The Growing Legal Cannabis Industry

Marijuana is illegal in New Zealand, apart from very specific applications for use as medicine in approved forms due to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975, but there is a burgeoning legal industry for recreational cannabis globally, in particular countries, a list which seems to be every growing.

Here in New Zealand 14.6% of the population smoke cannabis more than once per year, 60%+ have tried it, over 50% support decriminalization, and 71% medicinal cannabis – the rest of the world is already actually responding to numbers like these.

The social tide has turned, period. People are changing attitudes to cannabis.

The year on year profit for the US’s cannabis industry in 2016 was 6.7 billion. And this is really only two years since Colorado changed its law. If you imagine or factor in law enforcement costs, the small number of states involved – this is an economic boom of nearly unimaginable proportions. If we all had access to this kind of industry, profit and taxes, we could kiss goodbye to the economic crisis, or govt service budget shortages.

Arcview market research predicts that the total US take for legal cannabis in 2020 will be $22 billion, compounding at a rate of 30% per year. And one can only assume, that’s only getting started, given more and more states and countries will be adding their name to the list.

And we are not just talking marijuana sales, or production here. We are talking real estate, biotech, pharmaceutical and govt research, consulting, edible products and more. I have no doubt there will be things like cultivation and specialized business courses developed, and more jobs created there too – more developed products for growing, genetically developed strains, patents on genetics, new medical products (including ones with no psychoactive effect, or enhanced medical properties). Jobs we can’t even predict yet.

Even things like Australians new growing licenses, will generate economies that have significant impact on their country.  I read the other day, that a bee keeper had trained his bees to make honey from cannabis pollen.

Already you can get a job as an edibles creator, concentrates processor, glass merchant, courier and delivery, security, reviewer, trimmer, tourism organiser, admin, budtender, regulator, software developer, retail owner, farmer, seed harvester, consultant, medical researcher, specialised doctor and more!

Estimates say that in the US 200,000 jobs were created by 2015. It’s likely to be a lot higher by now. And that’s just from a few states, for a few years.

And the benefits go beyond that – no cops die in enforcement, no taxpayer dollars are wasted, no portions of society are harassed, jailed or prejudiced against with no possible ethical justification – and sick people can access cannabis as a medicine.

Imagination is virtually the limit here, but the future looks good.

And what we find also is heartening – people don’t drink more, on average they drink the same, and society isn’t falling apart. There’s no new class of addicts (as if cannabis were strongly addictive!), and no problems with traffic or drivers. No evil demons were released, no curse released on the world. Pure economic and social benefit. At last, the truth speaks for itself.

Four states already have legalized recreational marijuana – Colorado, Washington, Oregan and Alaska, and a total of 23 states have legalized medical marijuana. A handful of states will likely soon join the first list.

Cannabis is legal in Colombia, Germany (with a license), the Netherlands (for citizens, and it’s partly de facto), Spain (growth and private smoking), Uruguay.

It’s decriminalized in a quite large list of countries, including around half of Australian states and in some of those medical marijuana laws and legal recreational use laws are probably incoming. I would fill far too much space on this page if I tried to list all the de facto, or decriminalized countries in the world!

Australian states where it is decriminalized and people fairly openly grow, smoke and talk about cannabis include the ACT, South Australian and Darwin. I smoked some weed once in South Australia – it was dirt cheap, and everyone talked about it openly.

And no doubt, much more to come in the list of laws changed around cannabis. With so many examples of ‘the new way’ working well, maintaining the attitude that it can’t is truely a thing of the past.

Welcome to the future. See you up by the budtender.