The cannabis industry is the fastest growing industry in the United States. By the end of 2017, the expected overall cannabis sales in the United States at the retail level are expected to soar by roughly 30%, hitting $5.1 billion-$6.1 billion. That figure is expected to jump to well over 22 billion by 2021. Colorado’s medical cannabis dispensaries reported $440 million in sales last year. Based on the latest census data, the state of Missouri can expect a larger Medical Market than Colorado. You can get a comprehensive listing of the Cannabis industry research here >
Medical cannabis has achieved wide acceptance in the medical community as a legitimate course of treatment for illnesses such as glaucoma, childhood seizures, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, weight loss during chemotherapy, and many others. Cannabis is still federally prohibited as a Schedule I drug, and while it is unclear how the current administration will address recreational use, it has signaled that it will not interfere with the medical side of the industry in states where cannabis has been made legal via referendum.
Public perception of marijuana is changing as fast as the industry is expanding across the country, not only in widespread acceptance of the plant’s medical uses, but also the ever-evolving industry standard for a newly legal market. This change in attitude has been marked across the political and demographic spectrum, and as usual, Missouri represents mainstream sentiment. According to FM3 polling data, 65% of likely voters in November 2018 would support a strong medical marijuana law in the Show-Me State. On the national level, polls consistently show 80% support for medical cannabis and overall trends suggest that total legalization is a very real future possibility.
24 states and the District of Columbia currently allow for whole plant medical marijuana, and an additional 15 states – including Missouri – have passed legislation allowing for CBD oil isolated from the cannabis plant. Eight states have outright legalized marijuana production and consumption for adult use, and widespread favorability toward criminal justice reform has led to a cascade of depenalization laws across the country in the last few years.
At the international level, numerous countries have decriminalized small possessions of marijuana, and others have already moved to incorporate medical marijuana into their state-based health care systems. Research into the therapeutic potential of cannabis plant constituents is proliferating, particularly in Israel, and in other countries along with the United States where medical marijuana is available.
Separately but relatedly, the world has also begun to recognize the incredible potential of industrial, non-medical applications of the cannabis hemp, a crop which once thrived in Missouri as the state’s most profitable commodity. Already 22 states have passed some type of hemp legislation, including many other competing agricultural states such as Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Nebraska. The Congressional Research Service estimates the US hemp market at $580 million annually, with imported product largely from Canada and China.
There are two paths you can take to participate in the green rush; plant touching and ancillary businesses.
Plant touching businesses – are just that, businesses that work with cannabis plants directly – producing products such as cannabis flower for smoking, extracts, edibles and creams. Examples of “plant touching” businesses are dispensaries, cultivators, extract and edible producers.
Ancillary businesses – businesses that don’t work with cannabis plants directly – have sprung up around the cannabis industry, offering traditional services such as accounting and marketing. Some cater to the cannabis industry exclusively, while others serve clients in multiple markets, including cannabis.