‘Does it feel crazy to watch cannabis go truly mainstream?’
This is what Gary Vaynerchuk (AKA GaryVee) — author and CEO of Vaynermedia — asked Cypress Hill, a hip-hop band, in a video over the weekend.
Back in the 90s, when cannabis was an off-limits topic, hip hop artists often spoke about it in their lyrics.
In particular, the group Cypress Hill played a huge role in embracing cannabis in their songs with hits like ‘Insane in the membrane’ or ‘I wanna get high’.
As GaryVee put it:
‘These guys created the framework of what the mid 90 and late 90 and early 2000 guys and gals talked about…You extended the rubber band…when you love what you do and when you see it, and do it, you can stretch the rubber band and it gives you permission to fill that bag. That’s what you guys did for cannabis, marijuana, weed.’
After 20 odd years of literally singing the praises for cannabis…and getting the rap for it, it is finally paying off. As band member B-Real told GaryVee:
‘It feels great because all the sacrifices that we made in talking about it in the music because when we started it was taboo. Especially in hip hop[…] we had opportunities leave the table because of our politics and our stance on cannabis and stuff like that. So, to see it now come to fruition, everything that we’ve thought could happen and we believed could happen. […]
‘You had reggae artists like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and all those guys, those legends they were championing the cause but, I don’t think reggae hit mainstream the way hip hop did and I think that was our power is that we had mainstream success with our brand of hip hop that actually had the legalization politics in it.’
Hip-hop and cannabis have a long history together. That’s why some artists in this genre have been investing in this space for years.
Now, with legalisation happening, those investing early could stand to make big money.
B-real has opened his own weed dispensary called Dr Greenthumbs — named after his cannabis grower alter-ego.
More famously, rapper Snoop Dogg has been investing in cannabis for a few years now. Back in 2016 he teamed up with Canopy Growth Corporation to produce his own line of weed products, which include edibles like chocolate and candy.
He even has a strain named after him, Snoop’s Dream, which also has medical uses.
The truth is that the world is seeing a wave of legalisation.
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Canada’s cannabis demand is through the roof
Uruguay was the first country to legalise. Canada has started sales this year.
In the US, while cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, more states are legalising.
The latest US state to legalise is Michigan, who approved recreational weed and will start sales some time next year.
Missouri and Utah have also legalised cannabis for medical use.
The US is in the middle of an opioid epidemic. US President Donald Trump has declared the crisis a national health emergency.
Opioids have become more common in recent years as doctors prescribe them to treat chronic or severe pain. But they are highly addictive.
Some studies are even looking at the association between cannabis legalisation and decreasing opioid deaths in states that legalise cannabis. One of the most common reasons why people use medicinal marijuana is to treat chronic pain, the same reason for taking opioids.
In Canada, sales started this year.
Canada is an early mover in this space. According to Bloomberg, the cannabis industry is already struggling to get workers.
As they reported:
‘Aphria’s experience underscores the swelling demand for labor in Canada’s five-year-old cannabis sector, where openings have tripled in the past year to 34 out of every 10,000 job postings, according to employment search engine Indeed.com.
‘Canada’s licensed producers employed about 2,400 workers at the end of 2017, according to Statistics Canada, and BMO Capital Markets estimated that industry employment was around 3,500 people when legalization took effect in mid-October.
‘Between them, eight of Canada’s largest cannabis companies are now actively recruiting for approximately 1,700 positions, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Many companies say they expect that number to grow as they expand production facilities after Canada legalized recreational marijuana in October.
‘There’s been a spike in postings for jobs at cannabis growers and retailers. And next year will see even more demand for labor as Canada expands the number of legal cannabis products to include edibles and concentrates, said Alison McMahon, founder and CEO of Cannabis At Work, a recruitment and training site.’
And Canada is already dominating the space.
Those who invest early in this nascent industry could stand the make the most.
Editor, Markets & Money
PS: There has never been a better time to invest in cannabis. For a ‘special recommendation’ on a marijuana play, click here.