The primary factors allowing for easy cultivation of marijuana by its consumers and reducing the distance between producer and user are the relative simplicity in growing it and that its bulkiness raises smuggling costs.
For small-scale production, all that is needed are soil, seeds, and growing lamps or natural sunlight. It takes about 3-5 months from planting new seeds to have fully grown buds and only 6-12 weeks once a plant is fully-grown to reproduce new buds. Once the buds are picked, they are dried and are ready for smoking.
Turning the plants into edibles or oil extracts requires more sophisticated processes, but is a lot easier than producing cocaine, heroin or crystal meth. Not only does this expand the number of ways the drug can be used, but marijuana’s delivery methods seem less offensive to non-users. Smoking, eating marijuana chocolates and now vaping certainly are more socially acceptable than snorting cocaine or injecting heroin. It should come as no surprise then that among the 3 million Americans 12 and older who used drugs for the first time in 2012, 66% of them tried marijuana.