Jeff Weaver sees the cannabis industry maturing and changing. File photo

Rossland retailer Jeff Weaver: cannabis industry will see more change, acceptance

Here come the 2020s: Castlegar News asked local leaders to offer their thoughts on the new decade.

A decade ago Jeff Weaver’s business was illegal. Now, the cannabis retailer manages four outlets in the Kootenays. Here’s what he sees coming for the industry.

I don’t think anyone can fully realize what change will be coming our way 10 years from now in the Cannabis Space. This industry is already moving at a breakneck pace.

I think the mediocre-to-poorly-grown black market will be a thing of the past, or will be contained to personal grows. The black market will of course be ever-present, but they will cease to have the price advantage they have currently. The cream will rise to the top and most illegal growers with serious talent and business sense will have moved into the legal sphere and started brands of their own. I think that will be the only way folks in the black market will be able to compete with the legal market.

By the time 10 years have rolled by, we will not be talking about “indica” or “sativa” strains any longer. It will be terpene profiles and the entourage effect that will dictate people’s choices. As we learn more about this amazing plant, and all the incredible medical research that will now be allowed, we are going to learn all kinds of benefits that CBD and THC have for the medical and recreational market.

Certainly the big intellectual property fights will come over who has the best genetics. Also, costs associated with indoor grow operations (currently three per cent of California’s power grid is utilized by indoor grow operations) will be a huge consideration as companies try to find ways to keep their costs down as energy costs continue to go up. Sun-grown indoor operations may be the future.

Pot might not be sold in corner stores in cigarette packaging just yet, but our windows will not be covered, children will be able to accompany their parents inside a legal establishment, and the stigma associated with its use will be no longer any different from alcohol.

I’m not a producer, so I can’t really comment on the products that will be available. However, I believe technology will have grown to the point that we should hopefully have a more foolproof method to smoke the product without the health impacts. I expect oils and concentrates will be a large part of that growth and change, but herb vaporizers are already able to heat up in 10 seconds, so I think they will also be considered indispensable.

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