2018 was a huge year for the cannabis industry. Canada and California both began selling weed to citizens over the age of 21, and large companies like Constellation Brands and Altria made huge multi-billion-dollar investments in the industry. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, also included the legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill, legalizing every part of the cannabis plant except for THC.
However, we still have quite a way to go before cannabis is fully legalized in the United States. Business models and regulations are still changing and evolving, and market valuations are also volatile due to these shifts. If the United States did fully legalize cannabis, what might it look like?
A Reprieve from Federal Consequences
At the moment, many state marijuana laws vary quite dramatically from the federal laws. So, while it may be legal in your state to be in possession of marijuana, this does not mean it is legal federally. It’s all a bit of a gray area with many citizens unsure of what to do for the best. If the United States fully legalized cannabis, it would be legal at a federal level. This means that consumers wouldn’t need to worry about federal consequences, and cannabis businesses could stop worrying about potential criminal liability. They could also take advantage of tax deductions and bank accounts, which would only see the industry go from strength to strength.
Edibles Will Become More Commonplace
Leading cannabis company, GGB, points to edibles as the truly dominant market for cannabis products, especially with women. Often purchased for their health and wellness benefits, it is expected that if cannabis was fully legalized in the United States that we would see even more of these products than we currently do. CBD edibles are already available for lots of different conditions, including arthritis, chronic pain, and epilepsy. It’s even possible to purchase bacon flavored edibles for pets. While many consumers will still prefer smoking their cannabis, the edible industry is sure to become the more mainstream option and it’s likely we’ll begin to see cannabis products in health food and grocery stores, as well as online and in dispensaries.
Large Investments from Outside Industries
Finally, it’s also likely that fully legalizing the cannabis market might encourage investment from other industries. Some of these will be surprising too. While we’ve already seen healthcare companies, tobacco companies, and alcohol brands move into the CBD arena, it’s likely that a lot more specialist products will begin to hit our shelves. Even more research will be done into the science of the industry, and with this will come new innovations, new technologies, and new strains of cannabis. Anyone with a good idea, or a revolutionary method of dealing with the supply chain has the chance to enter the industry and make it even bigger and far reaching than it currently is.
How long it will take for the United States to fully legalize cannabis is currently unknown, but the country certainly seems to be moving in the right direction.