There was a rapid surge in the number of small businesses and commercial innovations in the United States beginning in the mid-1970s and extending into the late 1990s.
The underground sale of marijuana played an important role in the creation of new businesses and marketing innovations.
I say an ‘important role’ but not a central role. It was the hippies own determination to create a ‘new world’ that was the driving force.
What I noticed is that from an early age, teens, many young people were learning the principles of trade. You buy a product where you have unique access and you resell it to a satisfied buyer for a higher price. The sale price allows you to restock your merchandise and carry on the business. That is trade.
It is my guess the tens of thousands of young people learned their trade skills from selling marijuana and a few other drugs to their friends.
I did see many people using these trade skills to start other small businesses. I also saw the money that these young people made from drug sales used as capital to finance other small businesses.
The same was also true, to a lesser extent, for the rock bands and their business managers who learned their trade skills in music and provided their friends with small business capital.
While I have seen data that shows the most rapid growth of small businesses on the planet occurred between ‘75 and ‘85 in the San Francisco Bay Area I have not seen any comparable data for the development of trade skills in the marijuana business.