As a plant breeder, a substantial part of my job is that of fortune-teller. Plant breeding is a long-term proposition, and the breeding targets I choose today won't bear fruit (so to speak) for years, or in some cases decades. So I ask myself: What will the production practices look like in 10 years? What traits will the consumer want? What diseases will become problematic?
The flip side of this long-term perspective is that in some cases our choices today actually create the future. By working towards a vision for the future, we are actually making a viable option for the future; one that would not exist without that vision and that labor. Of course we cannot defy the laws of nature, and it is always possible to be blindsided by an alternative that we had not considered (e.g. the rise and fall of any technology, such as fax machines). But like a sailing ship, as long as you don't sail straight into the wind, you can usually get to where you want to go.
Taking that perspective, I want you ask yourself about the future of cannabis in the USA.
Will legalization proceed, if not at a federal level, then in a majority of states? The winds are in our favor, with 58% of Americans favoring legalization.
What can stop us? Irresponsible use, criminal activity, violation of regulations. You know, as a new industry, we are under much higher scrutiny than say, alcohol. But remember: all of these problems are under our own control. We make the future. Encourage responsible use, and use responsibly yourself. Be a role model in our highly regulated industry, and some day the regulations will become unnecessary.
Consider sitting down for five minutes today to think about what you want the industry to look like in ten years. How are you going to make it happen, starting today?