Today there are probably thousands of ways to consume marijuana. Chewing gum, edibles, transdermal patches, vaping and so many others are putting the classic method of smoking cannabis to shame. And that's exactly what the industry wants.

The New York Times recently ran an article that discussed how the marijuana industry is trying to get evolve beyond smoking cannabis. Many in the industry believe one of the big roadblocks towards mainstream acceptance is smoking, which is seen as a far nastier habit today than in the past. These experts also believe that once people realize how many other ways there are to consume cannabis, they will immediately embrace the drug and really jumpstart the industry.

The Times sums it up by saying, "The humble hand-rolled joint was holding marijuana back."

They note that along with this move away from smoking , the industry is also rebranding the drug itself. Instead of being aimed at stoners, it's being marketed for all the health benefits it can provide users. Whether it's reducing anxiety, inflammation, chronic pain and so much more, it's being promoted as the wonder drug of the future, not just something to help you get high.

To put this change in perspective, when Eaze, a marijuana delivery company in California, began operations in 2014, 85 percent of their sales were for marijuana flower, meaning 85 percent of people were using their service for smoking cannabis. But today, less than one-third of their sales are in marijuana flower. In 2017, vape cartridges overtook flower for the leading product delivered by Eaze. They said 2017 saw a 300 percent increase in sales. So even though people are "smoking" marijuana less, they're actually using the drug more. 

So perhaps in the future, the stereotypical image of a stoner sitting on their couch surrounded by a cloud of marijuana smoke will seem just as archaic as people chain-smoking and drinking at work during the Mad Men-era.

(h/t New York Times)