Marijuana and the Nightlife Industry

It would have been unthinkable 30 years ago, but as marijuana legalization continues to make inroads in some form or another in many parts of the world, many businesses are looking at the possible opportunities it offers. This is especially so in the United States, where different states find themselves progressing at differing speed toward full legalization.

One example highlighting this is the recently celebrated cannabis “holiday”, the unofficial celebration held every April 20th. Fortune reported that it was not just the marijuana business that enjoyed major returns around that day, but that even other businesses like bars and clubs enjoyed major gains from the celebration of 4/20. In sheer terms of foot traffic, reports show that there was a marked 8% increase among nightlife spots and 36% for liquor stores that day, all directly connected to the holiday.

Then there’s the 2017 Nightclub and Bar Convention held last March 27-29 at the Las Vegas Convention Center which made an unprecedented move with a panel discussion on the subject. Titled “Monetizing Cannabis”, the panel consisted of various businesses and bar owners delving into how cannabis can provide positive business and economic impact to their own sector. It became one of the most talked-about panels of the weekend-long event, especially among the over 30,000 international nightspot owners, operators, and industry professionals in attendance.  You can check out the whole discussion through the video below.

The panel highlighted the possible opportunities for nightclubs and bars that will benefit users of recreational marijuana, as well as the controls that can be set in place. For instance,”crossfading,” the act of combining alcohol and cannabis, was deemed to be too dangerous to promote. On the other hand, an initiative that originated in Denver, Colorado may be put into place wherein bar and restaurant owners and other business owners apply for permits to allow “bring-your-own” social marijuana use at their establishments.

In addition, the cannabis industry looks to the bar industry as a model, adopting a similar three-tier system: cultivators, manufacturers and retailers. As such, it was agreed that bars and other venues will need to find ways in which both industries can complement each other in the years to come.

As the landscape for marijuana continues to evolve in the coming years, the nightlife industry is striving to meet the challenges not only for the business but also for its patrons, whether they are cannabis users or otherwise. It will be interesting to see how these efforts will turn out as marijuana legalization continues to advance through various states of the country.

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