For decades, marijuana was an illegal drug all over the United States. Following a highly questionable campaign (which makes extensive use of racist attitudes and inaccurate “yellow journalism”) anti-marijuana advocates managed to get the herb banned nationwide in the 1930s.

In the 1990s, things began to change. California legalized marijuana for medical use, and some other states followed suit. Later, Washington and Colorado became the first two states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Suddenly, marijuana wasn’t an illegal drug: It was a whole new industry.

The marijuana business is a young one, and it faces all kinds of unique challenges. But it’s also growing at an incredible rate. Let’s take a look at what the future holds for marijuana.

New frontiers in the legalization battle

When it rains, it pours. It has been less than a decade since Colorado and Washington first legalized recreational marijuana, and already eight other states and the District of Columbia have followed suit. Others are poised to do the same: New York State, for instance, may be next. States are legalizing marijuana at a pace faster than one stat per year. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which the substance is legal everywhere. Meanwhile, entire countries, like Canada, are passing bills legalizing the plant.

All of this means that there are larger and larger markets for marijuana businesses — though, as we’ll see in a moment, there are also legal hurdles in the new industry. With so many new legal customers appearing as if by magic, it’s no wonder that the marijuana industry is growing at such a fast rate. Having unnaturally suppressed the markets for so long, state and national laws are now allowing the industry to spring forth with wild growth.

Legal considerations

Marijuana may be legal, but legal things can be very complicated. And if you’re going to start a marijuana business, you’ll need a lawyer, explain the law experts at McAllister Garfield.

Among the nation’s most respected marijuana law experts, the pros at McAllister Garfield know firsthand just how many legal hoops there are to jump through in the marijuana business. States like California and Colorado have welcomed legal weed, but they have also come up with all sorts of new regulations and rules regarding how marijuana can be grown, packaged, advertised, and sold. Staying compliant with the law requires business owners to be vigilant.

On top of this, national laws banning marijuana make many national institutions wary of getting involved. Acquiring a small business loan to start a marijuana company is extremely tough; acquiring a larger loan is nearly impossible. Instead, new marijuana businesses rely on private equity to get off the ground. Getting all of this set up properly while remaining compliant with all relevant laws is tough, which is why firms like McAllister Garfield are in such demand.

The drug of the future

Marijuana itself feels futuristic these days. Gone are the days when marijuana fans smoked nothing but cigarette-style joints; these days, you can use anything from a multi-piece bong to a high-tech vaporizer.

Design is at the heart of this. Good design balances aesthetics with a better user experience. And considering the fact that vaping is healthier than smoking in addition to being more convenient, it’s easy to see why marijuana users will continue to gravitate toward that option. We are also seeing an increasing number of products like edibles, CBD tinctures, THC extracts, and other processed forms of marijuana. These, too, allow users to enjoy a healthier experience tailored to their own priorities.

Marijuana looks different these days; it also makes a whole lot more (legal) money than ever before. But, in some ways, it’s the same as ever. The nation’s most popular recreational drug is clearly here to stay.