History of Cannabis for Adult-Use

One of the first recordings of adult cannabis use, or recreational 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. At this point, cannabis has evolved from a criminalized drug to a proven, impactful treatment for a variety of medical conditions. Truthfully, we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of the potential that cannabis holds. We’re exploring the history of adult use and the benefits that have come from increased legalization.

What is ‘recreational marijuana”

First things first, let’s define what is considered adult use of cannabis. The coined term “recreational marijuana” describes the use of cannabis for enjoyment, not medical reasons.

Cannabis from the Past

The cannabis plant evolved in Central Asia and 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. Their fiber was used to make clothing, paper, sails, rope, and other products. For its many benefits, cannabis was widely grown in colonial America and at Spanish missions in the Southwest.

In the 19th century, marijuana was usually called by its formal name, cannabis. The term “marijuana” came into popular use in the U.S. in the early 20th century when the use of cannabis was linked politically to Mexican immigration 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.

Cannabis was outlawed in 29 states in 1931. Since then, lawmakers have villainized adult-use of cannabis. Despite efforts to tax and criminalize cannabis, it was still popular among musicians and artists throughout the 50s and embedded itself within hippie counterculture in the 70s. At this same time, in response to the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) sought to get minor marajuana offenses decriminalized and penalties for possession lowered and did so successfully in several states. The war on drugs in the 80s stirred a lot of negative perception and pushed more anti-drug legislation that cracked down on strict federal and state criminal penalties. Even during the “war on marjuana” in the 90s, public opinion on medical marajuana 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 were the first two starters to pioneer the legalization of adult use.

Pioneering Recreational Cannabis Industry

In 1969, Gallup reported that only 12% of Americans were in support of cannabis legalization. Today, 68% of Americans are supportive. 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, 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. Meaning, pre-roll brands like Dogwalkers that make a connection with their customer base have a really promising trajectory for customer loyalty. 

Pre-Rolls with a Purpose

Established in 2016, Dogwalkers sought to cultivate and dispense 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. Partnering with four animal rescue organizations and using a portion of profits to support animals in need, Dogwalkers re-invests in the community it serves.

Sustainable Practices and Success

Sustainability is also embedded into Dogwalker’s brand values. Big Dog pre-rolls are packaged in a paperboard carton made from organic material. The .35-g Mini Dog 5-pack is stored in child proof 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. After Dogwalkers pursued a comprehensive rebrand in 2019, they were recognized in the inaugural cannabis edition of the Clio Awards. They were awarded 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 get 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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