As more and more countries decriminalize or legalize the cultivation, sale, and use of medical marijuana, firms across various sectors are looking for ways to take advantage of this emerging market. However, the Marijuana legal scene is continually evolving and confusing, making it crucial for businesses and users around the globe, uncertain about what the future holds.
Be as it may, one apparent aspect is that marijuana is a fast-changing industry. This guide looks at where the industry stands at the moment and what to expect. It is not legal advice, but some critical insights into the industry.
Number of Medical Marijuana States
Currently, 31 states in the United States have developed marijuana consumption programs for patients with various illnesses. The medical programs differ in regulatory severity. Some allow anyone with any medical condition to apply for a medical marijuana permit.
At the same time, some restrict patients to only extremely debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s, post-traumatic stress order, and cancer to access marijuana legally for medical purposes.
While it seems like there is still more that can be done, these are significant steps for the Marijuana sector. Particularly if you consider that it was only a few years ago that California became the first state in the US to legalize the herb for patients with specific ailments.
Similarly, quite a good number of states offer a very inclusive medical marijuana access program, with over 90,000 patients accessing the programs in different locations. The ballooning number of medical marijuana patients, as well as facilities, is a good sign for the general cannabis industry across the world.
Public Opinion of Cannabis
All aspects considered, the public has had an unfavorable view of cannabis for several years. However, in the last decade, triggered by various medical marijuana initiatives, the tide has changed considerably.
Recent polls show that as many as three out of five consumers in the United States of America support the annulment of marijuana prohibition and want to see the herb regulated and legalized.
The general public is beginning to realize a more considerate option than the prohibition of the herb is to tax and regulate cannabis; just the way alcohol is regulated. And as people continue to change their perception, it is only a matter of time before most governments repeal the prohibition of marijuana and start taxing the worthwhile industry.
Number of Cannabis Consumers Growing
As more jurisdictions legalize the use of medical cannabis, odds are millions if not billions of new users will try the drug in the coming years. To be specific, it is approximated that over 5000 new users will join the bandwagon per day for the next five years.
Also, the emerging marijuana industry should expect the number to skyrocket as more patients are introduced to adult-use marijuana programs in their states.
What’s more, this will be magnified by the fact that most new consumers’ main reason not to use medical marijuana was that it was illegal in their home jurisdictions. But with decriminalization spreading gradually, this won’t be an issue, and lawfully minded individuals will be able to access the plant worry-free.
Also, formerly illegal cannabis users will happily enter a regulated cannabis market if it is adequately implemented.
How Has The Cannabis Industry Reacted To The COVID-19 Pandemic?
Like most businesses, those in the Medical Marijuana were called to make changes to their operations to help counter the infection of COVID-19. The cannabis industry, however, has experienced some sort of rising in new customers and sales. For instance, Orange County dispensaries saw a significant increase in sales.
This is mainly attributed to the recent scientific findings that show cannabis has significant benefits for one’s general health, like reducing cancer risk, enhancing blood flow and that it is much safer for the body than alcohol.
That said, a lot remains to be seen as to how the pandemic will impact the sector as a whole. However, if educated guesses are anything to go by, the dubbing of medical marijuana stores as “essential” is very important, particularly if you consider marijuana medicinal capabilities.
Potential Growth of the Industry
As mentioned earlier, the marijuana industry is projected to grow considerably in the coming years. It is estimated that it will be worth $25 billion by the end of 2025 in the United States. Some estimates project the industry to be more than $140 billion internationally by 2030 (assuming that the programs continue to be implemented as they have been in the last decade).
Currently, in 2020, it is a 73 billion dollar worth market globally. Note that this also includes the US industry at $13 billion, with only a handful of states operating recreational cannabis programs and around 2/3s of states operating medical cannabis programs.
So as more countries and states hopefully legalize the herb for medical and adult-use, it is pretty straightforward to assume that the industry will grow significantly.