A lack of medical research into cannabis use and the ongoing stigma of ‘recreational use’ is hampering the industry’s ability to capitalise on the US$3 billion health and wellness sector, delegates at Prohibition Partners Live have been told.

Jessamyn Stanley: all use is medicinal

Co-founder of cannabis justice organisation We Go High Jessamyn Stanley said: “The concept of recreational versus medicinal is really a function of prohibition politics.

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“If we had more medical research around dosage and the way it affects each person individually, there would be more evidence showing that, ultimately, all use is medicinal.”

CEO of cannabis information platform The Cannigma Elana Goldberg said people have been self-medicating for many years, but have had their cannabis use labelled as recreational rather than medicinal.

She said people self-medicating for conditions such as Tourette’s syndrome and ADHD in their teens were often discouraged from doing so even though it was working for them.

“They go through multiple treatments and end up [going] full circle to find what they knew all along, from age 16, was working for them,” she added.

Founder and CEO of home cultivation platform Personal Plants Dr Amanda Reiman said the wellness aspect of cannabis use is still being underestimated because of a reluctance to acknowledge the importance of mental, as well as physical, health and wellbeing.

She said: “In our society, it’s perfectly acceptable to take medicine to go from feeling bad to feeling nothing, but it’s not acceptable to take medicine to go from feeling nothing to feeling great. That’s looked at as indulgent, recreational, selfish in many ways.”