The global cannabis market is growing at an exponential rate as an increasing number of people are using its products. That is on account of its therapeutic potential to treat a host of ailments ranging from mental illnesses and the effects of cancer. Moreover, the increase in the legalization of cannabis in various countries is one of the key factors driving its market growth.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a drug derived from plants such as Cannabis Sativa. It contains two primary active compounds, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), being the principal psychoactive component, and Cannabidiol (CBD), being non-psychoactive component. Both compounds interact with your endocannabinoid system, but their effects differ significantly.
People may use cannabis for medical or recreational purposes. There are numerous ways to consume this plant and its extracts such as vaping, smoking, eating edibles, and applying topical applications, etc. The effects remain the same, but the time required for you to feel these effects and their duration differs with each method.
On the other hand, many people are also keen on growing their own cannabis plants. If you want to get your hands green, you can opt for high quality High Supplies feminized seeds to get the best yield.
Cannabis Laws Around the World
The laws and regulations surrounding cannabis vary significantly in each country. Though some countries are on the verge of positive change (i.e., decriminalization), others still have regressive policies. However, there is growing public support for legalizing this drug because of its health benefits, the ability to create employment, and the hope of eradicating the black market.
Now, let’s look at some of the cannabis laws around the world.
Numerous countries in Asia have gained public attention on account of the strict punishments for possessing, trafficking, or consuming cannabis. However, with Thailand legalizing the use of medicinal cannabis, other countries are slowly softening up – particularly South Korea, Bangkok, Malaysia, and Japan.
While South Korea’s decision to legalize medical cannabis came into effect in 2019, Japan has already approved clinical trials for a CBD compound for treating epilepsy. Moreover, in certain states in India, private citizens and business owners can seek government permission to grow or sell it.
Unlike western markets, where researchers expect recreational cannabis like gorilla glue seeds to outperform medical cannabis, Asia is the total opposite. However, as for investing opportunities, countries are still hesitant to actively bet on the commodity due to the social stigma surrounding it.
From Uganda in East Africa to Zimbabwe in the southern part of the same continent, there is a growing interest in cannabis. However, Africa has a long history of resistance, especially from religious sects who oppose legalization of this valuable crop. It is treading very slowly in this industry, and South Africa seems to be the epicenter of cannabis regulation in this continent.
Lesotho and Zambia were amongst the first countries in Africa to legalize this plant. Zimbabwe then joined the pack in 2018 when it allowed individuals and companies to revive their license for cannabis cultivation. Hemp cultivation and smuggling were done illegally in Malawi for many years. This country is now the latest addition to embracing cannabis.
Europe has jumped onto the decriminalization bandwagon with nations like Switzerland, Austria, Portugal, Netherlands, and Spain paving the way. Despite these liberal laws, cultivation is entirely illegal in most of these countries and is punishable by law. However, Spain is an exception as the use and cultivation of cannabis is legal in private spaces.
Cannabis laws in the U.K. are on the brink of change as they have realized its medicinal potential. Countries such as Greece, France, Cyprus, Hungary, Sweden, and Finland still have very harsh laws where cannabis use is considered a criminal offence and can lead to prison time. It is important to note that France is one of the biggest consumers of this drug in Europe despite these strict regulations.
Medical marijuana has been made legal throughout Australia since 2016, but only for the most severe illnesses. Moreover, a doctor’s prescription is essential. Recreational possession and cultivation of cannabis still remain illegal in most provinces, except Canberra, the capital city of Australia.
Moreover, the new law states that residents above the age of 18 may have up to 50 grams of dried marijuana and grow a couple of plants per person or four plants per household.
5) South America
Uruguay is often referred to as the ‘world’s marijuana pioneer,’ which was the first country to legalize its use and sale. (2013). Thus, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and more followed its lead and legalized medical cannabis in the following years. However, in a few countries such as Bolivia and Guyana, the drug is still illegal.
Most of the countries are now looking at legalizing cannabis for adult use shortly. With a tropical climate and cheap labor, nations like Columbia might be perfect for cultivating this crop legally. Hence, it is catching the attention of many cannabis companies.
6) North America
Canada followed Uruguay’s lead, legalizing medical and recreational cannabis in a bold and effective act in 2018. Even though it is legal, it is still not promoted in the media. In the United States, at the federal level, both medical and adult-use cannabis remains illegal as the Controlled Substances Act places it in the restricted category. However, state-approved ballot initiatives led to its legalization in several states- California being the first.
Currently, in the U.S. , medical cannabis is legal in twenty-nine states and recreational cannabis in 11. Mexico is also moving closer to legalization.
