The History of Cannabis Prohibition & Adult Cannabis Use in the US

Cannabis has evolved from a criminalized drug to an impactful treatment for a variety of medical conditions. We’ve just begun to scratch the surface of the potential that cannabis holds. We’ll explore the history of cannabis prohibition and usage, as well as the benefits that have come from increased legalization.

The History of Cannabis Use & Prohibition

The cannabis plant evolved in Central Asia. It was later introduced in Africa, Europe, and eventually the Americas. It was grown as an herbal medicine beginning around 500 BC. These early plants had very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They grew quickly and had many uses. They used their fiber, hemp, to make clothing, paper, sails, rope, and other products. Cannabis was widely grown in colonial America and at Spanish missions in the Southwest.

Who Was the First Person to Smoke Weed?

One of the first recordings of adult cannabis use was in 440 B.C. An ancient Greek writer named Herodotus recounted a nomadic Eurasian funeral ceremony tradition where they would burn cannabis flower and inhale the vapor to experience the mind-altering effects.

Cannabis Prohibition Began in the 19th Century

In the 19th century, marijuana was usually called by its formal name, cannabis. In the early 20th century, the term “marijuana” became popular in the U.S with increasing Mexican immigrants to the American Southwest. Anti-cannabis factions had an economic interest in decreasing hemp production, so using the term “marijuana” intended to create fear and stigma around the plant and those associated with it, pandering to anti-immigrant sentiments. In 1931, 29 states outlawed Cannabis use. Since then, lawmakers have villainized adult use of cannabis.

Cannabis Prohibition in the 60s + 70s

Despite efforts to tax and criminalize cannabis, it was still popular among musicians and artists and embedded itself within the hippie counterculture in the 70s. At the same time, in response to the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) sought to get minor marijuana offenses decriminalized and penalties for possession lowered and did so successfully in several states.



Cannabis Prohibition from The 80s Until Now

The war on drugs in the 80s stirred a lot of negative perceptions and pushed more anti-drug legislation that cracked down on strict federal and state criminal penalties. Even during the “war on marijuana” in the 90s, public opinion on medical marijuana use was changing for the better. It wasn’t until now that cannabis was able to dissociate from other addictive substances not approved for medical purposes. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first 2 US states to legalize marijuana use for adults 21 and over.

Growing Support for Legalization & Increased Demand for Cannabis

In 1969, Gallup reported that only 12% of Americans supported cannabis legalization. Today, 68% of Americans support it.

With the support for legal cannabis at the highest it’s ever been, cannabis consumers are expecting more from their dispensary. Cannabis industry trends are reporting that brands should expect an increased demand for consumer and brand alignment as well as sustainable packaging. Consumers want to share a common ground with brands and as a result, they are looking for transparency regarding their values. Additionally, consumers want to support brands that work sustainably and offer eco-friendly packaging. According to MJBizDaily, pre-roll, vape pen, and concentrate shoppers were particularly loyal to a singular category of cannabis products. Pre-roll brands like Dogwalkers that make a connection with their customer base have a promising trajectory for customer loyalty. 

Pre-Rolls with a Purpose: Dogwalkers’ Story

Established in 2016, Dogwalkers cultivates and dispenses quality pre-rolls to customers who prioritize authenticity and convenience. The founder of GTI took inspiration for the Dogwalkers brand from his four-legged friend, Bailey. Dogwalkers re-invests in the community it serves by partnering with four animal rescue organizations and using a portion of profits to support animals in need.

Sustainable Practices and Success

Sustainability is integral to Dogwalker’s brand values. Big Dog pre-rolls come in a paperboard carton made from organic material. The .35-g Mini Dog 5-pack comes in childproof tin-plated steel that is 100% eco-friendly. This launch was a game-changer that attracted occasional adult users. At the time, most pre-rolls ranged between 1-1.5g and consumers were seeking a shorter experience that would last just long enough for a walk around the block with their best pup. Within each tin contains an insert that shares its origin story and alludes to the animal shelters it supports. 

To better solidify Dogwalkers’ reputation as a leader in the cannabis industry, an upgrade to the packaging, messaging and logos was a must. Following a comprehensive rebrand in 2019, Dogwalkers achieved recognition in the inaugural cannabis edition of the Clio Awards. Dogwalkers received the Silver Award for the Brand Design in Packaging category. This conscious effort proved to be wildly successful, and Dogwalkers revenue more than doubled from the year prior. The months following the rebrand proved to be the highest volume earning months. 

Enjoy the Journey

The adult-use cannabis industry has just started to gain traction, and we intend to be a pillar of support for our community no matter how the market continues to evolve. Check out where you can buy Dogwalkers pre-rolls near you!

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