For years, marijuana growers, dispensaries and other businesses have spent much of their energy dodging legal inconsistencies in the system. Finally, some of these constraints are lifting. You might be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief, but in fact, there’s still a lot of work ahead to change cannabis’ image in the mainstream.
Support for medical marijuana is strong, even among some conservatives, but its recreational use still exists in a murky gray area. Unless you live in one of the country’s pot-friendly hubs, chances are, you’re going to come up against a lot of misunderstanding about using cannabis for anything other than a serious medical condition. One of the biggest hurdles facing ganjapreneurs today is moving cannabis out of the pothead/lazy stoner image into a more realistic representation of today’s cannabis consumers.
In a recent Ganjapreneur interview, investor Douglas Leighton mentioned that one thing setting ganjapreneurs apart from people in more well-established industries is “the passion for the industry as an entirety, and the desire to propel the movement forward… the people in this space want to educate that section of the population on why this plant can help so many people.” Education — through blogs, industry white papers, and responsible marketing — may be where new business owners decide to focus their efforts.
But how exactly is this to happen? Cannabis has not taken a mainstream route in its journey to legitimacy and it needs innovative visionaries to help educate the public as it emerges into the viable spheres of business, medicine and lifestyles.
One example of an entrepreneur attempting to bridge the gap between medical and recreational marijuana is Miz D’s Project. Miz D developed the “cannatherapy concept,” and it has been growing into a grassroots movement based on self-healing and an individualized program. Cannatherapy treats marijuana as a complete experience, only to be mindfully approached. With cannatherapy, the individual experience is stressed, and Miz D encourages new consumers to try it on their own as a tool for introspection rather than in a social, partying atmosphere. As well as her boutique in Vancouver, Miz D offers a series of podcasts geared to educate cannabis beginners.
Other innovative businesses like Danielli Martel’s cannabis-themed Primal Wellness spa in Englewood, Colorado and Denver-based artist Heidi Keyes who offers “cannabis friendly” art classes help the public see cannabis in a new light.
Social and political stigmas can be erased. It takes vision, education, and the commitment to challenge popular misconceptions.
Photo Credit: M a n u e l
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