By Natán Ponieman via El Planteo.
Businesses that sell weed on the street? Cannabis stocks? What are you talking about?
Depending on what country you are in, the progress of cannabis legalization is in very different stages. Therefore, some readers may be stunned by the headlines on our site.
Here’s what it’s all about.
Legal Cannabis: A Reality
While in some countries cannabis legalization remains a fight yet to be won, in others it is widespread. Canada, for example, fully legalized the plant and its consumption in October 2018. This means that anyone over 18 years of age can buy, grow, consume and transport moderate amounts of marijuana (yes, even with THC) in a totally legal manner. Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize cannabis, a few years before Canada.
For the time being, only those two nations have fully legal cannabis, but many other countries have already come a long way in developing regulations that allow for different levels of legalization. Among them we can count Spain, Colombia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Israel and the United States.
The latter is a special example because, due to its federal system, many of its states already allow the cultivation and sale of legal marijuana to adults and medicinal patients.
What Are Dispensaries?
A dispensary is basically a legitimate business that sells marijuana.
In countries where cannabis is legal, consumers don’t have to buy their weed from a dodgy-looking guy in a dark corner, or sneakily plant it in the closet, away from their neighbors’ sight.
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Dispensaries are totally legal businesses where you can obtain information on weed strains, try different products (from flowers or buds to concentrates, creams, oils, and accessories) and buy the cannabis product that best suits your needs.
In fact, in Canada and several places in the United States – such as California and Colorado – you can even order marijuana online and have it delivered to your home, and it’s all 100% legal.
OK, And What Are Cannabis Stocks?
In countries where it can be bought and consumed legally, weed has become a multi-billion dollar business. This means that those who grow cannabis are not just amateurs doing gardening on their balconies, terraces and closets. There are huge companies dedicated to the cultivation, production, distribution and sale of marijuana products.
Some of these companies have thousands of employees and are valued in billions of dollars. Among them we can name Canopy Growth Corporation, Aurora Cannabis, Cronos Group, Aphria, Hexo, and Tilray.
Several of these companies have become so important that their shares are listed on the major stock exchanges in the world, such as NYSE or NASDAQ. In the same way that investors can buy shares of Apple, Amazon, Disney or PepsiCo, they can also buy shares and own a slice of these cannabis giants. Hey, even you can do it if you have some extra cash lying around!
RELATED: Why Canadian Cannabis Companies With US Operations Can Still List On NYSE & NASDAQ
In Canada and the United States, cannabis has become such an important business that, in 2021, more than 320,000 people are earning their salary from the sale of marijuana and associated services.
This industry does not just employ growers and sellers. A whole industry secondary to the production and sale of cannabis has developed, offering specialized marketing services, legal consulting, laboratory testing and development of customized software solutions.