With the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington fresh in the hazy minds of stoners nationwide, many are asking when their time will come. Yet, a few members of the marijuana community – from the yogi to the suit – seem to be concerned about what legalization and industrialization will do to marijuana culture.
Since its re-introduction in the late 50s, marijuana has been associated with a laid-back and dreamy state of being, an image seemingly free of the capitalist approach. Though legalization promises to reap great benefits — from creating a boost in the economy to the creation of thousands of new jobs — there is no denying that it will bring a distinct shift in both marijuana culture and stoner identity.
Evolution of the marijuana business is especially evident in Denver, Colorado, home to the Medicine Man dispensary. The company, co-founded by two brothers, Pete and Andy Williams, started out as a risky legal venture that turned into a successful full-blown family business. The brothers opened their doors in 2010 and soon transformed into one of the state’s largest dispensaries. Now, according to the Denver Post, they’re discussing about possible expansion in Colorado, a franchise in Las Vegas and even a hush-hush new system for growing only referred to as “the future.”
However, their immediate step seems to turn Medicine Man into the “Costco of weed.” The family business plans to take on a $2.6 million expansion and to create a 20,000 square-foot retail shop decked out “all in white like an Apple store.” With more than 70 strains available at competitive prices and Goliath-like ambitions, this upcoming “Pot-co” of sorts could be a telling sign about the re-branding of marijuana culture.
Picthx Medicine Man