There is no doubt that the US is experiencing a weed bubble, very similar to the tech boom that we are currently experiencing. Weed has never been more popular, nor has it ever enjoyed publicity quite like it is enjoying right now. There is of course one major thing that is holding the cannabis industry back from taking over and that is that cannabis is still a schedule I drug in the US. This could all change when the state of New Jersey legalizes cannabis, according to one CEO.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Peter Barsoom, CEO of Colorado based 1906 Edibles made his case for believing that New Jersey had the potential to be the Silicon Valley of the weed industry.
The east coast is expected to be entirely legal in the coming years. Weed is already legal in Maine, Massachusetts and DC. New York and New Jersey are both expected to legalize recreational cannabis in the coming months. Many of these Colorado, Washington, California based cannabis companies want to expand. Unfortunately the legal status of cannabis on the national level prevents them from doing this. Barsoom believes that Jersey legalizing will start a tidal wave of legalization.
Why New Jersey?
According to Barsoom, New Jersey has a different demographic of potential consumers than any of the west coast states that have already legalized. New Jersey, by virtue of being located just across from New York, is much more affluent and “high functioning”, as he put it. This, he says will help destigmatize cannabis use as something for young (poor) stoners. True, if not a bit harsh.
Another thing Barsoom points out is that New Jersey is home to some of the most prestigious universities and research facilities in the country. As such, if cannabis were to be legalized in Jersey, the potential for academic and scientific research on the subject could potentially be immense. In other words, New Jersey could become the center for cannabis research and technology, very much like Silicon Valley is in California.
Other advantages New Jersey shares is that it is right next door to New York. If cannabis were legalized in New Jersey, you can bet that it will be legalized in New York very shortly after. With the Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. refusing to prosecute weed cases, legalization in New York seems pretty inevitable anyway.
The last point that Barsoom makes is that New Jersey is different from California, in that cannabis is completely new to them. Other states, such as California have had a cannabis market for years; cannabis was legalized for medical use in 1996 and has been one of the biggest black market states for cannabis for years.
New Jersey is expected to legalize cannabis for recreational use as soon as a bill is passed and signed by New Jersey governor Phil Murphy.
Source: Rolling Stone
Featured Image Source: The Fresh Toast
Is Barsoom correct? Is New Jersey the new Silicon Valley for weed? Tell us in the comments!