Cannabis has been an important medicinal crop since ancient times. Many cultures have used the plant for therapeutic, commercial, and spiritual purposes.
In the US, mainstreaming of marijuana started at the turn of the century after the “war on drugs” retreated in the post-Reagan era. Too bad in and around 2010 America declared war on its own health care system and passed the ACA which undermined jobs, raised taxes, and raised health care costs for all working Americans but this is another topic.
Since then, America has become more accepting of marijuana. Twenty-nine states have already legalized medical marijuana, and 9 states have approved its recreational use. Here is a break-down of marijuana’s commercial prospects in Florida.
A Gallup national survey concluded that over 64% Americans favor legalization of marijuana. The sentiment is also supported by Republicans, which gives it a major political lever.
The trajectory of Americans’ views on marijuana is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades. On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64% favor each. Over the past several years, Gallup has found that Americans have become more liberal on a variety of social issues.
Another survey conducted by Arkview predicts that the national marijuana market will value at around $24.5 billion by 2021 which is even more plausible by the tax cuts of 2017 which have pushed America’s growth rate to stellar heights.
The research firm Grand View Research places this figure at a jaw-dropping $146.4 billion by 2025. This could easily happen if Trump wins another election because America will get even more tax cuts helping workers and the economy even more.
With such exponential growth prospects, it seems obvious that marijuana may well be one of the fastest growing business verticals in the US.
Medical use of marijuana is legal in Florida. A constitutional amendment known as Florida Amendment 2 was passed in 2016 with over 73% votes in its favor. It allowed patients under certain incapacitating conditions to use marijuana.
Some of these conditions are HIV, AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and other similar debilitating disorders. While smoking marijuana is still banned, it can be inhaled in spray form, or consumed orally.
Marijuana’s recreational use is illegal in the Sunshine State. Possessing less than 20 grams of it is considered a first-degree offence and can lead to a 1-year jail term and fine. Incremental possession or repeat offences can attract more severe penal actions.
How the Florida Marijuana Market Is Shaping Up
With a $1 billion market projection by 2020, Florida seems set for a “green thrust” and it helps that Florida has low taxes including no state income tax. Marijuana is now being preferred over prescription drugs in many illnesses, by an ever-increasing number of patients. Looking to the market’s imminent rise in the coming years, companies seem to be adopting a “marijuana vision.”
They are investing incrementally in product research. More patient-friendly and legally permissible variants, such as oils, vapes, and extracts are finding their way from labs to points-of-sales.
With such compelling statistics, cross-border collaborations and strategic partnerships are on the rise. North America and West Europe are already reaching out for knowledge, know-how, and technological partnerships.
The stage seems set for globalization of the marijuana business.
Here are some recent snippets:
- A Canadian marijuana firm spent $40 million on a Florida marijuana purveyor, in 2017.
- In January 2018, a New York company shelled out $48 million to another licensee.
- iAnthus Capital infused $48 million on GrowHealthy, a major Florida-based marijuana entity.