Opinion: The Pandemic Has Solidified Cannabis as a Legitimate and Essential Industry

Jurisdictions across the country have deemed cannabis an essential service alongside medical offices and grocery stores. That has given the industry an air of legitimacy it hadn’t quite enjoyed before.

Paul Armentano, writing in CalMatters, says the pandemic has solidified marijuana’s place “as part of the mainstream fabric of America.”

Armentano Notes that Americans have largely been receptive to the idea that cannabis is an essential service. They are aware of its many therapeutic benefits. In the same vein, when states and local jurisdictions bestowed “essential” status on cannabis, they endorsed a truth long denied by the federal government.

In short, regulators’ actions acknowledge that for many Americans, and for chronically ill patients especially, cannabis is not some alternative on-the-fringe therapy option, but rather an essential medicine – one that must be recognized and protected accordingly, particularly during a time of crisis.

For decades, federal officials have refused to make this same acknowledgment. Instead, they have maintained their “Flat Earth” assertion that cannabis is without any therapeutic utility whatsoever.

In recent weeks, the actions of state governments and regulators have exposed the federal government’s scientifically bankrupt stance. In the coming months, federal officials will have little choice but to rethink their position. Indeed, the rest of America already has.

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