Cannabis is a growing worldwide market, and at San Diego State, CannaClub hopes to take advantage of this business opportunity to educate consumers and industry hopefuls about the benefits of cannabis.
With the legalization of recreational marijuana in California in 2016, the industry has amassed over $4.4 billion in sales in just 2020 alone, according to Statista.com.
CannaClub president and SDSU senior Daniel Cordova speaks about how the club educates members on this continuously growing business market.
“We had a panel board earlier this semester with all types of cannabis people, we had people who focus in CBD (cannabidiol), from out of state, places where they don’t even have recreational cannabis,” Cordova said. ”We just wanted to see all the different nuances of cannabis, we teach people about all the nuances of a developing market cause cannabis is definitely not a mature market yet at all.”
CannaClub has held many events throughout the semester reflective of the club’s foundations of education, career development, and community. Events such as sound bath meditations and visits to a local marijuana manufacturing facility. CannaClub co-president and SDSU junior Emilio Estrada believes the firsthand experience the club offers can help introduce members to the cannabis market.
“I feel like also taking people to different field trips that we have…. where we go to grow ops (grow operations) and whatnot and we really try to just get everybody to see firsthand how the process works,” Estrada said.
Through discussion with their members, Cordova said the executive board is able to educate themselves on topics their community wants to learn more about. The club shares its research through presentations, infographics, and bringing resources related to cannabis, such as industry professionals or job opportunities.
In the years since legalization, cannabis has been able to bring new products to the marijuana market, making strides in both the medicinal and recreational uses of cannabis.
Lauren Skinner, a sophomore at SDSU and the community communication director at CannaClub, explained how some cannabinoid products can help ease new users into cannabis without the fear of experiencing anxiety or paranoia.
“A lot of people obviously know just about THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD but there’s a lot of other cannabinoids,” Skinner said. “People can smoke delta eight now, there’s delta nine, delta 10 – there’s all these different parts of it and I think it’s being more accepted with that kind of education cause it’s not just ‘oh I’m just getting high.’ It’s ‘I’m smoking a legal amount of this and this for this medical benefit.’”
By highlighting the medicinal benefits of Cannabis, CannaClub hopes to break the stigma surrounding Cannabis users. A stigma long supported by unjust marijuana laws which the American Civil Liberties Union says led to Black people being four times more likely than white individuals to be arrested for marijuana laws, even though studies show both races use marijuana at the same rate.
Estrada believes the club can help destigmatize cannabis and help people understand how it works as a medicine.
“You have to kind of approach it from a very educational standpoint. Like ‘hey, just because you smoke doesn’t mean that you’re lazy, just because you do this doesn’t mean you’re an underachiever,’” Estrada said. ”You can do anything that you want as long as you continue to push and really continue to understand how it works as a medicine and really helps people.”
Congress recently passed a bill to federally decriminalize marijuana. This could be a significant step in allowing greater access to cannabis across the country. Currently, only 18 states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana and 37 states have legalized it for medicinal use.