Cannabis is really coming into its own in the 21st century, the genetics that we've seen produced in the last 5 years shows more variety than the 25 years before it combined.
We have new growing techniques, legalisation, and an opening of cannabis culture into the mainstream. Comparing it to an analogous substance that has a culture around it might be a way to see whether cannabis will ever see such a rise that we will have a ‘snob’ culture around it, only ever sampling the best flowers, and praising cannabis grown in some parts of the world over others. Will cannabis ever have a similar culture to wine?
First of all, we have to look at the types of people involved. Although all different types of people smoke cannabis, it is generally more popular among those people from a lower socio-economic background, as opposed to wine which tends to have a middle class following. Although this is a wide generalisation, it does shed some light on the fact that a ‘fine’ culture around a substance tends to be ostentatious in its own right. That means that people will throw their money around if they have it, and usually they do this by raising the value of the things they enjoy relative to others.
Cannabis does however possess many qualities that allows it to be differentiated. It’s a natural plant, much like grapes, and will grow differently due to the conditions it is placed in. In wine making, this is known as ‘terroir’ and is huge in indicating the quality and cost of the eventual wine in the making.
Genetics also make up a huge part of cannabis and thus allows people to choose their favourite lineages and phenotypes. Much like wine, these different qualities combine to make some cannabis, such as BC bud, world renowned.
Cannabis will probably need to establish itself for a longer period of time than it has in mainstream culture for the type of personalities and money to come along to give it a ‘wine snob’ culture. It has everything it needs to do that eventually though, so I think, maybe in 50 years, people will be talking about whether their 2020 Northern Lights really does pair well with that pack of Oreos, or whether that Jack Herer has had enough time in the jar to do it justice.