The cannabis industry continues to rapidly grow and surprise everyone. Despite its current federal prohibition, cannabis continues to remain one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Month-over-month, companies continue to break industry investment records and top business people are diving head first into the industry. Everyone knows we’re growing, literally, but what can we expect in the next year?
Colorado, the first state to sell recreational cannabis, is projected to top 1.1 billion dollars in revenue this year alone. With a population of 5.5 million, this is relatively large in comparison to other industries. Colorado started recreational sales in January 2014. The Centennial State has the most mature and developed market in the United States, and all other states look to them to solidify business practices, regulation, and product development.
Starting January 1, 2018 California will begin recreational sales for adults 21 and over. Although Prop 215, passed in 1996, medical sales were an extremely rocky start full of raids and constant shutdowns. Prop 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, was passed with 57% voter approval in 2016. MJ Biz Daily projects California’s participation in recreational marijuana will double the revenue of the industry within its first year! The Golden State boasts a 39.25 million population which doubles the population of every other legal recreational state combined. California already has a mature medical market; this structure and anticipation will greatly help the businesses prepare for the new year’s influx.
Nevada’s recreational sales opened July 1st and saw $27 million in the first month and $33 million in the following. Maryland’s medical sales went live December 1st and all 10 licensed dispensaries sold out of all product within the first several days.
According to Gallup, 64% of America wants to lift the ban on cannabis for adults. Chris Burggraeve, former chief marketing officer of Anheuser-Busch, joined the advisory board for Green Group who just closed $3.6 million in Series A funding. Burggraeve stated, “This is one of the fastest-growing categories globally. Why? Because people want it. When consumers want something, you ignore it at your peril.”
Cannabis business news breaks daily and local regulations constantly shift. Despite bans and politics, cannabis has succeeded in creating a legitimate industry. As Burggraeve stated, it’s what the people want and what the people want is profitable. This permits plenty of opportunities and potential residual threats. What changes and opportunities are expecting in 2018?