Talk to anyone in and out of the marijuana business and the primary issue preventing its growth is the stigma associated with cannabis.
It affects everything from its status as a Schedule 1 substance, a prohibited drug on the federal level, and the image of those in the highly regulated industry, to the public’s perception of the plant and how municipalities deal with industry businesses.
“The stigma exists because of the 100 years of prohibition. Because Nancy Reagan told us just say no. Because we’ve locked up blacks and Hispanics at an alarming rate,” says Peter Barsoom, the founder of Nuka Enterprises. “It’s not going to go away overnight.”
It may sound simplistic to say that stigma is the root of the problems for the cannabis industry, but then read the definitions of stigma:
Dictionary.com: a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation.
Cambridge Dictionary: a strong feeling of disapproval that most people in a society have about something, especially when this is unfair.