The legal and political landscapes for medical cannabis and industrial hemp are improving at rates more rapid than expected. State by state, a definitive shift in public perception has been gaining momentum regarding cannabis and hemp as medical and industrial solutions.
A 2011 independent research study determined medical cannabis to be a $1.3 billion market, with expansion to $8.9 billion projected by 2016. Cannabis is believed to be California’s number one agricultural crop representing a $14 billion marketplace as reported by the New York Times, Washington Post, and Bloomberg. Popularity of internet search terms for medical cannabis have increased 3000% since 2009, and statistics show a steady increase in interest as additional states enact legislation authorizing the legal use of medical cannabis. Taking note of strong U.S. support, European territories are also beginning to introduce legalization processes.
Significant growth opportunities exist for cannabis business development including, but not limited to, product safety controls, product tracking, ERP, commerce software, digital marketing, social media, data mining, and patient education. Rapid industry growth has compressed business cycles, fostering the necessity for technological advancements.
As the medical cannabis industry matures, it attracts talented entrepreneurs and business professionals from a broad cross-section of industries, eager to apply their expertise in an exciting new industry; in many cases crossing over with products and services.
Significant investment opportunities will be created as these industries establish themselves as critical components of U.S. and World gross domestic product. There is ample room for growth and expansion in all sectors of the medical cannabis and industrial hemp industries, which translate to returns on investments far greater than in most segments of the domestic and world markets.
Never before in economic history have a product and supporting market been prohibited by a government for 75 years while at least 40 years of documented support for the product’s use exists. Clearly, this is an example of government and politicians who could do better to represent the will of the people over special interests.
32% of the United States have already enacted legislation in favor of medical cannabis, and an additional 32% have bills slated for the ballot in November 2012. The cannabis industry is rapidly approaching the tipping point for majority acceptance. When that point is reached, 75 years of accumulated consumer demand will be unleashed for products that are healthy and sustainable solutions to a myriad of environmental, economic, and social problems we face today.
Heading into 2013, there is a strong possibility that 64% of the United States will have legislation in place that supports medical cannabis, greatly influencing the federal position of legalization policies, as well as opening up new markets, and new possibilities