Language turns over a new leaf

Here’s a new word to add to your vocabulary: “Cannabusiness.”

You’re familiar with “agribusiness,” our constantly evolving language’s term for the commercial aspect of farming and ranching. But now there’s cannabusiness, a word often heard by anyone who recently was in the vicinity of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

The Cannabis Business Summit convened there June 24-25, staged by the National Cannabis Industry Association – an event and a group that would have been nearly unimaginable not that many years ago. That fact was brought home by the inaugural event’s slogan: “Where commerce meets a revolution.”

The revolution, of course, is the growing acceptance and spotty legalization of cannabis for first medicinal and then recreational uses.

Sessions covered topics such as cultivation, dispensary management, community engagement, pending legislation, finding investors, the state-vs.-federal legal conundrum and its related banking issues. About 800 industry professionals were expected to attend.

Along with the often staid, dry, pencil-pushing presentations, however, emerged some new words that will creep into more common usage – and eventually Webster’s dictionaries and the Associated Press Stylebook – as the budding industry establishes itself. Besides cannabusiness, which was part of many of the session titles, the following new and unfamiliar words were overheard:

Budtender – The person behind the counter at a dispensary, whose responsibility goes beyond helping customers find the product that fits their needs to educating them about how to use it safely.

Backcross – Not a designed soccer play at the World Cup, it’s actually a hybrid cannabis plant that has been bred with one of its parents to achieve a certain result.

Medibles – Edible goods such as brownies, gummies or candies that have been infused with cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Feminized – You’re thinking this is a form of marketing designed to lure more women to cannabis, right? Nope. It’s a plant that comes from seeds that were selectively bred to produce only female plants, because only female plants produce the flowers where most cannabinoids are found.

Cannabinoids – The chemical compounds found in cannabis that produce various effects in humans.

Surprisingly, there’s one word that isn’t heard much at a cannabis business summit:

Marijuana – It’s seen as a pejorative, invoking images of Cheech and Chong and “Don’t Bogart That Joint” instead of a serious commodity to be handled in a businesslike manner.

Cannabusinesslike, that is.

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