Since 2012, when the sale and possession of recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, Denver-based photographer Benjamin Rasmussen has been ahead of the story, capturing all goes on behind the scenes in grow houses and retail stores for major media platforms like The Guardian, CNN, The New York Times, Wired, and The Wall Street Journal.
This year saw the introduction of numerous dispensaries and warehouse-based growers throughout the state, operations that brought with them both new revenue and controversy. Before he began photographing the businessmen at the helm of this emerging industry, Rasmussen tells CNN that he had no definitive views on the debate and generally avoided the plant. Today, he suggests, pot smoking is entering the mainstream and extending well behind the boundaries of a stereotypical stoner subculture.
Last Tuesday, the people of Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. voted for the legalization of recreational marijuana use, joining Colorado and Washington state. Only time will tell, but if current projections are to be trusted, the coming years will bring with them not only significant change in legislation but also in our culture’s attitudes towards marijuana use and the legitimacy of its trade.
All photos featured in this post can be found on Offset, a new curated collection of high-end commercial and editorial photography and illustration from award-winning artists around the world. Offset is an exclusive category channel partner on Feature Shoot.