Antarctica has no government and no laws. There is an Antarctic Treaty signed by 12 countries, which ensures that “Antarctica shall only be used for peaceful purposes.”
Legalizing cannabis can lower the harm of drugs in any community by reducing the stigma of drug use and encourage people to seek help without fear of arrest. Researchers expect the cannabis market to witness immense growth due to its further legalization in the coming years.
Current Research on Effect Specific Uses of Cannabis
New research regarding the benefits of cannabis and its main properties of CBD and THC continues to emerge as more countries and states legalize the medical and recreational use of marijuana. Also, because of legalization, the business potential of the cannabis industry continues to grow. Cannabis companies can now distribute to a broader range of people. However, there is more to cannabis than different strains (Indica or Sativa) or the ratio of CBD to THC. Another essential cannabinoid is terpenes, and they play a critical role in the effectiveness of cannabis.
A Perfect High
As the cannabis industry continues to enter the mainstream sphere, it must determine how to market to the mass consumer who expects their cannabis product to be consistent in quality and give off the desired effect. Consumers search for a product that provides a more tailored experience and a more controlled high. Like how the consumer can pick their alcohol to achieve desired effects, cannabis companies and scientists research ways to deliver a custom product. Before a consumer buys a product, they need to know if the product’s cost matches the quality of the experience.
THC causes impairment, slower reaction time, and difficulty performing simple tasks. Consumers want to control their level of buzz. Just like there is a wide variety of alcohol, each with its flavors, and proof, that allows a consumer to have their own unique experience. Cannabis companies strive to achieve a range of products that can mimic the desired effect, from calming to energetic or happy. Consumers also want to test how their body responds to these products to make the most informed decision about what is right for their needs and works best for them.
Ultimately, scientists continue to learn about the importance of terpenes and CBD to modify THC’s effects. The largest cannabis companies and their teams of scientists keep their research under wraps for competitive reasons. Every company wants to be the first to produce a controlled, tailored product. Whoever discovers this first will have an advantage within the cannabis industry.
The Entourage Effect
Cannabis companies and scientists ultimately want to achieve a way to tame THC, a term first introduced by scientist Ethan Russo in 2011. They estimate the cannabis industry will grow as large as the alcohol industry and generate billions of dollars in revenue a year, but only if they can manufacture a product that consistently delivers. In 1998, scientists Raphael Mechoulam and Shimon Ben-Shabat discovered the entourage effect, or the combination of THC, the psychoactive component, CBD (cannabidiol), an active non-psychoactive ingredient, and terpenes, the flavor and taste profile of each strain. All three elements have a unique effect on the body, depending on each ingredient’s ratio and combination.
However, with just the cannabis plant, it is hard to replicate the same feeling and its effects on the body since each plant, grown from different marijuana seeds, has its unique properties. Scientists continue to try and isolate these components to learn better ways to use them as a controlled substance. Also known as whole plant synergy, the main ingredients THC, CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids are also essential to unlock the health benefits of cannabis and how to use each ingredient to treat chronic pain and diseases better.
Evidence shows that cannabinoids boost other cannabinoids; for example, THC enhances CBD’s medicinal properties, while CBD modifies and controls the effects of Eagle Moon High THC Seeds, producing a more controlled high. Each cannabinoid is more effective together, which is why THC alone or CBD only products derived from hemp are less potent and effective. There are also other minor cannabinoids at play, such as CBG or CBN, that scientists continue to research. Emerging research also suggests the possibility of two different types of entourage effects: Intra-entourage refers to the interactions of cannabinoids and terpenes and inter-entourage, which relates to the interactions between terpenes to terpenes and cannabinoids to cannabinoids. However, research slowly begins to unearth the role terpenes play in the entourage effect and its full potential.
Terpenes and Future Potential
Cannabis consumers are more sophisticated than society’s perpetuated stereotype of the stoner or hippie. Consumers want to know about the benefits and properties of cannabis, such as Indica versus Sativa, and THC versus CBD. While they may be more familiar with these terms, terpenes are a newly discussed topic amongst cannabis circles, and consumers and scientists alike want to unlock terpene’s full potential. Scientists describe terpenes as the flavor profile in all plants but specifically provide each cannabis strain with its taste and smell.
