In 1996, California became the first US state to legalize cannabis for medicinal use. It was a watershed moment in the history of the drug. Although historically, cannabis had been used across the world for its well-documented health benefits, in the US, it had long been criminalized and associated with deviants.
In 2016 the Golden State went one step further and also legalized the recreational use of cannabis. With more and more people using cannabis to ease depression, relieve anxiety, stabilize moods, and help with a host of health ailments, California based cannabis manufacturers, such as Truth Enterprises, cannot grow and distribute the magical weed quickly enough. We took some time out with Truth Enterprises co-founder Sean Smutny to discuss the future of the industry.
Q: Hi Sean, it doesn’t seem so long ago that it was a criminal offense to grow and distribute cannabis. Do you ever feel lucky you were born in the right place at the right time?
A: (Laughs!) Sure. I’m Cali born and bred and was about 11 when cannabis was first legalized. I’ve always been fascinated by the plant, and when my two good friends and I first heard that California was going to give out cultivation licenses, I took a huge risk, purchased a property, and hoped for the best. It paid off. I got my first license 15 years ago, and the company now owns multiple cannabis licenses in distribution, cultivation, and manufacturing.
Q: You formerly owned a clothing line (Rebellious Wealth) and graduated with a business degree from California State University. How much has that helped benefit Truth Enterprises?
A: Oh, massively. Because I work in an industry that was once illegal, people are still getting used to thinking of it in terms of a legitimate enterprise. There have always been many hurdles and obstacles to overcome, but the bottom line is that it’s a business like any other and the same rules apply. You have to remember alcohol was also once illegal in the States and now look at how much revenue it generates each year.
Q: So, the future is looking bright for the cannabis industry?
A: Oh, for sure. More and more US states have legalized cannabis, and the stigma surrounding the drug is slowly fading away. In fact, cannabis legalization is going global, and the CBD product market is getting stronger all the time. The rest of the world is becoming wise to what cannabis users have known for centuries – it’s a miracle plant that’s beneficial to your health, alleviates stress, and helps you relax. What’s not to like?
Hitesh Sharma is a writer and an artist who is on a mission to make this world a better place to live in. He writes on entertainment space with more clarity and courage to cover those things that are hidden behind the unsung heroes.