Starting A Business? Study Finds Marijuana May Help—And Hinder

MJ moment

A new study out of Washington State University suggests cannabis may inspire entrepreneurs to come up with big, bold business ideas—but could also lead them down a rabbit hole of wishful thinking. Researchers found that entrepreneurs who were frequent marijuana consumers came up with business pitches that were more original but less feasible, according to a panel of experts who scored the ideas. “Beyond their innate creative aptitude, entrepreneurs may attempt to enhance their creativity,” says the study, which will appear in the March 2021 issue of the Journal of Business Venturing. “Despite generating more original ideas, we found that cannabis users’ ideas were less feasible.” Also important variables, the study found, were an entrepreneur’s passion, which may heighten creativity at the expense of feasibility, as well as their past entrepreneurial experience, which tended to increase idea feasibility but rein in creativity. The findings “provide insight into the creative benefits and detriments associated with being a cannabis user,” the study says, “suggesting that cannabis users—especially those who are passionate about exploring new venture ideas or those with relatively little entrepreneurial experience—may benefit from non-users’ insights to develop the feasibility of their ideas.” To test the effects of marijuana on business-idea generation, researchers had 254 entrepreneurs come up with “as many new venture ideas as possible” based on virtual reality—a prompt provided by researchers. Participants had three minutes to generate ideas, then selected the idea they believed to be their best. Two “expert raters” then evaluated the chosen pitches for originality and feasibility. Reachers say their findings support one of the study’s core hypotheses: that there are differences between how cannabis users and non-users arrive at business ideas. “Cannabis users are more impulsive, disinhibited, and better at identifying relationships among seemingly disparate concepts,” the study proposes. “However, these differences and cannabis…

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