By Sean Williams
Legal weed is currently among the fastest-growing industries in North America. In just a span of two decades, this formerly taboo topic that few would discuss has become an industry expected to grow sales by 28% annually through 2021, according to ArcView Market Research. It’s also expected to create a lot of jobs tied directly to growing and selling cannabis, as well as indirectly through financing, packaging, marketing, and consulting.
At the heart of this growth is a major shift in the way the public views cannabis. In the U.S., five national polls over the trailing year have all demonstrated strong favorability — a range of 59% to 64% approval across those five surveys — toward the legalization of pot. Even folks who identified as Republican in the October 2017 Gallup poll showed a modest favorability toward legalization for the first time ever.
Interestingly enough, though, one group — and only one group — has consistently had an unfavorable view of recreational weed: seniors. Gallup’s polls have regularly shown that seniors aged 55 and up believe cannabis should remain illegal, albeit their collective dislike of marijuana has eased over the years. That’s what makes the latest National Poll on Healthy Aging from the University of Michigan all the more interesting.
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