Things I learned working in the marijuana Industry

Things I Learned Working in the Marijuana Industry (Source

I spent a short time working in the marijuana industry in Washington state. At a small medical marijuana access point in the suburbs of Seattle, I learned how the industry thrived in a gray market, and saw first-hand how full-scale legalization was debated back and forth among the people themselves, and between policymakers in Olympia. As Washington became the first state to vote in a legalization measure, simultaneously with Colorado, all of the old rules were thrown out the window. The bet has seemingly paid off as the federal government has allowed the states to dictate their own rules (so far), and the economic benefits to the states has been enormous. Entrepreneurs are making money, jobs are being created, and law enforcement agencies are conserving resources – which is good news for taxpayers. Still, the industry is up against some serious issues. Though the federal government hasn’t pulled the plug on legalization laws in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, the threat still looms. And business regulations are still keeping them in check, despite the fact that money from big businesses and venture capitalists is starting to find its way in. Now that the industry has more or less taken root, rapid change is bound to take place. Many other states are looking to legalize, and this year will likely bring the hopes of many voters to fruition across the country. All told, my experiences were positive – in fact, I could say that it was one of the more interesting and worthwhile jobs I’ve held. 

You probably imagine teenagers, old hippies, and tie-dye clad Gen-Xers frequenting marijuana stores and access points. The truth is, yes, those folks do make up a percentage of the customer base. But by and large, the people coming and going are not who you’d suspect.

Men in business suits, blue-collar guys, and even a good deal of stay-at-home moms and dads made up the majority of the faces that would come in. Most simply wanted something to help them deal with a specific issue – be it chronic pain, problems regulating appetite, etc. – and to get on with their day. They were normal, everyday people. I even had a former manager stop in one time.

One of the biggest reasons people oppose legalization is because they think marijuana poses a health risk. This is not really true, as cannabis has been shown to be much safer than many other perfectly legal substances, like tobacco and alcohol. Ironically, many people came to my shop seeking treatments for addictions to these legal substances, and others. People were trying to escape addiction from other substances with the medical properties of cannabis. Cannabis has been shown to treat addiction, and work as an alternative for people looking to get away from booze or other drugs. Even people trying to escape opioid addiction are trying cannabis as a treatment option.





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