It didn’t take long for roach clips and tie-dye to fade in favor of dabs and dubstep—that’s just how pot culture works. With more and more states legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, it’s no surprise that cannabis is becoming more mainstream in American culture—and that has ultimately changed what, how, and why people smoke.
But what can we expect from marijuana culture in the future? In this blog, District 8 will take a look at how marijuana culture will most likely evolve over the next few years, and how that impacts the marijuana industry and smoking as a whole.
The “Bespoke” Experience
There are certain people who want everything to be “fancy” and “bespoke”—and weed is no exception. We’ve already seen the emergence of luxury strains (District 8, anyone?) and high-end edibles on the market in Colorado and other legalized states, but that’s only the beginning—expect to hear more about terpenes, or the oils that give cannabis strains their signature aromas and flavor profiles, as marijuana becomes more widespread and marketable. Also, expect to see plenty of luxurious smoking locales, and even food and weed pairing events down the road. Can’t you imagine the industry developing a number of weed sommeliers, sniffing buds and waxing poetic in online reviews?
More Vaping and Dabbing
Nothing could ever replace good old marijuana buds—the tastes and effects will always be the go-to choice for those who love to smoke. (It does wonders for an oral fixation, too.) But smoking flower does have its downsides, especially when it comes to your health. Smoking plant matter of any kind can cause respiratory problems, allergies, and a bevy of other ailments—which is why a growing number of smokers are moving permanently to vaping, dabbing, and other less damaging forms of cannabis consumption. Vaping, for example, does not involve the combustion of plant matter at all—instead, it heats up flower to a temperature that extracts cannabis trichomes for all the high without the smoke inhalation. Dabbing attempts to solve this marijuana health problem by extracting THC and other cannabinoids using a solvent to create a sticky wax or oil that gets you really, really high in only a hit or two (or ten, for the most seasoned professionals). Not a bad choice for those who like to get super medicated without smoking a ton of plant matter and dealing with throat pain and other respiratory problems in the process.
While these cannabis forms already exist, the future will most likely offer more portable versions that are just as effective as the real thing—high-efficiency vape and dab pens that are cost-effective and easily accessible, for example. If getting high can become more portable, cheaper, and healthier, it’s probably going to happen in the future.
It seems so far away at the moment—after all, there are still plenty of state and federal officials, as well as American citizens, that view marijuana as “The Devil’s Lettuce.” However, that’s exactly how alcohol was viewed during the Prohibition Era in the United States, and we all know how that ended (*takes a sip of gin*).
Prohibition came to an end largely because of the emergence of illegal bootleggers and the enormous cost of enforcing Prohibition laws, and the same trends can be seen in the world of marijuana with a profitable illegal drug trade and a failed (and insanely expensive) “War on Drugs.”
States like Colorado have proven that the legalization of marijuana can have a positive impact on the economy—on a nationwide level, it makes a lot of financial sense. It could even cost the illegal drug trade billions of dollars in profits. With enough public support, why wouldn’t the nation eventually legalize?
Corporate Consolidation of Marijuana Businesses
When an industry begins to boom, big companies within that business begin to take control. Take the beer industry for example: with two large corporations holding a large percentage of the market’s total value, but craft breweries (and beers) becoming increasingly popular, it’s not a surprise that these corporations feel threatened by smaller and more innovative craft breweries. That’s when these corporations started buying out the craft breweries.
The marijuana industry doesn’t necessarily have any dominating corporations yet—but it’s only a matter of time until two or three companies take control and begin to eat up smaller, budding marijuana companies.
Emergence of “Craft Weed”
With that said, corporate consolidation is always met with some sort of public backlash—and that usually leads to the emergence of smaller business that refuse to be bought by larger, soul-sucking corporations. This is when “craft weed” becomes a staple in American weed culture. Smaller companies with new, interesting marijuana products and high quality “boutique strains” will become increasingly popular, especially with those who don’t want to give their money to big corporations. Plus, the quality of these boutique strains will most likely be much higher than that of larger corporations, who often lower the quality of their products and cut corners to increase profits.
Much like that amazing local IPA you get at your pub down the street, you’ll get to buy local or support small businesses when it comes to your marijuana, like The District 8!
A Redefinition of Pot Culture
From roach clips and tie-dye to dabs and dubstep, marijuana culture has changed quite a bit over the years—but where is the culture headed next? It’s hard to tell, but what we do know is that it’ll be much different than it was before. Maybe dabbing will become universally popular with stay-at-home moms, or maybe smoking lounges will become just as popular as bars in America culture. Whatever the case, cannabis culture will ultimately be redefined in some way as it becomes more widely used and accepted across the country.