The First Ecommerce Transaction Was Cannabis

Students from Stanford and MIT got engaged in the planet’s first ever eCommerce transaction

In early 70's first ecommerce transaction was Cannabis

Those MIT guys are smart

In the early 70s, before eBay or Amazon, when the internet was just in its infancy, some students from Stanford and MIT got engaged in the planet’s first ever eCommerce transaction. The product? A sack of Mary Jane! The smart guys at Stanford University sold a tiny amount of marijuana to their counterparts at MIT using ARPAnet accounts – the technology that turned in to the internet.

It is worth mentioning that the deal didn’t involve the online transaction of money. Instead, students just used the internet to facilitate the deal and decide a meeting place to actually hand- over the cash. 


The history of the first pot deal

The history of the transaction was detailed in a number of books including the 2005 version of “What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry,” authored by Jamie Bartlett, has an additional nugget of juicy information about this first of all drug deals.

The incident is frequently revered as a story about the origins of eCommerce. Many other authors have also recalled similar accounts of marijuana deal in the past. Of course, selling someone a bag of pot is not the same as a large-scale pot distribution service. But understanding how long people have been using technology to buy and sell illegal items makes it clear why illegal drug-selling won’t get scrubbed from the internet until we first shift human behavior.

It’s evident that through the 70s, 80s, and 90s, drugs have been sold online, either legally or illegally. But, now in 2013, people are asking why buy pot legally when you can get synthetic marijuana online, from overseas legally?


Moden Day Online Cannabis - The perils of legal, synthetic Cannabis

Well, when you buy baggies of synthetic marijuana, you actually get untested human-made chemicals in weed costumes. You never know which chemicals are behind the high you’re provided. In reality, synthetic marijuana compounds are linked to sickness, high blood pressure, kidney damage, seizures, psychosis, and even death.


Synthetic Marijuana and its Deadly Effects

There are 150+ different types of synthetic marijuana compounds already with more being added to the inventory, every day, by ingenious Chemists looking to make a few bucks. These products are designed with artificially produced compounds which activate two receptors in the body – CB1 and CB2 – effectively replicating the effects of natural marijuana. These synthetic marijuana compounds have different chemical structures, making them quite different from each other as well and causing problems for law enforcement authorities trying to categorise them so their use can be outlawed. 

William Fantegrossi, a behavioral pharmacologist at UAMS (The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences), points out that manufacturers not only change the amount of the active pharmacological agent from batch to batch of synthetic marijuana, but also play with the chemical composition the active compound itself. By the time these noxious collections are released, each product contains a minimum of three different synthetic cannabinoids. 


But, the good news is, the world is going through the first green wave

Marijuana is now legal over half the United States. There are thousands of cannabis dispensaries across the country, selling both recreational and medical marijuana. According to BDS Analytics, the emerging weed market in the US hit nearly $9 billion in sales in 2017, which is equivalent to annual revenue from Pampers diapers. After the addition of California in the retail pot market, BDS Analytics expects national marijuana sales to hit $11 billion in 2018 and $21 billion by 2021

Similarly, Canada’s cannabis market has flourished surprisingly. Canada is the second country in the world to legalize the national marijuana market. And, as the country recently inched toward legalizing recreational weed, Canada is expected to become the world’s leader in the cannabis space. Similarly, Australia and New Zealand have also entered into the race, seeing the economic growth of other countries. The legalization of marijuana provides easy and legal access to the green gold.


Final Opinion- the world of eCommerce has changed a lot over the years

The Smithsonian Magazine claims that the first ecommerce transaction took place in 1994 when someone sold a Sting CD to his friend who entered his credit card details into a computer using data encryption. Re whether it or the Cannabis story is the real version of events, we will never know. The world has changed markedly since then. As legalization proceeds around the world for both medical and recreational cannabis, it can only be hoped that online sales are legalized to put an end to dangerous synthetic alternatives.