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What Are the Biggest Problems the Cannabis Industry Has Yet to Solve?

It's not just banking and accessibility, although those are two issues.

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This story originally appeared on Cannabis.net

The legality of cannabis is steadily growing all over the world and this is a good thing. On the flipside, with a larger cannabis industry forming – we are seeing new problems arise.

This begs the question, “what are some of the biggest problems” we need to solve for the cannabis industry?

In this article, we’ll be exploring some of the common problems the cannabis industry is still facing and is desperately looking for a solution.

Granted – some of these problems might not be exclusively a “cannabis thing”, but if the cannabis industry were to solve these issues – it could have impact on other industries.

So let’s take a look.

RELATED: Cannabis Has a Waste Problem. Here's How to Combat It.

Single use plastic

One of the side effects of overregulation is an excess amount of single-use plastics. These plastics are at the forefront of our “public pollution problem” and is partly the reason why there’s a giant mass of plastic floating in the ocean.

What constitutes single use?

Virtually all packaging in plastic that gets trashed right after use qualifies as single use plastics.

Within a heavy regulated market like cannabis, there are specific requirements that increase the presence of these plastics. For example, creating childproof packaging requires more plastic.

The issue here is that this problem isn’t solely exclusive to the cannabis industry. We have a very deep “love” for plastic in the modern world and while there are solutions being worked on – we haven’t found something that can scale as well as plastic.

We are seeing some interesting options with mycelium and while “recycling” does feel good – the fact of the matter is that it’s not nearly as effective as you’d think it is.

RELATED: Banking Problem? What Banking Problem?

Banking

This is currently at the forefront of “industry problems” that only Congress can solve. With the Koch’s entering into the cannabis lobbying game – this could change in the near future, however the “cash only” business model creates a lot of potential hazards.

If you pile a bunch of cash into one place, it will attract unwanted eyes. Due to the federal prohibition of cannabis, these legitimate businesses cannot participate with regular banking protocols.

In other words, the cannabis industry has been forced to be a “cash-only” industry. Of course, there have been some workarounds, but banks are reluctant to work with these businesses due to the federal money laundering laws attached to cannabis.

Perhaps a bit of lobbying can sway things in favor of permitting cannabis banking in the near future.

The high pay wall

We have politicians scrambling to find solutions for more “equitable weed practices”. In other words, they would like to have a more diverse group of people participate in the market.

Yet, in order to do this, you need to lower the pay wall.

Most people who were disenfranchised by the war on drugs do not have the startup capitol of hedge funds, and when politicians require a million different things for the legal sale of cannabis – the costs become too high for the “average person”.

I have already suggested we create different licensing systems which would allow small business owners a low bar of entry up until $1,000,000 in annual revenue. Beyond this, you can start slapping on “corporate marijuana licenses” which would be how things are being run today.

If you want a more diverse crowd, it’s time we “farmer’s market” cannabis as well. Create a cozy sub-industry of home growers. You’d think “everybody would be growing” but to be honest – most people are too lazy to grow their own weed.

Especially since the yields are often times not what you expect.  Furthermore, within a market where many people can compete, quality always tends to be the winner.

Over-regulation

With the novelty of cannabis legalization hitting the world – policy makers are trying to cover all their bases. As a result, they overregulate the market.

What happens then is you see an increase in price, which is passed on to the end consumer. When the end consumer realizes that it’s simply more cost effective to continue to buy on the black market – the black market continues to thrive.

Some opponents of cannabis look at this as a “failure” of legalization, however – if we have decent regulations that protect the end consumer and don’t try to “nanny state” the industry – we may have more competitive legal prices, which would eventually compete with the black market.

However, we have politicians looking for a money grab and cannabis seems to fit the bill. I’m not sure how this will be solved by the industry.

Accessibility

Unlike alcohol, which can be purchased in major retailers like Walmart – weed is still only available at licensed dispensaries.

Of course, this will probably solve itself as the commercialization of cannabis continue to grow. You’ll begin to see beverages, foods, etc appear in these larger retailers – and we know that Amazon is also eyeballing the industry nowadays.

One day you’ll be able to buy a preroll in a 7/11.

Better grading systems

Currently people buy “Indicas, Sativas, or Hybrids”. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about flower, oil or anything else.

The fact of the matter is that this is ancient terms that need to be updated. We need to have terpene profiles added into the labeling, knowing that there’s X amount of a specific terpene will help you decide the effect of the strain.

This is something that the industry will have to work on and will undoubtedly become a “thing” in the next 10 years or so.

For now, people will still be buying in these rudimentary terms, even though they are dated and requires an urgent update.

As we research the plant more, this will become clear.

What are we missing?

I’m sure that there are plenty of other issues we still need to look at, feel free to add your suggestion in the comments!