It has been a big week so far for medicinal cannabis. Earlier in today, Miracle-Gro announced interest in the medical marijuana market and yesterday, TV host, Montel Williams gave a tour of his medical marijuana dispensary in Sacramento. More and more, individuals and businesses are recognizing medicinal marijuana’s widening legality, profit potential and medical effica. For Mr. Williams, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, the herb is what helps him cope with the pain.
Of the facility and potential customers, Mr .Williams said, “We believe they’re coming in here to be educated. They’re coming in here so they can feel comfortable, so to make them feel comfortable we’re going to be providing them with more information and more guidance than I believe any facility in this country is attempting to do.”
Beyond looking forward to helping patients cope with myriad afflictions medicinal cannabis is credited with treating, Mr. Williams can likely anticipate a busy new business. Medical Marijuana is estimated to be a $45 billion industry in the United States, and now with 16 states having legalized it and others like Indiana and Maryland considering bills, more people than ever are feeling comfortable either ingesting of investing in the substance.
In spite of a still recovering economy, the medical marijuana industry has continued to thrive and more people than ever are attempting to infiltrate the market, with Mr. Williams serving as an example.
Among the more visible individuals in this field is Richard Lee, the millionaire founder of Oaksterdam University and innovator of the California bill to legalize recreational marijuana, Proposition 19. When the bill lost by only a small percentage in November, changing attitudes regarding the marijuana industry became apparent and members of the more mainstream business sector began to recognize the corporate and medical possibilities for medicinal cannabis.
Another pioneer in the field was General Cannabis (CANA), a southern-California based company that claimed ownership over the mega-popular distributor-locator site, Weedmaps.com last year, developed the Daily Deal (a coupon for pot) and debuted an IPO. General Cannabis is unique from other medical marijuana companies in that it doesn’t actually sell marijuana. The company’s websites, WeedMaps.com and CannaCare.com, serve as an avenue for consumers to find local dispensaries to fulfill their medicinal cannabis needs. In March, the company reported over $2.2 million in credit card processing volume, up from $1.7 million the month prior.
It’s no surprise, given the profit potential of this burgeoning industry, that more and more individuals are becoming involved in the field with much success. Then, there’s also the humanistic view point voiced by both Mr. Williams and Jim Pakulis of General Cannabis that natural cannabis is a better medical solution than any synthetic remedy offered by pharmaceutical companies.