Cannabis Industry Is Ready to Explode
The fight for the legalization of cannabis - i.e. marijuana - has gone on for so long that, unless you have an interest in the outcome - it's easy to tune out and ignore the news until it has some direct affect on you and your family.
But the savviest of entrepreneurs, even if they aren't personally interested in cannabis, see the the possibility of legalization as a massive business opportunity.
An Industry Ready to Explode
A lot has changed over the last five years in the fight for the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana is now legal in more than half of the 50 states - 26 to be exact - in some broad form or fashion. Plus, three more states appear ready to join the fold, which could represent a tipping point.
Most interesting is the fact that seven states and the District of Columbia have adopted laws that legalize marijuana for recreational use as well. Four of these states passed laws on Election Day 2016, which has given the fight for decriminalization a significant momentum boost.
The cannabis industry is ready to explode, which has entrepreneurs and business owners making moves and shuffling holdings in an effort to grab a slice of what promises to be a very rich cake. Last year alone, marijuana sales totaled $6.7 billion in the U.S. Within a decade, financial analysts suggest that figure could top $50 billion annually. In other words, serious money is in play.
Entrepreneur David Dinenberg is a prime example of a forward thinking entrepreneur who sees an opportunity and has already positioned himself for both the present and the future. In 2014, he founded KIND Financial with the goal of lending money to marijuana growers and sellers that traditional banks weren't interested in dealing with. Today, he's performed a slight pivot and the company's primary business involves helping government agencies track cannabis production and sales via software known as Agrisoft.
"It's software that enables regulators, in real time, to know where and how much marijuana is being grown, sold or produced," Dinenberg explains. "We're providing real-time inventory all over their state and information on how much sales tax or other tax they should be collecting. Police or a regulatory agency can look and see that company XYZ says they have 1,000 plants, and then an inspector can go walk into that business and validate that."
Then there's Dan Anglin, founder and CEO of Americanna, a Colorado-based company that sells edible marijuana products. He's on the front lines of the industry and has already enjoyed massive success. In 2016, his company's leading product, Sour Leaf Gummies, sold 223,000 units. As more and more states legalize, it's possible that products like these could go national.
There are also entrepreneurs like Isaac Dietrich, whose company doesn't actually have any direct involvement with the product, but offers a complimentary service to customers who are looking for information and community. Dietrich is the CEO of MassRoots, a publicly traded cannabis social media platform, and he's been positioning his business for years in hopes that mass legalization will allow him to become the Facebook of the industry.
Entrepreneurs Seeing Green
Everywhere you look, there are opportunities for new and better business ideas. While a lot of entrepreneurs fear the stigma that comes with launching ventures in the cannabis space, it's the fearful who are losing out. It's those who are worried about antiquated social perceptions that are missing the chance to build million- and billion-dollar businesses that will play a vital role in the country's economic future.
As more dominos fall in the legalization of marijuana, it's clear that we aren't far from a future where the majority of the country is able to participate in recreational use of what will most certainly become a decriminalized drug.
By that time, it'll be much harder for latecomers to get a foot in the door.
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