Since Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s documentary in 2013 on medical cannabis aired and he publicly apologized, in September 2013, momentum in this industry has picked up significantly. An increasing number of entrepreneurs are now inquiring about CBD and new business opportunities in the cannabis, and hemp industries. Everyone is trying to get out ahead of the steep growth curve the industry will soon experience.
There is a rapid expansion of the hemp food markets, with new players entering the market and seasoned companies growing at a strong pace. Some existing producers are looking for new sources of sustainable raw material and developing new product lines, with many start-ups looking to enter the market early.
The building industry and consumers are not yet aware of the merits of hemp as a building material. The environmental and economic benefits of hemp versus traditional building materials must be quantified and published. Once that information is available and marketed effectively, builders and building owners will transition to this more environmentally efficient and cost effective building technology.
Legal medical and recreational cannabis states as of 2014
In November 2014 three additional states in the U.S. voted to legalize recreational cannabis. Many other states are now drafting bills to legalize cannabis after politicians have seen Colorado and Washington generate a significant amount of tax revenue for their states. The United Nations threatened sanctions against the U.S. for violating the UN Single Convention Narcotics Treaty by legalizing a schedule I drug in Washington D.C. The United States Congress chose to honor the will of the voters in D.C. and not bow to UN pressure. That is a pretty good indication where things are headed leading up to and after the 2016 election in the U.S.
There is still a very long way to go as this industry is barely in its infancy stage at best. It is going to take years to work out the bugs, not unlike the years following the end of alcohol prohibition, yet it still became an industry that contributed significantly to the economy. There is a significant opportunity to capitalize at this early stage of these rapidly emerging industries.