The Cannabis plant has a rich and dramatic history, reaching back to an era in the United States when smoking weed was illegal, and anything involved in its sale or purchase could result in jail time. During the 1960s, transactions were shrouded in secrecy, and plastic bags holding joints were passed between strangers, often on street corners or in dark apartments. Only in 2014, when Colorado became the first state to permit the sale of pot for recreational use, did the marketplace begin to change. Now, with 37 states making the medicinal use of cannabis legal, and another 19 the recreational use legal, has the sale of this mind-altering substance come out in the open. Shoppers browse the well-lit aisles of gleaming shops, considering the purchase of pre-rolls or vapes sold in state-of-the-art packaging. The floodgates have opened. In a sense, the times in which we live can be seen as similar to the end of Prohibition in 1933, in which the entire US population was once again permitted to enjoy alcoholic beverages.
In this atmosphere, Canada has assumed a pivotal position. Ever since Canada’s legalization of cannabis in 2018, our northern neighbor has become the largest single exporter of cannabis flower and oil in the world, with the market expected to expand beyond $8 billion. Within this environment, one company has taken steps to keep pace with exploding sales, setting up a network of more than 125 retail shops throughout Canada and the US. Called Canna Cabana, the chain offers a variety of strains of cannabis, in different forms, including flower, pre-rolls, and edibles. To many shoppers, the chain has become known as the ‘Costco of Cannabis,’ and they attest to the fact that the chain’s product is both high quality and less expensive than what is sold in other marijuana dispensaries.