Despite headwinds and murky pronouncements from the White House, the forward movement of investment and technology in the the cannabis sector is unabated. Insights to the coming year and further evidence of forward movement are seen in these observations from industry experts. A fascinating range of topics is covered, from branding and precision dosing to topics like Canada, California, microbreweries and yes, blockchain.
We’ve also seen a spike in luxury cannabis brands that are commanding higher prices, as well as the growth of software and data companies that streamline industry operations and help stakeholders address inherent challenges.
The stigma of cannabis continues to fade thanks to education efforts at the state and local levels, a willingness of high profile figures and medical professionals to discuss cannabis’ health benefits backed by international clinical trials, as well as balanced news coverage of the industry. We believe this is a significant factor in increasing the number of medical cannabis patients, even in states that have been legal for years.
From a business standpoint, new levels of standards and professionalism in the industry are helping cannabis transition from its illicit past to legitimate, pure, organic and precision-dosed products with adult labeling and child proof packaging approaching pharmaceutical industry levels.
As we move into 2018, MariMed will focus on meeting patient demand for consistent product experience by further expanding distribution of its precision dosed branded products into multiple states, assisting applicants in applying for cannabis licenses in legal states, and providing ongoing managed services for five new cannabis facilities in Maryland and Massachusetts.
- Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introducing Marijuana Effective Drug Study (MEDS) Act of 2017.
- Proposition 300 in Colorado. A critically important step towards a working model for regulating public consumption within state-licensed establishments.
- The Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Science ETF, the first ever Cannabis ETF launched on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).
- Threats about shutting down the industry by Jeff Sessions that never materialized.
The story for 2018 will be California. Expect delays and hiccups for several months after launch in Cali. However, after they get things worked out, the revenues will grow and mission-critical tax dollars will quickly accumulate to the delight of all stakeholders. On a related note, the regulatory environment in California is going to be difficult to understand and even more difficult to enforce.
For the first time in history California will permit Adult-Use cannabis to be consumed, conditional on being at least 21 years old. From a population standpoint, California is larger than the seven western cannabis states combined, even larger than Canada. We’ll see tremendous revenue generated in California in 2018 from the 39 million residents and the 251 million visitors per year.
With the average dispensary price of an ounce of cannabis flower approaching $400 (and rising, as more and more dispensaries open in newly legalized areas and face little pricing competition), it’s easy for consumers to do the math and see the immediate payback horizon of growing their own supply. This kind of ROI is impossible to ignore, and will encourage more and more users take cannabis production into, quite literally, their own hands.