Michigan was the first state in the Midwest to legalize cannabis for recreational use. The state voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2018 and began issuing licenses for retail stores in December 2019. Since then, there have been some positive developments.
Here at Green Koi, we fully believe in the world-changing power of cannabis. In this blog, we’re detailing just some of the reasons why. Follow along!
The Potential Health Benefits of Cannabis
First, let’s touch on just some of the potential health benefits of cannabis:
- Pain relief: The cannabinoids in cannabis are known to have a pain-relieving effect, which is why it’s often used as an alternative treatment for chronic pain.
- Mental health support: Studies suggest that cannabis can help with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues like PTSD by influencing your brain’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
- Cancer treatment: Research has shown that certain cannabinoids may be effective at killing cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed–making them potentially useful for fighting off tumors or slowing their growth rate without damaging vital organs like the lungs or kidneys like chemotherapy does!
Notably, Green Koi remains extremely loyal to the health benefits side of cannabis and, not only is one of the few organizations keeping their medical license, has partnered with Leafwell to make the med card approval and renew process easy and affordable.
Cannabis & the Economy
Next, cannabis has the potential to create thousands of jobs and bring in billions of dollars in tax revenue. The cannabis industry is already creating jobs at a rapid pace. According to the Metro Times:
“A new report shows that Michigan has the third-highest number of cannabis-related jobs in the country. There are literally more people working in the weed industry than there are police and firefighters in the state — which makes sense, considering how there’s seemingly a new dispensary cropping up every week.
The report shows there are 31,152 workers in Michigan’s cannabis industry as of January. The state trails behind only California, which has 83,607 marijuana-related jobs, and Colorado, with 38,337.”
This is particularly significant because many states have been struggling with unemployment rates above the national average for years now; if these numbers continue on their current trajectory, we could see an influx of new opportunities for Americans who need them most. The next step would be to make these jobs equitable, accessible, and prioritize people over profit.
The economic benefits don’t stop there: according to one study from New Frontier Data, legalizing marijuana would generate $131 billion annually in federal tax revenue alone by 2025 — enough money to fund Medicare-for-all five times over. Here’s to hoping those handling the money follow through!
Cannabis & the Environment
Thirdly, cannabis cultivation is rapidly growing in popularity as more and more countries legalize its use for medical and recreational purposes. However, the environmental impact of cannabis farming, and the industry as a whole, is often overlooked.
The energy needed for indoor cultivation can contribute to carbon emissions, and the use of pesticides and fertilizers can harm local ecosystems. However, there are ways to mitigate these negative effects, such as using renewable energy sources and organic farming practices.
Additionally, hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant, has the potential to be a sustainable alternative to traditional materials like cotton and plastic. It’s important to consider the environmental impact of cannabis farming and work towards sustainable practices for the industry’s continued growth.
To help fight the impact our industry is creating on mother earth, Green Koi has taken steps such as offsetting carbon emissions via our https://onfleet.com/blog/tag/onfleet-offset/ via OnFleet and providing plant-based non-consumable products.
Cannabis & Social Justice
Furthermore, the power of cannabis to change the world extends far beyond its ability to treat medical conditions, improve mental health and enhance the lives of those who use it. The plant is also being used as a tool for social justice around the globe.
Michigan has taken a unique approach to cannabis legalization by prioritizing social equity in the industry. The state’s cannabis laws include provisions to ensure that individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs have a fair chance to participate in the legal cannabis industry.
This includes expungement of past cannabis convictions, reduced fees for licensing, and a requirement for established cannabis businesses to provide mentorship and support to social equity applicants.
Michigan’s social equity program is a step towards addressing the systemic injustices of the War on Drugs and creating a more inclusive and equitable cannabis industry. It sets an example for other states to follow in their efforts to create a fair and just cannabis market.
Legalized cannabis has a number of additional benefits for Michigan, including:
- Reduction in incarceration rates:
The criminal justice system is often called the “new Jim Crow,” referring to its disproportionate impact on people of color. Legalizing cannabis would reduce the number of people imprisoned for drug offenses and allow police resources to be allocated elsewhere.
- Reallocation of police resources:
Police officers can spend their time investigating serious crimes instead of enforcing marijuana laws that have been demonstrated to have little effect on public safety or health when compared with other substances like alcohol and tobacco (which are legal).
- Reduced burden on court systems:
Criminal prosecutions for marijuana possession require substantial resources from prosecutors’ offices, defense attorneys and judges’ chambers alike — resources that could be better allocated toward prosecuting violent crime cases or ensuring access to justice for low-income individuals seeking civil legal services such as divorces or other legal proceedings.
While MANY cannabis organizations say they believe and participate in these ideals that is a farce. For all of Green Koi’s existence we have consistently teamed with social justice NPOs such as Last Prisoner Project and the Great Lakes Expungement Network.
Cannabis & Culture
Last but not least, cannabis has influenced art, music, literature, and religion for thousands of years. The plant’s psychoactive properties have been used to create some of humanity’s most famous works of art.
In addition to being a source of inspiration for musicians, artists and writers alike, cannabis also played an important role in shaping some of our most treasured pieces of literature.
Cannabis has also had an impact on film since its inception as an industry in the early 1900s. Many films feature scenes involving marijuana use or references to it; some even include characters who smoke weed throughout their entire movie!
Much of this has been popularized for all by the BIPOC community over the last century so if you aren’t hiring representation and adamantly supporting these communities – are you really for the culture?
Green Koi: Southwest Michigan’s Premier Med & Rec Cannabis Provisioning Center
As you can see: cannabis is a powerful plant, and it has the potential to change our world for the better. The above-mentioned are just some of the ways that cannabis can help people around the country and the globe.
If you’re looking to learn more about how cannabis can change your life or make an impact on society as a whole, check out our blog page!
*Always consult a physician before making any changes to your health or fitness regimen.