Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 | 11:45 p.m.
Marijuana by any other name would provide the same high, but many people now prefer the term cannabis, citing a stigma surrounding marijuana as well as a reportedly racist — albeit perhaps little known — history.
Many dispensaries and related businesses have shifted to using the more cultured-sounding cannabis, and even state government in Nevada has followed suit. The Legislature passed a bill this year creating a Cannabis Compliance Board to regulate the industry and requiring governing language to use the term cannabis going forward.
Mitch Britten, founder and CEO of Thrive Cannabis Marketplace, said he saw the step toward the term cannabis as a way to destigmatize the plant.
“It almost started to feel like marijuana was almost like a derogatory term,” said Britten, whose company has stores in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Reno.
Britten said terminology is important and was something taken seriously when developing Thrive, even in deciding to brand the business as a marketplace. “I personally don’t like the term dispensary, so I thought, let’s take that step toward legitimacy one step further,” he said.
Riana Durrett, executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association, said the move away from the term marijuana seems to be on the rise in places where the plant has been legalized. “I think a lot of people are trying to move toward the word cannabis,” she said.
The original use of the term marijuana by Nevada lawmakers was based on its usage in other legal environments, such as federal regulations, Durrett said.
Another argument against the term marijuana is that it has a reportedly anti-Hispanic history.
“Indeed, some claim