Beth Schwartz – Editor
The verb 'to trend' means to develop or change in a general direction. Since 2020 was seemingly the year of the pivot, I would say the way our lives changed from day to day made it a trendsetting year. Since some trends spread like a virus, it is ironic that a virus is exactly how the cannabis industry experienced a trending sales boom in 2020.
This begs the question: Is cannabis’ meteoric rise in use merely a trend resulting from pandemic living or is it here to stay? Let us review how we got here. Since the pandemic started more than a year ago, there have been 33.1 million cases of Covid-19 in the U.S. and 590,000 deaths, according to New York Times reporting. However, researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimate Covid deaths have been underreported and the number of Americans who died from the virus is more than 900,000.
Those statistics are harrowing to think about. Loved ones seemingly snatched away from their families and friends by an invisible force that snuck into their lives with the ease of an innocent cough or sneeze. Sometimes unwittingly passed onto them by their own loved ones. This has resulted in an excess of trauma, death, and grief suffered by too many to count during the last year. And that is just one facet of Covid.
There is also the mental toll that accompanies a pandemic. Specifically, burnout, stress and anxiety that leaked into our lives from all directions as a result of working remotely, home schooling remotely, and socializing remotely. With our lives upended overnight, it is not a wonder that the vices industries not only saw a tremendous uptick but have thrived during the pandemic.
“Americans purchased $18.3 billion in cannabis products over the past calendar year, $7.6 billion more than the $10.7 billion in sales the previous year,” cited Leafly in a December 2020 report compiled from marijuana state tax and revenue records.
The use of cannabis to combat the detritus of Covid and side effects of pandemic burnout is one of the biggest trends to have entered American life during the last year. Across the board, the cannabis industry enjoyed a pandemic swell of sales as people turned to marijuana as a coping mechanism for burnout. Burnout is defined as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” The term itself has become popularized within the last year after the World Health Organization categorized burnout as a “syndrome.”
In a survey conducted in October 2020 by marijuana dispensary operator Verilife, 72% of respondents said Covid was the number one cause of stress and burnout in their lives, and that 40% of these participants said they used cannabis to cope. Verilife’s survey showed of those who consume cannabis, 93% say it helps relieve symptoms of burnout. Among those who do not consume cannabis, 29% say they have considered consuming cannabis to ease burnout.
The uptick in cannabis consumption is just one trend we have witnessed over the last year. Other trends that entered the cannabis space have been micro-dosing (pg. 18) and the rise of delta-8 (pg. 16). As well, there has been a growing acceptance of cannabis across the U.S. to such a degree that we should not expect the use of nature’s most abundant coping mechanism to subside as quickly as coronavirus does.
Educate with a more informed understanding of the benefits of medicinal cannabis
When we decided to start Elevate Nevada it was a result of a wholehearted belief that an instrumental component of the medicinal cannabis debate was missing from the overall discussion. The stigma of cannabis was preventing people, who are/were suffering with major diseases or general illness, from learning about and trying marijuana alternatives that would aid in healing their bodies in an all-natural way.
We believed the market was missing a forum for discovering the positive aspects of medicinal cannabis. We wanted to create this publication to better educate the community about medicinal marijuana as another option to combat pain and illness — specifically an option that is all-natural and removes the toxicity of pharmaceuticals from the equation. In today’s world, doctors prescribe medicinal cannabis as a treatment for everything from sleeping disorders, aches and pains to PTSD and the effects of medical treatments such as chemotherapy.
With Elevate Nevada we endeavor to create a resource that presents the educational aspects of medicinal cannabis — a subject that is rapidly gaining interest in Nevada. This interest stems from the fact that as of this year, state law allows for legal dispensaries as well as the cultivation and testing of cannabis for treating medical conditions.
Our motivation to start Elevate Nevada also came from personal experience. Several of the Elevate team had family members who suffered from diseases and could have experienced great relief if medicinal cannabis had been legal and available to them. When you care about someone and are watching them suffer, every option is on the table and so we wanted to create a forum for people to investigate the option of medicinal cannabis and make informed decisions for the sake of their loved ones.
We hope you leave this site educated and with a more informed understanding of the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
Guy Bertuzzi – Publisher
Socrates so sagely said: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”
Change is here and I honestly never thought I would see cannabis, marijuana, dope, weed, pot, grass or whatever you like to call it become legal in my lifetime. But here we are Nevada–breaking ground and building the new.
For the people who are still on the fence or on the other side of the fence about the legalization of cannabis, this is your chance to understand, educate yourself, explore and learn the powers of the healing properties of this plant. Even though we use verbiage like recreational and adult-use, cannabis is still preventative medicine. Just in the last few weeks I have experienced its medicinal benefits.
In my recent travels around the state getting to know people in the industry, I was lucky enough to meet Marina and Jackie from CBD for Life, which is a line of cannabidiol (CBD) infused pain management and beauty products. elevate editor Beth Schwartz swears by CBD for Life products, remember the line from our January 2016 cover? Beth was so delighted with the results of CBD her enthusiasm resulted in the headline: “Forget smoking cannabis, we should be smearing it all over our bodies.” It was my turn to try the wonders of CBD topicals and golly gee whiz Beth was onto something. (Editor’s note: Just shaking my head over here.)
I decided to try it for an issue that has plagued me my whole life from when I was 13 years old and chunks of my scalp were falling out. Kids were making fun of me and teasing me that I had lice. I didn’t have lice, it was the beginning of a lifelong battle with psoriasis, which is on several areas of my body including my elbows and hands.
Until recently people would ask me why I had white paint on my elbows, that’s how severe psoriasis affects me. I was telling Jackie about my psoriasis and how it makes me feel a little insecure, and because I had tried everything I was doubtful anything, including CBD, would work. Jackie instructed me to loofah my problem areas and use CBD for Life’s face and body cleanser and lotion several times a day. She was right! My psoriasis looks better than it ever has–well, there’s really not much to see anymore just fresh pink skin. CBD doesn’t cure it, but you cannot see the flaky white skin, or traces of psoriasis on my hands or elbows right now.
Because it was such a transformative experience for me, I just sent my dad some Pure CBD for Life Rub for his arthritis, and he reported back, after being doubtful, that it is indeed helping. So, whatever your feelings are on Nevada’s laws and the legalization of cannabis, keep an open mind. Stop fighting the old and focus on the new because, and I hope you don’t, someday you or someone you love may need the healing benefits of cannabis.