Researchers today understand that the properties of terpenes go beyond just flavor, smell, and stimulating moods, but modulating brain activity that can have potential health benefits. CBD and THC have higher potency together, and the same is true that terpenes, along with other cannabinoids, work better together and have a more substantial impact. Terpenes and cannabinoids can increase blood flow, enhance motor and sensory functions, and eliminate respiratory bacteria that cause MRSA. The terpenes and cannabinoid attribute to the effectiveness of marijuana or cannabis products in the treatment of chronic pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, and even fungal and bacterial infections.
Companies define the use of cannabis for medicinal or holistic reasons, by the strain or CBD to THC ratio. However, new research suggests that the terpene profile may be one of the most critical elements in the effectiveness of the strain and its intended use. As the cannabis industry and scientists compete to unlock the potential of terpenes and its connection to THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, consumers will gain access to a marijuana experience unlike anything before.
Crystal Wilson. Crystal has been closely studying the cannabis industry trends for quite some time. Intrigued by the booming growth of this sector, she takes interest in penning down her views providing quality insight on current marijuana trends, particularly medical cannabis.
Jay-Z announces new line of cannabis products dubbed Monogram
Rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z is launching his own cannabis brand in partnership with Caliva, the California-based weed company that hired the star as its chief brand strategist last year.
Named Monogram, Jay-Z’s line of marijuana products launched its website and social media accounts on Friday.
“Monogram marks a new chapter in cannabis defined by dignity, care and consistency. It is a collective effort to bring you the best, and a humble pursuit to discover what the best truly means,” Monogram’s website highlights.
No further information on the specific products that will be sold under the Monogram brand has been released yet.
However, according to the website, the flower used in Monogram’s products is grown in small batches, with a board of “cannabis experts” tasked with grading and hand-selecting each flower that goes into the line.
The New York rapper joined Caliva in 2019 as a brand strategist, which entailed overseeing the creative direction of the company. Furthermore, Jay was focused on Caliva’s social equity efforts as he aimed to increase economic participation of people disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition in the newly legal industry.
As for when consumers can expect to try Jay-Z new products, a spokesperson told the New York Daily News Monogram still hasn’t set its dispensary release schedule. The line will “definitely be available across all of California,” according to the spokesperson.
In other news, basketball star Shawn Kemp who played for the Seattle SuperSonics is also showing his love of pot. Kemp is set to open Seattle’s first black-owned marijuana dispensary this Friday. The Sonics legend named his dispensary Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis and is hoping to serve as a model for others in the black community who might be interested in foraying into the legal marijuana business in the area.
“I’m looking forward to welcoming Sonics fans on a regular basis, starting with opening day. I hope that Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis will be an inspiration for people to get involved with the legal cannabis industry, especially people of color,” the Reign Man said in a press release.
Analysis: Legal weed in Texas would generate over $500 million in tax revenue per year
Legalizing marijuana in Texas could generate over half a billion dollars in tax revenue per year and create more than 40,000 new jobs, according to the results of a report released by Vicente Sederberg LLP earlier this month.
Legal cannabis sales in Texas would reach about $2.7 billion annually based on the fact that there are more than 1.5 million residents over the age of 21 that consume pot on a monthly basis, the analysis calculated.
The estimated tax revenue was calculated under the assumption Texas would tax marijuana sales at the same rate as Colorado at 20.6%. This would amount to $1.1 billion in taxes per biennium, while Texas could collect an additional $10 million per year through the issuing of marijuana business licenses.
The report notes Colorado has raised nearly $13 million on average per year just from license and application fees. Furthermore, the report indicated that current taxpayer dollars that go towards marijuana arrests and prosecutions amount to $311 million per year – money that Texas would save should it legalize pot.
“States across the country are seeing the benefits of legalizing and regulating cannabis. It is inspiring lawmakers in prohibition states to reexamine the efficacy and costs of their current policies and take a closer look at the alternatives,” said Shawn Hauser, a partner at Vicente Sederberg.
“The goal of this report is to provide a snapshot of the economic benefits Texas would experience if it started treating cannabis more like alcohol for adults 21 years of age and older,” he commented on the new report.
Aside from the tax revenue that legal weed in Texas could generate, the report highlighted marijuana’s job creation potential. An estimated 20,000 to 40,000 new jobs would be available in the newly legal industry, with tens of thousands of additional indirect positions, the report estimated.
Hauser also pointed out the added economic benefits of legalization in Texas given current uncertainties provoked by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Texas is leaving an enormous amount of money on the table by keeping cannabis illegal,” according to him.
Texas was once known for having the strictest drug laws in the U.S., but the state has softened its stance on cannabis in recent years. A very limited medical marijuana program was established in 2015, while, more recently, cannabis possession arrests in the state have been significantly declining after hemp became legal.
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