Marijuana Market Strikes Green Gold

At the ArcView Investor Network’s quarterly gathering of high net worth cannabis investors, ArcView Market Research, in partnership with New Frontier, released the executive summary of the 4th edition of the State of Legal Marijuana Markets, which shows that the legal cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing industries in America. ArcView’s estimate for the legal cannabis industry is $5.4 billion for 2015, a big jump from 2014’s $4.6 billion. Remember, the first recreational dispensaries opened for business in Colorado just two years ago.

Increasing corporate enthusiasm for pot legalization seems not only possible but also highly probable.  Four states already have legalized recreational marijuana, and a total of 23 states have legalized medical marijuana. The torrent of legal change has created an industry gold rush. The legalization of pot is one of the biggest business opportunities but it doesn’t mean the money will keep rolling in.

When you are starting a business in a trade like marijuana, which means producing and selling a product that is illegal at the federal level, that can present some major licensing, marketing, and public relations roadblocks. Yet entrepreneurs have found a way to thrive in spite of drawbacks. That says a lot about the industry and its promise. Investors want to move their business from the dark into the light.

“Cannabis is definitely a more positive alternative to pharmaceuticals at the end of the day.  I’m talking about something that’s natural that can bring the outcomes you’re looking for, be it for muscle tension or relaxation or preparedness,” exclaimed NBA player Clifford Robinson, who played for the Portland Trail Blazers.  The athlete told reporters that he is going into the marijuana business to remove the stigma around the plant, notably, the misunderstanding that players and cannabis are incompatible.

About half a dozen states could put a legal pot to vote this fall. California’s medical sales already account for a large chunk of the total industry; if it legalizes recreational marijuana this November that alone could lead to a huge boom in industry sales.

Medical marijuana sales in Maine have jumped by nearly 50 percent over the past year, according to newly released numbers from Maine Revenue Services. In 2014, licensed dispensaries reported sales of just over $16 million. Last year, sales jumped to more than $23 million. The figures, tracked by Maine Revenue Services, don’t include sales from the more than 2,000 caregivers who are allowed to grow for individual patients.

I should issue a proviso: Even as states legalize cannabis and the marijuana market grows in the U.S., marijuana remains illegal under federal law. If Republicans win the White House, the pot party could be over.  In the interim, nothing works better for cannabis entrepreneurs than improving their pot products.