What even is a vice anymore? This issue of WTF, backed by a global survey, explores the changing morality of “vices.” Will consumer interest be enough to fuel the projected growth in industries like cannabis?
Bruce Linton doesn’t understand people who use gummies in Canada. Edibles are unregulated, illegal or both, so dosages can be a mystery. “It’s like, ‘Hey buddy, just eat this, and it may or may not completely [mess] you up for somewhere between zero minutes and four hours.’ You wouldn’t do that!” He likens using gummies to buying street meats—you never know if you’ll get a good meal, or botulism.
The legalization of cannabis in Canada is showing that throwing open the doors doesn’t mean there will be a sudden stampede to get in. Ipsos’ Alcohol Consumption Tracker (ACT) and Cannabis Consumption Tracker (CCT) studies show that attitudes and behaviors regarding cannabis are slow to shift after legalization.
Andrea Drummer is one of America’s leading chefs who cook with cannabis. The founder of a catering business in Los Angeles called Elevation VIP Cooperative, Drummer will soon open one of the nation’s first legalized cannabis consumption lounges. When Drummer thinks What the Future, she wonders what it will take for people to re-evaluate the negative bias against cannabis and embrace it as a food ingredient.
There is a fair amount of historical evidence that suggests growing grains to produce beer is the reason humans morphed from hunter-gatherers to an agriculture-based society. Yet in the past 20 to 30 years, there’s been an incredible efflorescence. What does innovation look like in an industry that is as old as civilization itself?
The popularity of and public interest in CBD has spurred significant innovation and product development efforts across an eclectic grouping of product categories. From bath bombs to pet food – everyone wants a piece of the pie. While there is an inevitable learning curve for consumers, since certain forms are still illegal in many states, there is already marked consumer interest in these products.
Sports betting, traditionally a Las Vegas-controlled industry, is inching closer to being legal, one state at a time. Jay Kornegay, who already runs the largest sports wagering facility in the world, Westgate SuperBook, is thinking about expansion. When he thinks What the Future, he wonders what people are willing to bet on, and how mobile will impact that. There’s a lot of blue sky in betting – as long as people get over the stigma and misconceptions. Here’s what has him feeling optimistic.
Ipsos research shows that barriers exist for the adoption of online betting, the modern vehicle to place a sports bet today. This syndicated research that measures attitudes and usage in the U.S. and Canada highlights that trust in online gambling sites is very low – not a surprise, given that the average Canadian has access to only one legal and regulated online gambling website. Financial concerns are a factor as well, which is consistent with any form of gambling. Ipsos looked at how barriers to online play differed across generations. Younger generations, for example, were much more likely to reject gambling in general or, alternatively, not know where to start.
One of the themes of this issue is how many so-called vices are becoming more accepted. But there are still some vices, even legal ones, that carry a stigma, meaning we tend to keep some vices secret. And of course there are other corporate and personal secrets we keep for ourselves and others. But are secrets even possible in today’s digital age?
We pride ourselves on burning the midnight oil: working long hours, getting little sleep and optimizing our daily routines for maximum output. As it turns out, productivity is a vice, and we’re all addicted to getting stuff done. (Or at least feeling like we are.) WTF asked quantitative futurist Amy Webb to give us some ideas of things to watch.