By Alex Robles
The rise of the legal cannabis industry has had a major impact on cannabis culture. In many ways, the growth of this industry has led to the slow demise of traditional cannabis culture.
One of the key aspects of this culture is the sense of community that exists among those who use and appreciate the plant. For many people, the use of cannabis isn’t just about getting high, but also about the social connections and relationships that are formed through shared experiences with the plant. This sense of community is often tied to the underground or outlaw nature of cannabis use, which has long been associated with counter cultural movements and the rejection of mainstream society.
However, the legal cannabis industry has brought with it a gigantic shift in the way that cannabis is perceived and consumed. As more and more states have legalized the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, the plant has become increasingly mainstream and acceptable. This shift has resulted in the growth of a highly regulated and commercialized cannabis industry, which is focused on profit and efficiency rather than the community and culture of cannabis use.
As the legal cannabis industry has grown, it has started to replace the traditional networks and communities that have long been associated with cannabis culture. Dispensaries, for example, have become the primary source of cannabis for many people, rather than the underground markets and connections that were previously used. This shift has led to a loss of the personal connections and relationships that were central to cannabis culture, and has made the plant more anonymous and transactional.
In addition to the loss of community, the rise of the legal cannabis industry has also led to the erosion of the outlaw culture that has long been associated with cannabis use. As cannabis has become more mainstream and acceptable, it has become less associated with rebellion and nonconformity. Instead, it has become just another consumer product, subject to the same market forces and regulations as any other. This shift has stripped cannabis of much of its counter cultural significance, and has led to a loss of the rebellious spirit that was once a defining feature of cannabis culture.
The way I see it, the legal cannabis industry has led to the loss of community and outlaw culture, two key elements of traditional cannabis culture. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it is likely that these losses will only become more pronounced, leading to a further erosion of the unique culture that has long been associated with cannabis.