All of us stoners from way back would always grumble and say “fuck big business, this is our method of currency, one we can relate to, and have used for a long time. It was a way to stay away from the status quo”. Being from Santa Cruz, California it is ingrained in me that cannabis is “our” thing and we must protect it.
I still find this statement very true. However my view on the cannabis industries landscape has shifted and evolved. I now see the need for actual business practices to keep up with this ever changing and growing market place. So how do we maintain our standards and embrace change in the right direction?
If you truly love this plant for what it is, and not just the immediate experience it provides when you inhale, then you will understand the need to be involved at the highest levels of the cannabis industry. Luckily its no longer just a broker, a farmer, and a collective that provide avenues of work. Now you have social media influencers, websites, bloggers, strain review sites, data management companies, 420 accounting firms , ancillary stores, brand consulting agencies and the aforementioned farming, wholesale, and retail. Any of this sound familiar, “BIG BUSINESS”.
We are in the beginning stages of a revolution long in the making, one that has been taking root for centuries. Once recognized before being bastardized, cannabis is known to be one of the most beneficial plant medicines on earth. We have all heard the fucking story about George Washington cultivating hemp. Well its actually really interesting, if Big G.W. had it his way cannabis would have been the preferred national crop over wheat and tobacco (2 of the countries largest industries, both have killed more people than all wars combined). George even lobbied his agents in England about the costs involved for production and shipping. Shit the trap had to start somewhere!
This wonderful plant has been part of our culture since the beginning and before we were too smart for our own good, we saw the plant for what it was, an extremely durable crop, that produced the strongest fibers for thread, rope, sale canvas and fishing nets. Cannabis was also regarded as being the most versatile and resistant medicines know to early civilizations, and still to this day holds recognition in the educated medical field. Cannabis history dates back longer than this country knew how to roll a doobie.
Cannabis was legal tender in the Americas from the mid 1600 until the 1800’s. Farmers were even incentivized to grow cannabis and could pay their taxes in hemp. Shit the first marijuana law enacted was in Jamestown colony in 1619, and it actually ordered all farmers to grow cannabis due to its vast range of uses. Later Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Chesapeake Colonies followed suit. This simple yet complex plant was the fiber of the country, pun intended. Hemp was crucial in the American revolution, the first publications and paper mills were created using cannabis. Benjamin Franklin would not have been able to publish his revolutionary writings if having to use British procured papered. Until 1883 80% of the worlds paper was made from hemp. Yes your Bible from 1300 A.D. is just a bunch of blunt wraps. 80% of the worlds textiles and fabrics were made from hemp, hemp recognized as softer and warmer than cotton and had 3 times more the tinsel strength. Cannabis was the driving force in all business for well over 2000 years of the human existence, so to say we don’t want big business in cannabis, well I hate to break it you, cannabis has been, and will continue to be, BIG BUSINESS!
Just like any other sought after commodity weather it be for recreation or medical use. Cannabis has a very important place in our society and can not be kept in the shadows any longer. Bringing cannabis back into the fray as a viable and sustainable entity in major business is not only a good thing, it is inevitable. Corporations like monsanto and major western pharma are chomping at the bit and already have their greasy fingers in our beloved crop. So when I hear “fuck big business”, yes, I agree, fuck the ethics of these corporations that have agendas, ones that don’t include the health and well being of the people. However if we choose to stay in our mountains and grow “OUR” weed then we stay disconnected from the inevitable, and yes unfortunately, and eventually that plant in your back yard will be a GMO patented monsanto strain.
The cannabis industry is moving at lightning speed and has no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With that comes immense opportunity for people once cloaked in secrecy, that are now afforded ability to be part of a functioning and exciting sector of business. Embrace the opportunity to be part of something big, this is once in a generational type of movement, and yes many questions lie ahead with a slightly orange hued ruler, with a hair-do to kill, but we cant let this outside agenda infiltrate the root morals of our beloved culture. So it is our duty to be involved in the big business side of cannabis, other wise history is due to repeat itself. Educate yourself, find out about local laws, and measures on your ballots pertaining to cannabis possession and cultivation, look into the medical benefits of CBD and THC, understand the history of cannabis. History repeating itself may not always be a bad thing, as long as we learn and grow from our past then we are due to evolve and understand, just like the amazing plant we all love and cherish.