so legalization is not the real motivator.
Smith says that people have been and will always be using marijuana on the holidays. The only difference is now they are doing it through a regulated system that involves licensed stakeholders such as online marijuana shops.
Federal law has outlawed marijuana, thus, sending it through the mail or transporting it across state borders is illegal. Such a crime in involves breaking federal law and may have serious consequences for the subject.
Last week, Barbara and Patrick Jiron, an elderly couple from California were arrested near Bradshaw, Nebraska with 60 pounds of marijuana worth at least $300,000 in their Toyota Tacoma. Upon questioning they said they were planning to give the weed out as Christmas gifts to their family and friends in Vermont and Boston. The authorities reported that they also did not have a drug stamp.
California Growers Association’s executive director Hezekiah Allen said no matter the state of legalization, cannabis would still be important part of Christmas for stoners. He added that people have been using weed for hundreds of years, and it is time everyone comes out clear on this.
James MacWilliams, a resident of Portland, Maine who has been growing cannabis since legalization is one happy individual, who is already giving away fancy jars of the product this year. He recently that said since he has a lot weed, he is willing to give it away for Christmas. Among the people to receive the product are his friends.
Weed growing in California started many years ago even before legislation plans went underway. During the Prohibition era, illegal marijuana dispensaries disguised as drug stores had plenty of creative distribution ideas including selling “medicinal whiskey” as toothache remedy. Exploiting legal loopholes for financial gains is something that has always been there and is not always funny; every sane individual is fully aware of this.
The conflict between state and federal laws is putting the weed industry into a state of uncertainty, and tension has been rising ever since Obama retired. The stakeholders have to adapt to the state of uncertainty though it is badly affecting the industry.
It seems marijuana legalization is an idea whose time has come. More states are pushing to legalize it in near future, as delayed legislation only pushes risk-taking entrepreneurs to join this new multi-billion industry illegally. The best way forward is legalize, and pass more regulatory legislation for the industry.