Article By Annie Loupy
As legalization starts sweeping through the Americas and Europe, cannabis culture is shifting. Gone are the days of buying weed in a back-alley deal or hiding your weed jar when company comes over or using euphemisms and code to try to discover the other “closeted stoners.” Legalization has brought on a new stoner stereotype – the everyday student, professional, mom or whatever. We aren’t all wearing ponchos and saying “duuuuude.” And with legality, studies are showing statistics that prove underage consumption is dropping. It may be counterintuitive but kids always want to do what they aren’t supposed to do. And, for many adults, they enjoy the things that they like to do, especially when they don’t have to retreat to their smoker’s solidarity, cover up their scent or hide away their stash. Legalization has changed cannabis culture for the average smoker, but also for five other reasons.
Black Market Up in Smoke
The black market was the only place anyone could purchase weed if they wanted it. Growing was risky and time consuming so cannabis smokers had to rely on unknown sources from their local dealer. Often times, the purchaser didn’t know the strain, what type of soil, pesticides or chemicals were used. I’ve even heard of stories where bits of glass where mixed in to someone’s purchase because it created more weight.
Legalization has created a safer buying experience and provides customers with more potent and less harmful weed. It has suffocated the black market because now consumers can purchase a more readily available product that can be traced back to its source. Instead of shady handovers or navigating to someone else’s sketchy apartment, consumers can even have their products delivered to their door for convenience.
There will always be a black market, but a huge percentage of it is disappearing. Again, counterintuitive, but makes sense. Less street dealing could lead to less crime, less harmful or scary situations and more consumer knowledge on their purchases
Because people now have the choice to ditch their street dealer and buy legally, they expect the best quality. Paying almost double the street price has to be worth it. And it is. To keep up with demand and stand out from the soon-to-be saturated market, growers turn to creative methods of creating hundreds of new hybrids to entice the new customer.
Legalization has created high expectations but rightfully so. We have come out of hiding and into the light and aren’t afraid to voice our opinions and desires. The more community input and supply need, the higher the quality will ensue to meet the requests of the consumer. This means better quality cannabis strains, cannabis seeds and cannabis products altogether.
Because it is legal, of course more people are going to start growing their own. It is economical and convenient. With more and more home-growers, the seed business is thriving and cultivating cannabis has become the new gardening trend. With more and more knowledge on the subject being circulated, home-growers can produce a hefty amount of decent crop – even top shelf. It is important to keep a consistent lighting and watering schedule, implement pest-repelling strategies and cure your buds. Curing cannabis is one of the most helpful uncovered secrets in cultivation.
With the black-market suffocating and genius cultivators developing, products are becoming more readily available and appealing to all sorts of tastes. While some of us will put anything in our pipes, others find solace in the high-end product like vegan gummy bears, gluten-free energy bars and animal-friendly beauty products. People prefer to ingest their cannabis in different ways and the market has been covering every niche to fulfill every “high” desire.
Vape Take Over
It may not be a surprise that vaporizers are the new craze. I mean, they are everywhere. Have you been to France lately? The vape has become trendier than the scarf and much more prevalent that the beret (though they are smoking tobacco there). With legalization, vape concentrates are readily available and preferred by those who want to live a smoke-free life. It’s discrete, portable, aroma-free and gets the job done.
Legalization may have changed a lot for the cannabis culture, but it has only shown positive outcomes for consumers and has endless possibilities for even more future benefits.