The Cannabis Market Will Disrupt These 4 Industries In 2019
With the widespread acceptance of cannabis happening faster than ever, investors and politicians alike believe the cannabis market is bullish in 2019.
According to a Bank of Montreal valuation, the cannabis market could reach as much as $194 billion, assuming federal legalization in the US and across the EU.
With that staggering potential in mind, here are a few markets that have already been disrupted by cannabis legalization and which could see massive growth in the next few years.
The viability of hemp has long been a clarion call for cannabis market supporters. Historically, hemp was used for pretty much everything and only the prohibition of cannabis demonized it in many modern cultures. Hemp doesn’t even have any notable psychoactive properties but its similarity to cannabis caused it to get swept up in the “Reefer Madness” prohibition of its THC-laden cousin.
Get ready for industrial hemp
Canopy Growth, one of the superstars of legalized marijuana in Canada, recently announced it has secured a licence to grow hemp in New York State. In their press release announcing the agreement, Canopy said: “Depending on Board approval of a specific site, Canopy Growth intends to invest between $100 million USD and $150 million USD in its New York operations, capable of producing tons of hemp extract on an annual basis.”
In the press release, US Senator Charles Schumer, (yes, that US Senator Charles Schumer) is quoted as saying he welcomes Canopy’s help to make the Southern Tier of New York State “the Silicon Valley of industrial hemp production and research.”
The legalization of cannabis and the generally widespread acceptance of its use has allowed a number of celebrities to formally endorse its consumption. A 2016 Sports Illustrated cover story on former NFL running back Ricky Williams was just the start of bringing pot-smoking athletes into the limelight. Williams parlayed a long-running joke on his cannabis consumption into a post-retirement renaissance as a legalization advocate. With more and more athletes touting the restorative benefits of cannabis, it’s no surprise there are beverage companies jumping in on the trend.
The high performance cannabis market
In a press release from last year, High Performance Beverage Co. announced they were launching a full line of THC- and CBD-infused drinks “created to stimulate and enhance the body.”
A different kind of buzz
It’s not just sports and energy drinks: Mark Hunter, the CEO of Molson Coors, announced in October a joint venture with cannabis brand HEXO to “develop non-alcoholic, cannabis-infused beverages for the Canadian market following legalization.” Hunter believes the cannabis market could be worth between $7 and $10 billion in Canada, with non-alcoholic cannabis beverage market making up 30% of that.
Despite the rapid legalization occurring worldwide in regards to cannabis adoption, it can still be challenging for a completely legitimate business to have liquidity among an ever-shifting legal landscape. Frustrated by the slow progress of economic policies to keep up with the end of prohibition, a number of cryptocurrencies have arisen in the last five years to allow the legal cannabis industry to keep cash flowing.
The oldest and most popular is Potcoin, created in 2014, which was designed to “empower, secure and facilitate legal access to cannabis by creating a unique cryptocurrency for this thriving industry.” Potcoin isn’t mined, like Bitcoin, but instead operates on a proof of stake (PoS) system allowing users to earn interest.
Despite the seeming genius of the core idea, Potcoin has a few drawbacks. First, it is nowhere near as popular as Bitcoin so can be quite volatile. Second, since it is used only to buy marijuana, critics are concerned it is not as anonymous as it could be, as having such a limited product base makes it easier to track down user identities. Still, Potcoin is an early adopter to what could be a major industry.
The biggest industry set to be disrupted by the growing cannabis market is the biggest one. A recent study discovered that a growing number of patients are substituting their pharmaceuticals for cannabis. Crucially, this includes users who have been prescribed opioids, which are contributing to a major epidemic in the US and Canada. While the medical properties of cannabis have long been known, the current legalization push has removed a lot of the stigma that used to surround the substance. There are plenty of small companies taking advantage of this new frontier in pharmaceuticals, which could affect the US pharmaceutical industry to a tune of $20 billion in the next two years.
Find a balance
One of the pioneers is Tilray, a Canadian company who provides products in the form of dried flowers and extracts, either THC or CBD-focused–or both in a ‘balanced’ formula.
It’s going to be a big year for cannabis disruption
All signs point to 2019 being a big year for the cannabis market, though Investing News Network rightly points out that investors will start to demand results from the lofty promises of 2018. Will you be one of them?