Two and a half years ago it was mentioned in an article that cannabis was seeing an "image transformation"... What does that mean, and are we still headed in that direction?
Frequently, discussion points centered around "the future" introduce and harp on (then) current events and speculate how they will change the industry. Now, we have a chance to look back and see if they were correct.
Politically, the article mentions the legalization doctrines of Colorado, Washington State, a variety of other U.S. cities, Uraguay, and the political agenda of UK Liberal Democrats. While this is a wide net to cast, the legalization of cannabis is now a much more appropriate discussion point for members of all political parties, and efforts have come to fruition in a number of other cities, states and countries internationally. In fact, this is a trending topic that is relevant globally seemingly everywhere! Cannabis has boomed economically in the places it has seen legalization, with reports of millions more in revenue than expected from the earliest economist models, and almost none of the initial political fears rationalized.
The article also mentions the demise of Silk Road, and while this "darknet" opportunity was seen as a threat to popular consumption, legalization progress has replaced the "darker" and more speculative availability of cannabis more readily in a variety of ways. Aside from moves to legalize the drug, patients have more access than ever to needed remedies, and insurance companies are also championing the cause.
Medically, tests on glaucoma, epileptic seizures, the progression of Alzheimer’s, and reducing tremors from Parkinson’s (using cannabis) have all exceeded expectations. And, not only that, but other tests are being conducted to see improved symptoms for other diseases -- ones included here and beyond. Further, more and more countries are reducing the harmful effects of tobacco, while simultaneously lightening restrictions on marijuana access.
Overall, this is a major win for the industry. Moving forward it will be amazing to see where we land in the next three years: in 2020.