Big businesses are saying that investing in cannabis is probably the biggest thing they will do since the internet! So are more businesses going to bite the cannabis cookie and get high? Many potential entrepreneurs and funders seen cannabis as a huge cookie they want to bite into – there are profits to be made. And because this is a relatively new business with more destinations becoming legal cannabis growers and sellers, the business side of cannabis will still develop.
But cannabis does still have a bad name in many states of the USA and in places like South Africa, where it is still illegal. In South Africa, citizens may grow and use cannabis at home but may not be seen using it as a recreational drug in public. And the medical cannabis industry has yet to hear the final findings by the courts surrounding licenses for growing cannabis and manufacturing medical products, distributing and selling them. The bad name is usually associated with the cannabinoid in cannabis that makes the user high – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This potent “drug” has been used as a recreational substance and as a medical therapy for centuries. But when it was abused and led to addiction and bad behaviour, it was banned across the world. The other common cannabinoid used for medical purposes and legalised in many countries is cannabidiol (CBD). This chemical compound is a natural anti-inflammatory, pain killer, anti-depressant and healer of things like arthritis, insomnia, nausea and vomiting, lack of appetite and anxiety.
Medical marijuana or cannabis holds bigger potential for funders both private and state than the alcohol industry, tobacco business and pharmaceuticals. Look at the addiction issues around all of these and the additional costs involved to health institutes and departments. Cannabis, when taken responsibly as a medical treatment, is not addictive and cannot be abused especially when using CBD. The psychotic side effects of THC are mitigated when it is mixed with CBD as a powerful medical alternative to treat pain, inflammation and diseases such as cancer and depression. When patients turn to cannabis for their illnesses, they are able to wean themselves off opiates and other pharmaceuticals. So which business has the guts to bite the cannabis cookie?
In America, federal government has left the legalising of medical cannabis up to individual states. More than 40 states have recognised the medical potential in cannabis while a handful of states have decided to legalise the recreational use of cannabis. There are still restrictions and regulations but big business remains cautious about investing in something that is still settling down and which is still controversial. One investor in San Francisco has taken the plunge to put their money solely into the cannabis industry. Poseidon Asset Management LLC acknowledges the risks but also knows that longterm benefits will come eventually, although not immediately. People are worried about making money out of such a new industry,not sure they will benefit in profits. But the owner of Poseidon, Morgan Paxhia, reckons cannabis is a multi-billion dollar market for the next few years at least.
Many business are quietly putting money into the cannabis cookie jar but not talking about it. Cannabis companies need money to keep growing the cannabis, developing products, doing research and testing and distributing and marketing their goods. The cannabis market is hot so some businesses are charging cannabis companies way too much to rent spaces or market their cannabis products. It seems there are trust issues here: new cannabis businesses which started long ago when cannabis was illegal tend to avoid big funders, rather doing their own thing to protect their interests in an ever-growing industry. And it works the other way – big funders are getting fussy about where they put their money to make sure these cannabis businesses are reputable and reliable.
It seems that most laws regarding cannabis are in limbo – in the USA, in South Africa, and elsewhere. Which means the future holds potential for medical cannabis as a business investment. The public seems to be leading the move towards medical cannabis and what is now a small wave, could turn into a mega tsunami. Is business going to bite the cannabis cookie? It looks like it but only time will tell.