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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

CannaClub educates students about the ‘wins and blows’ of marijuana use

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Aaron Velasquez

With recreational marijuana only legal in 18 states (along with the District of Columbia) as of April 2022, CannaClub teaches various knowledgeable members all about the cannabis business.

Cannabis is a growing global market, and in San Diego, CannaClub hopes to take advantage of this business opportunity to educate consumers and the industry’s hopes about the benefits of cannabis.

With the legalization of recreational marijuana in California in 2016, the industry raised more than $4.4 billion in sales in 2020 alone, according to Statista.com.

CannaClub President and SDSU Chief Daniel Cordova talks about how the club is educating members in an ever-growing job market.

“We had a billboard earlier this semester with all kinds of cannabis, and we had people focus on CBD (cannabidiol)out of state, from places where there isn’t even recreational cannabis,” Cordova said. “We just wanted to see all the different nuances of cannabis, and teach people all the nuances of the developing markets because hemp definitely isn’t a mature market at all.”

CannaClub has held several events throughout the semester that reflect the club’s foundations in education, career development and the community. Events like audio bathroom meditations and visits to a local marijuana manufacturing facility. Emilio Estrada, co-chair of CannaClub and micro SDSU, believes that the first-hand experience the club provides can help familiarize members with the cannabis market.

“I also feel like taking people on our different field trips… Where do we go to grow operations (process grows) and so on, and we really try to get everyone to see firsthand how that process works,” Estrada said.

By discussing with its members, Cordova said the Executive Board is able to educate themselves on topics that their community wants to know more about. The club shares its research through presentations and infographics and brings in resources related to cannabis, such as industry professionals or job opportunities.

In the years since legalization, cannabis has been able to bring new products to the marijuana market, making great strides in both the medicinal and recreational uses of cannabis.

Lauren Skinner, a second-year student at SDSU and director of community outreach at CannaClub, explained how some cannabis products can help facilitate the use of cannabis for new users without fear of anxiety or paranoia.

“Obviously a lot of people only know about THC (THC) and CBD but there are a lot of other cannabinoids,” Skinner said. “People can smoke delta eight now, there’s delta nine, delta 10 — there are all these different parts of it and I think it’s more accepted with that kind of education because it’s Not just ‘Oh, I’m just sniffing.’ It’s ‘I smoke a legal amount of this and that’s for this medicinal benefit.’

By highlighting the medical benefits of cannabis, CannaClub hopes to break the stigma surrounding cannabis users. The stigma long backed by unjust marijuana laws that the ACLU says has resulted in blacks four times more likely than whites to be arrested by marijuana laws, even though studies show that both races use marijuana at the same rate.

Estrada believes the club can help remove the stigma of cannabis and help people understand how it works as a drug.

“You have to approach it from a very educational perspective. Like, ‘Hey, just because you smoke doesn’t mean you’re lazy, just because you do this doesn’t mean you don’t get anything done,’” Estrada said. “You can do anything you want as long as you keep pushing and keep going. Really understanding how it works as a medicine and really helps people.”

Congress recently approved a bill for Federal decriminalization of marijuana. This could be an important step in allowing greater access to cannabis across the country. Currently, only 18 states have legalized recreational marijuana use, and 37 states have legalized it for medical use.

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