The Cannabis Green Rush: What Is It? Is It Over?

This article was originally published on WeedWeek, and appears here with permission.

The green rush is to marijuana what golden nuggets are to river panners – opportunity. As the legalization of cannabis have expanded throughout North America, so too have market caps and entrepreneurial spirit. Business owners and investors alike rushed to capitalize on marijuana as the legalized industry grew. But like any new industry, there are growing pains to endure. 

Learn about the history of North America’s green rush, how the bubble burst and what the future might entail for the industry of Mary Jane. 

What does Green Rush mean?   

The green rush refers to a period of widespread excitement and optimism in the cannabis industry, from investors to companies looking to cash in on what appeared to be a limitless opportunity. The term is a play on gold rush, likening the market conditions of marijuana to those of the gold industry when it was in its heyday in the 1800s. It is a term meant to convey the excitement and promise of budding industry. While there are always hiccups along any road to success, the cannabis industry is a source of hope and success for many people. 

History of the Green Rush

As with the gold rush of the late 19th century, the green rush started in California. In 1996, the golden state passed Proposition 215, legalizing the use and sale of pot for medical purposes. Although still illegal at the federal level, the move signaled to investors, entrepreneurs and consumers alike that the industry could be on its way towards legitimacy. Another landmark occurred in 2012, with the legalization of recreational use in Washington and Colorado. Today, the U.S. cannabis market is valued into the billions of dollars and provides hundreds of thousands of people with jobs. 

The green rush would not have been possible without the work of activists and advocates who helped push for legalization and to end thewar on drugs.  

Licensing during the Green Rush 

Throughout North America, cannabis businesses – including growing operations and dispensaries –  are required to obtain licenses before they can legally buy, sell, or produce marijuana products. Licensing requirements vary in both cost and nature, based on country and state. In California, for example, licenses are priced based on the projected value of the business …

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