The past two decades have seen dozens of American states legalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. Cannabis has since proven to be one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, generating billions of dollars in sales and creating hundreds of thousands of new employment opportunities.
However, even though the United States is now home to thousands of legal cannabis businesses, the illicit marijuana market still thrives. Data shows that in 2019 black market sellers sold around $8.7 billion worth of cannabis in California, the country’s largest marijuana market compared to $3.1 billion worth of legal sales. Illegal cannabis cultivation has also significantly contributed to water depletion, pesticide and chemical contamination, and endangered ecosystems.
New Jersey governor Phil Murphy is now partnering with a coalition of major marijuana brands to launch a campaign encouraging consumers to buy from legal sellers and avoid the illicit market. Most cannabis consumers overwhelmingly purchase from black market sellers. Illicit cannabis tends to be several times cheaper than the legal options and doesn’t require consumers to fulfill any conditions before purchasing.
The Buy Legal campaign will be led by the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC), which includes companies such as Columbia Care, Canopy Growth, Cresco Labs, Wana, Curaleaf, Cronos Group and Viola.
The campaign was announced during the recent Black CannaBiz Expo in New Orleans. In a press release, Governor Murphy said that the state of New Jersey had established a “well-regulated adult-use cannabis market” since the plant was legalized in 2021. He noted that the illicit cannabis market was still alive and well, which put the consumers at serious risk of untested and unregulated products.
Murphy said that the Buy Legal campaign would provide resources that would help his administration protect local, regulated cannabis enterprises, ensure the safety of cannabis consumers and reinvest in communities.
USCC CEO Khadija Tribble said that marijuana consumers have to know where they can procure safe, high-quality, tested marijuana products. Furthermore, she said that minority marijuana business owners deserve the resources provided by such a national campaign to attract more consumers to their premises.
According to former NBA player and Viola CEO Al Harrington, the campaign comes at a transitional time when the cannabis industry can be leveraged to create generational wealth.
Anacostia Organics CEO Linda Mercado Greene says that she has become concerned with the number of unregulated businesses that do not strive to meet safety and testing requirements. Consequently, it is incredibly important that consumers are educated on the importance of purchasing legal, safe and regulated products from numerous licensed entities, such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC), which operate in different markets around the country.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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