The history of cannabis in the U.S. goes way back in the past, back to the 17th century. When American colonies were being established in the country, hemp became a very important product for Americans. The fibers of hemp have been used to create all sorts of things, like ropes and paper cloth.
If you don’t recall, hemp is a marijuana strain that contains a smaller quantity of THC, the marijuana compound that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant.
It was by the end of the civil war that hemp started losing its space to cotton and other fabrics, and that’s when it became famous for its medical properties amongst the Americans.
However, it was on the beginning until the mid-20th century that marijuana started being criminalized in the country. The whole criminalization situation started as a prohibition based on racism. Most of the marijuana-related arrests were of people from the black community and this hasn’t changed until today.
To exemplify what was the prohibition of marijuana in the U.S., here’s a quote of Harry Anslinger, one of the most known leaders of cannabis prohibition “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the U.S., and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act passed into law making marijuana illegal in the United States. Before that, many of the U.S. states had already criminalized the plant. But the plant was in fact outlawed in 1970, when it was prohibited for any type of use, including medical by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Even though the war on marijuana was declared by the federal government, states and jurisdictions continued implementing marijuana laws. In the same decade the federal government passed the CSA, the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program passed into law in NM allowing patients with serious medical conditions to receive marijuana from the government, but only 13 patients participated the program due to the problems involved in the application process.
New Mexico was the first U.S state to create a medical marijuana program, followed by Virginia in 1979, that allowed patients with glaucoma or doing chemotherapy to opt for marijuana as a treatment option.
Marijuana Legalization – States which have gone green
As of July 2018, the United States had 33 states with a medical marijuana program, plus the District of Columbia. Find local doctors in Pennsylvania and other green states.
As of recreational marijuana, there are currently 10 states that allow marijuana for adult use, plus the District of Columbia. The states are the ones listed below:
- District of Columbia
Apply for your medical marijuana card online today.
What the future holds for the U.S. marijuana industry?
You may not predict the future, however, the expert’s expectation for the U.S. marijuana market is high.
ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics conducted a study which showed that the North American marijuana market made $9.7 billion in 2017, an amount of money which was 33% higher than in 2016. The companies also estimated that the legal cannabis market will generate around $32 billion of global economic impact until 2022.
According to a poll, more than 64% of Americans support marijuana legalization. It seems that federal legalization may not be too far. As far as we are concerned, Trump’s government did nothing about marijuana legalization but talk.
The tendency is that more states legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, and New York is one of them which seems to be closer to legalizing the drug. The re-elected Governor Andrew Cuomo spent the entire year researching, discussing and doing measures to evaluate if recreational marijuana is a smart option for the state.
It seems that the marijuana industry reached a stage in which we’ll only be hearing good news from now on. Including that Coca-Cola announced that the company has intentions in entering the marijuana market, by creating its own cannabis-infused drink. Other giant brewer companies have already gathered with Canadian-based cannabis companies with the same goal as Coca-Cola: to have their own cannabis-infused drink.
If you’re an investor and wishes to invest in a business, there are plenty of reasons to choose the marijuana market. The alcohol industry has already shown that they’re in to get their part of the profits.
As of now, let’s wait that it doesn’t take too long until marijuana is legalized fully in the U.S. so that all can enjoy the benefits of cannabis.