Six Books on Cannabis that Every Would-be Ganjapreneur Should Read

If you’re new to the legal cannabis business sector you might feel a bit overwhelmed by all the information, a lot of it contradictory, available on marijuana. But don’t worry; you can catch up and become well-informed by doing a bit of targeted research.

There are a variety of very good non-fiction books on the market that can get you up to speed when it comes to marijuana’s history in the U.S., as well as the current cannabis legalization movement and the rapidly-expanding financial and political maneuvering going on as more Americans reconsider cannabis.

Marijuana is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. Researchers say regulated marijuana sales in North America brought in nearly $7 billion last year, a 20 percent increase from 2015. But given the U.S. federal government’s prohibitions on cannabis, anyone looking to become involved in a marijuana business must also consider its political and legal aspects. This is an industry that is evolving rapidly as laws and public perceptions change.

With all those factors in mind, here are some suggestions for your own marijuana reference library:

Marijuana: The World’s Most Misunderstood Plant, by Jeffrey Friedland.

One of the Blunt Network’s contributing authors; Jeffrey Friedland is also CEO of Intiva, Inc. a firm that focuses on cannabis growth and extraction in North America and Israel. He also owned two cannabis dispensaries and a grow facility in Colorado, and he writes from experience about of emerging markets in the legal cannabis sector.

As he noted in a recent interview, cannabis is much more than a national movement for legalization.

“Before writing the book I attended a cannabis conference and there were people from 45 countries there to discuss plant science and genetics,” he said, “and I realized there was this need for an ‘Idiot’s Guide to Marijuana’, and that is why I wrote the book. Marijuana is truly misunderstood.”

And in his book Friedland works to put aside those misunderstandings about cannabis, by providing detailed historic, legal and medicinal data on the plant.

Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America, by Bruce Barcott. 

Barcott is deputy editor of the cannabis news and information site He says two events last November continue to have a ripple effect across America’s legal marijuana sector.

“One was we saw a number of states passed adult use and medical measures, chiefly California on the adult use side and Florida on the medical side,” he tells Blunt Network. “And at the same time America elected Donald Trump, whose administration so far has been very vocal about its opposition to adult use of cannabis and state legalization laws.”

Despite the White House’s apparent opposition to some cannabis legalization issues, Barcott believes both adult-use (recreational) and medical marijuana are popular across the political spectrum.

Leafly, he says, “did a lot of data diving after the elections and we looked into a lot of the more conservative districts in conservative states like Florida and Arkansas. And folks who voted for Trump also voted for various forms of legalization.”

(Disclosure: this author contributes articles to

Weed the People closely examines how cannabis became part of the national culture more than a century ago, and how its image has evolved from the scare tactics of “Reefer Madness” in the 1930s. It also talks with some of the people who are shaping today’s legalization movement, as well as the growing societal acceptance of legal cannabis businesses.

Brave New Weed – Adventures into the Uncharted World of Cannabis, by Joe Dolce. 

The former editor-in-chief of Details and Star magazines tells his readers that he wanted to “submerge myself in this brave new — and yet at the same time, ancient — world.”

Dolce talks with a wide spectrum of people involved in cannabis: from ground-breaking researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs to long-time marijuana enthusiasts and historians. In reports from Israel, Amsterdam, Colorado, California and elsewhere he explores how changes in cultural perceptions about marijuana have helped to accelerate the industry’s already-rapid growth.

“I missed seeing the tech boom develop from the ground floor,” Dolce said during an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle regarding his book and the legal cannabis industry. “But I wasn’t going to miss the next revolution. Like Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, these are people who think different.”

The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis, by Julie Holland M.D.  

A psychiatrist specializing in psychopharmacology, Dr. Holland has brought together essays from a large collection of pioneers involved in the science, history, politics, medicine and culture of marijuana.

“I didn’t start out editing this book as an expert on cannabis,” she says in the book’s introduction, explaining that she knew “very little” about marijuana going in to this project. But she apparently succeeds at delving into the laws, myths and politics of cannabis.

“A great anthology of writing from a variety of experts on cannabis,” says Barcott, “a fantastic resource.”

Marijuana Nation: One Man’s Chronicle of America Getting High: From Vietnam to Legalization, By Roger Roffman.

Roffman first tried marijuana while serving as an Army officer in Vietnam, and over the decades has become one of the nation’s foremost cannabis scholars, researchers and activists.

He’s a Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Washington. In 2012 Roffman was co-sponsor of Washington State’s Initiative 502, which legalized adult-use cannabis in the state.

“Nobody knows marijuana use and abuse better than Roger Roffman,” says Barcott. “He offers a really interesting perspective on the whole thing.”


Cannabis: A History, by Martin Booth. 

“Quick,” says a review in Publisher’s Weekly, “what do Napoleon’s troops, Asian cooking, Armani jeans, the Gutenberg Bible and the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company have in common?”

According to the late British writer Martin Booth, cannabis is the connecting issue for all of these diverse subjects. His extensively-researched and very comprehensive book on marijuana has been praised as one of the definite reference volumes on cannabis.

“Neither a coffee table book nor light reading,” says The Erowid Review, “Booth’s work in an in-depth look at the cultural history of the cannabis plant that manages to be both readable and educating.”

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