Using the Terms “Cannabis”, “Marijuana”, and “Hemp”: A 60 Second Primer

Interchanging the terms “cannabis” and “marijuana” is fine for casual conversation but can cause problems with legal analysis.

On the west coast, the term “cannabis” is quickly replacing “marijuana” as the preferred term. While this may be proper and laudable from a botanical and historical perspective, it muddies the water when analyzing legal issues. Here’s my 60 second primer on when to use these terms:

March 25, 2019

Rod Kight is an attorney who represents lawful cannabis businesses. He speaks at cannabis conferences across the country, drafts and presents cannabis legislation to foreign governments, is regularly quoted on cannabis matters in the media, and maintains the Kight on Cannabis legal blog, where he discusses legal issues affecting the cannabis industry. You can contact him here.

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