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Crossroads: In the Future We Will Have...

Jan 01, 2018 09:47PM ● Published by Ricardo Baca

My friends who partook in the ’60s and ’70s have long waxed poetic about how things were back in the day—the awkward Pineapple Express-like encounters with drug dealers, the wildly varying levels of cannabis quality, the everyday objects repurposed as smoking apparati (apples, soda cans, foil-covered toilet paper tubes), the ritual sifting of seeds and stems, and the stressful searches for a hassle-free place to burn one.

No doubt, today’s post-prohibition reality seems like the future my friends thought they would never know. But if this is our modern reality in 2018—where legal marijuana is increasingly becoming the law of the land—what unpredictable cannabis future awaits us in 2025 or 2030?

HERE ARE A FEW FANTASIES IN MY CRYSTAL BALL :

We will have legitimate, peer-reviewed research to better understand cannabis.

In areas such as medicine, massage therapy, fitness, and other health-oriented realms, the lack of concrete studies on cannabis’ effects on the body continues to stymie real progress. For instance, in the fitness scene of the future, the performance-enhancing effects of cannabis will be well established, resulting in customized concoctions that have been dialed in to each athlete’s needs, available right next to the water and the protein bars. Meanwhile, a day at the spa would include consultations on the specific CBD oil or THC-infused
lotion that could target sore muscles or arthritic joints.

We will have modular car services that serve weed.

We’ll book the modular car of the future the same way we call a Lyft or Uber now, but there will be an option to choose a 420-friendly self-driving ride, with the pod arriving well stocked with prerolls, edibles, and other goodies, offering yet another welcome place for legal imbibing. With modular cars already in testing and production, it’s only a matter of time before someone figures out that they can be individually tailored for private, on-the-go toking.

We will have add-ons at the juice bar.

You want 10 milligrams of CBD in that PB Chocolate Love smoothie? No problem. How about a shot of limonene? That’s a boost we can get behind. In the Jamba Juice experience awaiting us around the corner, we see a whole roster of mind-altering options—in addition to the straightforward additions that are just as healing as the collagen, probiotics, and zinc currently on the menu.

We will have prerolls in the hotel minibar.

Sure, the mark-ups will be astronomical, but how sweet will it be to settle into your hotel room after a long flight and light up (on your room’s patio) without having to WeedMaps the nearest dispensary? Very. In our ideal vision, booking sites would already be offering pot-smoking rooms as an option, so it would be a given that the goods would be waiting for you, conveniently next to the salted almonds and Snickers bar.

We will have actual restaurants catering to cannabis consumers.

The connection between THC (and other cannabinoids) and our taste buds is well documented; it’s all about the release of hunger hormone ghrelin and the stop-I’m-satisfied hormone leptin, combined with the lighting up of the brain’s olfactory bulb and the increase in dopamine. And so it’s not all that far-fetched to fantasize about actual restaurants offering fine-tuned food-and-weed pairing menus. And yes, we know these experiences exist in LA pop-ups and Boulder farm-to-table one-offs, but let’s normalize this already and allow existing restaurants the ability to legally incorporate cannabis into their food and drink programs.

We will have vineyard-like tasting rooms at open-to-the-public pot farms.

Just as we can now swing by our favorite winery’s tasting room and pull up a stool at the counter to sample a few flights and nosh on a cheese board, cannabis farms one day will feature strain samples and snacks in the comfort and conviviality of their on-site smoking spaces. Oh, and check out the view: fields fleshed out with rotund indica shrubs and towering sativa trees as far as the eye can see.

We will have marijuana-specific lounges in American airports.

In the same way that a pre-flight drink is often a good idea, who wouldn’t appreciate the sedating effects of a solid indica-based edible taken just before a 14-hour flight, or a quick smoke to take the edge off before spending five hours cross-country with a screaming baby? Because we’re dreaming big: These would be dedicated spaces separate from cigarette-smoking lounges and bars, with state-of-the-art air filters, entertainment and snacks. Imagine how much better those long layovers would suddenly be, too, especially augmented by video game consoles, constantly streaming movies and other fun distractions, along with Coaster Call-type pagers pre-set for your flight’s boarding time.

 

We will have expanded experiential entertainment.

Escape rooms have long been a regular go-to for folks looking to challenge their cannabis-enhanced (or -ad- dled) brains, but that’s just the beginning. Picture adult play-places packed with interactive amusements, from comfy couches sporting virtual-reality stations to sensory-enhancing rooms à la Narnia—just open a door and prepare to be blown away by the augment- ed-reality activities, similar to the Pokemon Go phenom, but with pot and a safe spot in which to wander.

We will have AI devoted to assessing and serving cannabis products.

While some progress has been made in machine-rolled joints and computer programs that suss out the best strains for specific medical conditions, the ideal AI-enhanced cannabis experience would involve smartphone software that accesses the same information you al- ready input on your phone’s health app—age, gender, height, weight. The AI’s biometrics would read your fingerprint and also your current state (high heart rate indicating anxiety, low metabolic rate) and then make recommendations for the cannabis experience that would best address your current physical and headspace. The app would also interact with your vaporizer, auto-dos-
ing to ensure an exact and intentional serving size.

Of course this is just a taste of what we’re dreaming about. As fast as we can picture it, cannabis entrepreneurs are looking for ways to make it happen—so here’s to a time very soon where our high hopes meet the real weed world.
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