Weed has officially gone mainstream—and the green is rolling in. Even with federal prohibition still in place and an unapproving administration in Washington, D.C. (where the herb is legal in a gray area sense of the word), nine states currently allow for recreational marijuana use and another 30 allow medical use.
In 2017, the blossoming business brought in nearly $9 billion. According to CNN Money, the opening of California’s legal weed market could potentially boost national sales up to $11 billion by the end of this year, a total they place as surpassing the entire snack bar industry (i.e. granola bars, cereal bars etc.). Investors are taking notice too, including Billionaire investor Leon Cooperman, Mick McGuire’s Marcato Capital, Corona Beer’s parent company Constellation Brands, who have plans to brew a “weed beer,” and even our own Gary Vaynerchuk, who recently acquired a 50 percent stake in a cannabis-focused marketing and branding agency called Green Street.
So what does this mean for you? For starters, it’s never been safer to light up if you live in a city where legalization, or at least decriminalization, is being given the green light. As prohibition is being lifted by individual states across the country year after year, so are some long-lasting stigmas, including parents openly smoking more of, or even investing in weed. So is now the perfect time to starting lighting up with mom and dad? It just might be.
Growing up, you likely received a firm talking-to from Mom and Dad about why you shouldn’t mess with grass—even if, behind closed doors, your parents were doing just that. But now, some parents are entertaining creative ways to get into the weed economy to make ends meet, or they’re simply investing in dispensaries or weed stocks to boost their annual income.
In 2017, Yahoo News and the Marist Poll surveyed more than a thousand adults in America and found that 54 percent of cannabis users were parents, a number that’s likely to rise. They also found that almost half of those puffing parents had consumed it in front of their kids or with them.
Now, if you’re a parent with young kids, should you smoke with them? Definitely not! That’s bad, man. But if your kids are old enough, according to the age of legalization in your state (usually 21, like drinking), then a little smoke sesh just might be the key to making your familial bond stickier than ever. A Mic article weighed the pros and cons of smoking with your parents, and brought up the point that doing so can add a more humanizing, down-to-earth vibe to your relationship. “Smoking weed with our parents helped her see them more fully and get to know them as "real people, not just mom and dad,” an interviewee in the story said. They also touched on how smoking brings parents back to their fun-loving youth in front of their kids—far better than a gin and tonic and Fleetwood Mac CD I would say. For some who might have parents who look down on weed, and who have preached that it will make you do terrible, unholy things, perhaps seeing their kids smoke—and not lose their minds but instead be totally chill—could help reverse some of their outdated opinions on the plant.
If you’re a young person reading this and you’ve discussed taking part with your folks but feel timid, confused or just plain freaked out by the concept, read on. It’s going to be fine.