The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that Americans consume far more alcohol than cannabis. In a Colorado study, the CDC found that people who were alcohol-drinkers were more likely than non-drinkers to also consume other substances, including marijuana. Unlike alcohol, cannabis is not legal on a federal level in the United States. However, many are in support of legalizing medical marijuana.
Medical Applications of Cannabis Products
The use and legalization of cannabis are controversial subjects. Cannabis may be used for both recreational or medical purposes, which may be the reason why the substance has such a mixed public perception.
Although most people generally don’t perceive cannabis as a pharmaceutical drug, it can be prescribed for pain relief. It can be highly effective for chronic pain while being far less addictive and less prone to overdose than other pain-relieving substances.
Despite its medical efficacy, some doctors and medical professionals cannot shake their conventional perceptions of cannabis as a popular illicit drug. Those against cannabis legalization allege that the medical reasons to legalize cannabis are disingenuous arguments, where the ultimate motive is to simply make an already popular substance more readily accessible to more people.
The Economics of Cannabis Legalization
The controversial debate around cannabis legalization has opened up a discussion about why the substance is altogether considered more taboo or unhealthy than other legal and recreational substances, like alcohol and tobacco. Meanwhile, many Americans are replacing their recreational alcohol consumption with cannabis.
The economic argument to legalize cannabis is that the revenues of the blossoming industry should be capitalized upon as a source of tax revenue. From a regulatory standpoint, with a product so highly in demand, cannabis businesses should be allowed to operate in broad daylight as legitimate—rather than illicit—businesses. Many cannabis stores have sprung up as a result of existing growers establishing brick and mortar stores, or from new ventures that emerged as cannabis became legalized in certain states.
Unsettling legislation and ongoing controversy may not be the biggest threat to legal cannabis businesses—it’s theft. Many cannabis businesses are conducting security audits of their physical properties to understand how burglars might be able to break in and enter. Some are even hiring former military personnel for security.
Security Challenges of Cannabis Stores
Since cannabis is not legal at the federal level, credit card processors like VISA or American Express have policies against cannabis product transactions. As a result, most legal purchases are paid for entirely in cash. Many cannabis businesses may have large stores of cash, which is attractive to criminals. Further complicating the issue is the fact that some banks won’t accept deposits from cannabis businesses, meaning that they need to rely on their own vaults.
The liquidity of cannabis makes it easy for stolen goods to be resold in the illegal market. Cannabis growers and stores need their own security plans, rather than relying on local law enforcement. Access controls, alarms, panic buttons, security guards, security cameras, and emergency plans are some of the most important measures for cannabis businesses to take.