California’s Berkeley Patients Group will be selling recreational cannabis starting at 6 A.M. on January 1st. They’ll be kicking off what is sure to be a pivotal year in Cannabis – one way or the other.
The industry has been expanding rapidly in sales and geography. North America spending on legal cannabis topped $7.3 billion in 2016 and grew 33% to end 2017 with $9.7 billion in sales according to industry watcher BDS analytics. 2018 promises a big revenue jump with California (Jan.), Maine (Feb.) and Massachusetts (July) all scheduled to open up recreational use markets. A long list of states might put forth November ballot initiatives to legalize adult-use cannabis, including Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont, according to the Cannabis Business Alliance.
On of the reasons they are succeeding is that cannabis companies are becoming more professional and transparent according to Gateway Accelerator co-founder Ben Larson. His company has helped launch 19 marijuana-related start-ups. The industry is also adopting more mainstream business practices like charitable giving. Denver’s cannabis dispensary chain Lightshade, recently opened its eighth location and will be donating some of its profits to neighboring Amazing Grace Community Church to support its food pantry and bi-monthly meal service.
Entrepreneurs are also finding creative solutions to limitations and regulations. Marketing restrictions are tight on the cannabis industry, but the Merry Jane media company has found a way to slyly refer to cannabis and its effects by teaming up with fast food giant Jack-in-the-Box to offer a MERRY Munchie