Recreational Marijuana legalization was introduced to the United States in 2012 starting with Colorado and Washington, and since then, has dramatically affected the landscape of local business. Aside from the introduction of cannabis dispensaries, there have been leaps and bounds made by companies who were brave enough to dive right in and claim a chunk of the industry. Whether you are a consumer, doctor, businessman (or woman), investor, or enjoy playing around with cannabis stocks, it is crucial to be aware of some of the most significant changes that have and or will occur. If you haven’t noticed much difference or want to see if there are others that you feel have yet to cross your path, then you are going to want to check out these ten businesses that have changed since marijuana legalization.
- Big box stores
Now that legal marijuana use is an option, consumers are seeking goods to help them to grow, smoke, cure, extract, and more. This has opened a brand-new opportunity for big box stores to offer products that are unique to the cannabis industry. Items like weed pipes, bongs, dab rigs, rolling papers, and grinders are now being sold in some of the largest and most popular stores across both Canada and the United States. Aside from regular tools of the trade, there is also a whole lot more to choose from like pot themed jewelry, clothing, purses, cups, and so much more.
- Clothing brands
Some of the hottest clothing stores and brands are now sporting cannabis themed designs which allows consumers the chance to pick up stoner gear without visiting a head shop. Whether you want pot leaf shirts, hats, shoes, jackets, sweaters, socks, or underwear, there is someone out there who is either already making it, or in the process of creating clothing that is appearing in high end stores like Winners, Hot Topic, Zumiez, and more. There is no longer a need to order either online or from head shops, as the selection is being spread around the market evenly.
Jewelry companies have been one of the least talked about that have leaped on board with the cannabis industry. If you have ever looked at marijuana buds, or plants at their peak, then you likely already know that they can produce breathtaking colors, and eye catching crystals that seem perfect to look at, but how we are seeing that expanded upon by jewelry makers is even more incredible. From pot seed rings, stoner saying necklace and bracelets, to the delicate and almost intoxicating THC chemical structure. You can now find all of these and more at almost any reputable jeweler.
- Specialty smoke shops
At one time specialty smoke shops offered all the best quality pipes, rolling papers, and flavoring options for tobacco products, but now that the number of cigarette smokers has quickly dwindled, they have had to adapt to survive. The place that once reminded us of our grandparents who used wooden pipes for their hand, shredded tobacco has evolved into something new and rejuvenated. Now you will find things like blunt wraps, glass pipes, screens, and hemp cigarettes which were designed to help people quit smoking tobacco. A far cry from the subject specific options you would find in these establishments in the past.
- Vape stores
Vaping became famous as the tools proved to be a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco and an excellent tool for those who wished to quit, but the vape shops that exist today are much different than those that were in place before legal marijuana use. Marijuana products can be refined to the point that they can be utilized in the old school devices, but heavy duty additive free versions began to hit the market shortly after marijuana legalization. When you visit a vape store now, you will be greeted by staff who can equip you with almost any of the tools that you could ever possibly need to consume cannabis including volcanoes, concentrate pens, and dry herb vaporizers. Though these devices were available in select locations before marijuana legalization, customers can now feel 100% confident in asking questions about how to use specific cannabis products rather than fumbling through YouTube for answers.
- Coffee shops
Though this shift is not one that has happened, it is most certainly one that has been predicted to make it huge once legislation allows it. A lot of people take issue with the smoking of any kind in a business as it is bad for their health, but coffee shop owners are figuring out a few neat ways to work around that. The debate is still up in the air surrounding the health issues that do or don’t exist with vaping indoors; there are still plenty of other options that we will soon see offered up. Marijuana products like tea, coffee, ice cream, baked goods, and even the most elegant meals are expected to hit across Canada shortly after Christmas of 2019.
Though the federal government is enforcing strict regulations surrounding the marketing and advertising of cannabis products, that doesn’t stop other companies from being able to mention legal marijuana use, and how it might combine well with their products or services. It also doesn’t prohibit individuals or corporations from advertising in a way that condones and encourages legal marijuana use. One of the most famous examples aired during the 2019 Super Bowl and was sponsored by Acreage Holdings, which is a medical cannabis company. In it, they called for US citizens to reach out to their local politicians to voice their opinion on whether legal marijuana use should finally be approved at the federal level. The entire commercial was cannabis positive and called prohibition a wrong that needs to be made right. Something that would never have been possible before marijuana legalization in Canada.
- Cannabis dispensaries
Though legal marijuana use is only eight months old, cannabis dispensaries have been around for much longer. They were not permitted, and often left customers in an awkward position when the local police decided to start cracking down on the black market. Prices were astronomical, product quality was questionable at best, and consumers never truly had much for options while taking so much risk. Some hired bouncers and other security because running an underground business makes it challenging to deal with unruly guests. A visit to a dispensary in Canada now has an entirely different vibe. They are owned and run by legal, licensed, and register businessmen and women, and designed more elegantly to provide a comfortable and relaxing experience. Though the options that can be found on licensed dispensary shelves is somewhat limited for now, marijuana edibles and other concentrates including smokables, beauty products, ointments, salves, and oil will be following just in time for this Christmas.
- Drug stores
Cannabis is often referred to as a drug, but was it ever a product that you would expect to find at your local drug store? The most popular and most extensive pharmacy in Canada is Shoppers Drug Mart, and they were the very first to negotiate their way into the medical marijuana industry. Now patients with a valid prescription from a family physician or doctor can pick up allergy medication, diapers, Tylenol, and a fresh batch of cannabis all in one place. Though there has been very little revealed about how the strains are chosen or provided for this service, it’s still amazing to see that pot is finally being sold as a therapeutic medicine rather than being demonized as a “drug.”
Your doctor’s office is likely one of the last places that you would ever expect to see cannabis discussed or advertised, but if you visit one in Canada, you will probably find at least one or two posters that feature pot leaves alongside some of the various ailments that it is known to assist with. With this shift, there has also been the introduction of what is called cannabis clinics, which are safe spaces equipped with doctors who are understanding and knowledgeable, and ready to help new patients get access to safe and effective treatment alternatives. For those who have a doctor with negative views on legal marijuana use, or no doctor at all, these new health-oriented businesses are very much appreciated and widely available.