Some suggest the legalization of cannabis is probably more a matter of “when” than “if” at this point. Among those who would benefit from widespread legalization of recreational cannabis sale and use, not many more would stand to gain more than the major players within the Big Tobacco industry. There are numerous reasons why that’s the case. Here are just a few.
It’s no secret that smoking isn’t as popular as it once was. In fact, some younger people may not even believe that smoking used to be allowed in places such as elevators and airplanes.
Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that smoking in the U.S. decreased from 20.9 per cent to 14 per cent between 2005 and 2019. From health problems like emphysema and heart disease to the fact that smoking has been banned in most public places, including bars and restaurants, it’s not surprising that tobacco smoking isn’t as popular as it once was in the U.S.
Not only does the cannabis market provide tobacco companies with a golden opportunity to expand its market, it does so without having to make any major adjustments. That puts many players within the tobacco industry in prime position to begin production within the marijuana industry once approval is received from a legislative standpoint.
Among the requirements for getting started with marijuana cultivation and production are a warm climate and the tools necessary for proper harvesting. The case is the same for the mass production of tobacco, which is why some major tobacco companies have set their sights on cannabis as their next frontier.
Along with having the resources necessary for production and distribution, tobacco companies are also used to navigating the processes that many cannabis retailers face upon their entrance onto the marketplace. Recreational retailers typically have to abide by strict regulations regarding aspects of their business, including marketing, where they can set up brick and mortar business operations, and health risks that have to be communicated to customers.
Those are many of the same challenges that tobacco companies have faced. With having previously dealt with many of the challenges that come with getting their products into the hands of customers, the tobacco industry may be better positioned to enter and dominate the recreational cannabis space than those migrating into the industry from other sectors.
It seems very likely that Big Tobacco will have a seat at the table when it comes to the recreational cannabis market, although one question remains: How much of the market share will Big Tobacco own? And how will this share compare to entrepreneurs representing communities where the War on Drugs has done irreparable damage?
Originally, many thought of recreational cannabis sales as an avenue for members of those communities to recoup damages incurred through mass incarceration for marijuana-related offenses, but the looming threat of Big Tobacco could determine whether or not those plans come to fruition.
The FreshToast.com, a U.S. lifestyle site that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.
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