What is The Future of Cannabis?

Joel Anderson  |

The cultural and legal status of cannabis is rapidly changing in both Canada and the United States. As a result, investors are now at the cusp of a massive opportunity. The budding legal cannabis industry finds itself in a unique situation, selling a product with loads of existing demand and a marketplace rapidly entering a new age. The transition out of the shadows for the cannabis industry is one that could spark its own industrial revolution as a wide array of technologies and best practices realize a new era of efficiency and innovation.

That’s why Equities.com and Viridian Capital Adivsors are joining forces to present The Future of Cannabis, a four-week special feature series that digs deep into the legal cannabis industry, and why it presents such a unique investment opportunity.

Why Cannabis?

Current estimates (incomplete as they may be) put the size of the illicit marijuana trade in the United States at between $35 and $50 billion. That would mean that the current legal industry only accounts for about 5% of total demand. It’s rare that an industry can enter into the market with that substantial level of demand already in place, but that’s precisely where the cannabis industry is poised at the moment.

The current iteration of the cannabis industry is revealing that there are myriad uses for the plant, not to mention a range of ancillary businesses ranging from agricultural technology to next-generation vaping technology. The potential for this industry to rapidly grow up are boundless.

Commoditization of cannabis is helping drive down prices and promote consistency of product for sellers, economies of scales and application of agricultural technologies new and old are helping growers improve yields through better efficiency, new means for consumption ranging from vaping pens to infused products are drawing in new consumers for dispensaries, and ongoing research into the human body’s endocannabinoid system are leading to the development of compelling new medical treatments for debilitating diseases that destroy lives.

Simply put, the ability to shift into the legal marketplace has the potential to spark revolutionary changes across the board that stand to improve efficiency and quality control, create real standards, attract new consumers, reduce prices, and develop a range of new applications. The cannabis industry is already enormous - it’s simply one that’s been forced into the shadows by unwieldy and unnecessary legal restrictions. Opening up the legal floodgates will create a massive opportunity as the legal industry rushes in to fill the void.

Why Now?

Because things are changing rapidly. Canadian and American authorities alike are starting to recognize that their long-standing war on weed isn’t worth the time or money they’re putting in. As such, legalization, long a mirage, is now very real and rapidly materializing on the horizon.

Medical use is legal throughout Canada and in 23 US states. Recreational use is already legal in Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, and the District of Columbia. And as of November of next year, that number could balloon to 13 states, including California. Upwards of 40% of the American population could be living in a jurisdiction where they can purchase marijuana for recreational adult use legally.

There’s also every reason to expect the rate of legalization and acceptance to accelerate. Since legalization, none of the hellfire and brimstone predicted by legalization’s biggest opponents has materialized. In fact, all Colorado appears to have to show for their trouble is a $70 million tax windfall since they began allowing commercial sales.

This is all driving a huge need among cannabis companies for growth capital. Forming new companies and expanding existing ones to take advantage of these rapidly expanding opportunities coming from falling regulatory barriers makes for an environment where investors are faced with myriad opportunities. Finding the right one at this juncture could reap tremendous benefits in the long run.

As state after state legalizes recreational use, likely en route to the U.S. federal government de-scheduling the drug, those people who bought in early will be the ones getting the biggest returns when the best of breed take off. As such, getting in now, while involving a lot of risk, carries the potential to be a part of one of the biggest growth stories of a lifetime.

Why Us?

As a financial news organization known for our coverage of emerging growth companies and innovative sectors, Equities.com aims to inform and expose investors to new and exciting market opportunities they may otherwise never hear about. Digging into every corner of the economy, we maintain a firm commitment to exploring the companies that make up the next wave of innovation. From the exciting developments in crowdfunding to the most exciting emerging growth, early-stage companies, Equities.com is on the front lines of capital formation and the economy of tomorrow.

In keeping with that mission, over the course of the four-week program and beyond, we have partnered with Viridian Capital Advisors to examine the most compelling issues, investment, and business opportunities within the Cannabis space.

Founded in 2014, Viridian Capital Advisors provides financial and strategic advisory work for players in the cannabis industry. Their market intelligence is without peer in the cannabis industry, doing the sort of diligence and analysis that no one else can provide. The company’s Cannabis Stock Index is made up of 50 of the more than 250 publicly traded cannabis companies across 11 different sectors and represents the most comprehensive snapshot of the cannabis industry that exists today. The firm is also at the forefront of the considerable capital raising and M&A efforts in the cannabis industry, acting as a banking firm through broker-dealer Pickwick Capital Partners. All in all, there is no one in the world more familiar with the current make-up and direction of the legal cannabis industry than Viridian Capital Advisors.

The Future of Cannabis

Here’s a quick look at what Equities.com and Viridian Capital Advisors will be featuring over the next few weeks. Links to each piece of content will be added as they become availabile, so be sure to check back to make sure you don't miss any of our exciting coverage. This program was made possible by the support of our sponsors. Click here for a full list of our sponsors.

Week One: Macro Perspective and Overview

Monday – Sector Deep Dive Feature: Cannabis: A Social, Political, and Business Revolution has Begun
Monday – Infographic: 5 Things Investors Need to Know About Cannabis
Tuesday – Expert Interviews:

Thursday – Video Exclusives:

Wednesday – Sector Research: The State of the Cannabis Market Today
Friday – Weekly Recap: This Week in Cannabis: Getting the Big Picture

Week Two: The Biotech/Pharma Investment Opportunity in Cannabis

Monday – Sector Deep Dive Feature: Why the Biotech Market is Looking to Cannabis for the Future
Tuesday – Expert Interviews:

Wednesday – Sector Research: The Cannabis Biotech/Pharma Market Could Surpass $20 Billion by 2020
Thursday – Video Exclusives:

Friday – Weekly Recap: This Week in Cannabis: Why All the Excitement Around Medical Marijuana?

Week Three: Cultivation & Retail Market

Monday – Sector Deep Dive Feature: The (Untapped) Multi-Billion Dollar Market in Cannabis Cultivation and Retail
Tuesday – Expert Interviews:

Wednesday – Sector Research: State Legalization and Popular Support Initiatives Drive Growth in Legal Marijuana Market
Thursday – Video Exclusives:

Friday – Weekly Recap: This Week in Cannabis: Is Cultivation and Retail the Purest Way to Play Legalization?

Week Four: Infused Products Market

Monday – Sector Deep Dive Feature: Growing Popularity of Infused Products Pushing Cannabis into the Mainstream
Tuesday – Expert Interviews:

Wednesday – Sector Research: Wide Variety of Product Categories in Infused Products and Extracts Sector

Thursday - Video Exclusives:

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer.

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