Cannabis is a quickly growing industry in the United States. According to the National Conference of States Legislatures, medical marijuana is currently legal in 23 states and the District of Colombia, and recreational cannabis use is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, with 14 more states having to some degree decriminalized possession of limited amounts of the substance. Recent polls say that nearly half of all Americans have experimented with cannabis, and more than half believe that recreational cannabis should be legal. In the first six months after recreational cannabis was legalized in Colorado, the state brought in roughly $18.9 million in taxes, and the cannabis industry in Colorado alone created between 7,500 and 10,000 American jobs in 2014. It’s estimated that in five years the national market for legal cannabis will be worth $10.2 billion, and if all 50 states were to legalize cannabis they would collectively rake in $3 billion in taxes, annually.
Even as things stand, there are great gains to be made in the cannabis industry. In New Mexico, the most common diagnosis qualifying for medical cannabis, accounting for 27% of the state’s cannabis prescriptions, is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and it is estimated that one in five of our military members deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq have or will come back with some form of PTSD. Now is a good time to start investing in the cannabis industry, and the smartest way to do that is with the advice of a cannabis consultant. Whether you are interested in becoming a commercial grower, starting a medical marijuana business, want to apply for a business license for selling marijuana, or are looking for marijuana investment opportunities, there is a specialized cannabis consultant who can get you where you need to go.
Cannabis is a nuanced, niche market, and as such requires the knowledge of a professional to excel within. If you plan to start a medical marijuana business for example, it is important to realize that although your state has legalized the medical use of the substance, cannabis is still illegal under federal law. In some states, medical cannabis is legal for medical use only, and in others it is legal for recreational use as well. A medical cannabis consultant will be invaluable in helping you navigate the finer point of state and federal laws to ensure that your business is operating by the books every time, and interpreting what changes in state and federal law mean for your business.
Regardless of the sector you are going into, it is important to choose your cannabis consultant wisely. Choose a consultant who specializes in what you need- a growing specialist will probably not be of much use to you if you plan to open a dispensary. You should also be sure that you are hiring a consultant who is intimately familiar with the laws of your state- as more states legalize cannabis, consultants follow, and the nuances of the law in your state may be vastly different from where your consultant came from. When hiring a consultant, you should also keep in mind that the lucrative nature of the cannabis industry draws in a lot of start-ups looking for their big break. Do your research and make sure the consultant you want to hire has a deep knowledge of their specialty, and, once again, the laws governing cannabis in your state. Finally, as with any consultant position, make sure that the contract favors you, and allows you to terminate if you aren’t receiving the level of service you expected.
As we go into 2016, the cannabis industry is only expected to get bigger with the possibility of legalization on the horizon in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont being hinted at by CNN and USA Today. The opportunities to cash in on this budding market are endless, and well worth jumping through the current legal hoops. Will you be ready when your opportunity knocks?