Cannabis Trends To Watch In 2020
With a new decade upon us, the cannabis industry has found itself in somewhat of an awkward spot. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it just goes to show that progress is never one solid line toward growth.
As a business advisor, I’m often asked about the fast-growing cannabis industry, so I always keep my finger on the pulse. While some elements of the industry are taking off, others are still lagging behind or even regressing.
In this guide, I'll cover a few of the cannabis trends that I'm paying attention to in the coming year.
1. Human Resource Growth
Economic prosperity combined with cannabis legalization in 33 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam has led to significant growth in the cannabis industry workforce. The last few years saw incredible expansion, to the tune of more than 211,000 Americans with legal cannabis jobs in 2019. In 2020, I predict that HR models and systems will be further honed to accommodate this expansion.
Look for HR leaders to begin more comprehensive employee training and development programs that take into account industry vertical and ethical selling practices. This could come in the form of continuing education, as well as greater control on employee oversight that shifts the industry into a more corporate environment.
2. Greater Emphasis On Digital Transformation And Data-Driven Decision Making
Digital transformation has become the greatest paradigm shift in almost every single industry imaginable. From music and television to ride-sharing and e-commerce, digital technologies have completely upended traditional markets across the board. Expect nothing less in the cannabis industry as new players with more nimble, digital processes built into their core infrastructure look to disrupt incumbent players that have yet to factor in digitally savvy components.
As in every industry, however, established players do have an advantage: money. And when it comes to implementing tech processes into established firms, money talks. Expect larger cannabis corporations to invest in the implementation of technology such as RPA (robotic process automation) to streamline entire business processes.
3. Legislative Flux
Because marijuana is still a banned narcotic under federal law, it has made things complicated for distribution and sales. Ancillary service providers such as landlords, vendors and suppliers are all subject to strict federal regulations when it comes to the sale of cannabis products.
Additionally, Republican Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo issued a statement detailing his opposition to last year's SAFE Banking act that would have paved a way to obtain secure banking partnerships for cannabis organizations. With many industry groups aware of the drawbacks of preventing distributor access to financial systems, however, I expect the chairman to be challenged and the issue to be on the docket during this election cycle.
4. Roadblocks To Investment
Thanks to this flux in legislation that directly affects cannabis business access to financial services, outside investment in the industry is not as promising as it used to be. Back in 2018 when it seemed that cannabis would quickly become the golden child for business investments, the market frothed with a certain expectation. With those investments not making the return due to slower congressional uptake on the matter, profits returned to investors have fallen flat.
While this doesn't mean capital is impossible to generate through investments, cannabis operators and business owners should be aware of the greater level of due diligence they will face when looking to make a deal with an investor. What would have been a sure sign of cash flow in previous years isn't as guaranteed. By extensively preparing for this kind of setback and doing their own due diligence on partnerships, cannabis companies can further their chances of securing elusive deals in 2020.
As a result of the greater financial barriers to investment, expect many companies to begin consolidating their resources this year. In order to secure further funding and investments, smaller dispensaries and cultivation operators will likely be bought up by larger companies that have access to distribution partners and greater legislative sway.
A trend in mergers and acquisitions will see smaller and more independent players reincarnate as subsidiaries of larger companies. As a word of caution, large company policies may put a stranglehold on what those smaller players do best in order to juice out maximum profits from an investment-strapped industry.
While it may seem as if legislation and consolidation are causing a regression in an industry that once resembled a fertile land of opportunity, it is important to not lose sight of the bigger and longer-term picture. Opportunities in the realm of digital transformation are coming, while support in Congress does exist for businesses and individuals reliant on cannabis sales.
Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2020/02/12/cannabis-trends-to-watch-in-2020/#f91426c57791
Town Swaps Chocolate for Marijuana and Sees Revival of Fortunes
Smiths Falls, Ontario — population 8,885 — is seeing a revival of fortunes since medical marijuana producer Tweed Inc. set up shop four years ago in an abandoned Hershey Co. chocolate factory. The company, since renamed Canopy Growth Corp., has become the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis producer and is the town’s largest private-sector employer.
“We’re recognized as the pot capital of Canada — and we’re proud of that,” Mayor Shawn Pankow said in an interview from the town hall, a two-story brick building erected in 1859 on the main street. “The local economy is certainly far better today than it was before Tweed came to town.”
Trying to fly with weed in California probably won't get you arrested
Starting New Year's Day, the sale of marijuana for recreational use will be permitted in California, the country's most populous state.
What does that mean for air travelers who try to bring small amounts of marijuana with them?
That is a conundrum for the state's airports, which are locally owned and operated but are subject to federal law, under which marijuana is an illegal substance. Areas beyond security checkpoints are under federal control.
Few Michigan cities decided to let the weed flow
When Harrison Township votes on its medical marijuana ordinance next month, there is expected to be little opposition to the plan to allow a couple of dozen cannabis businesses into the Macomb County community.
“At last check, we had 18 legitimate grow operations in the community. At a minimum, if there is an existing business, why would we tell the owner, 'You have to evict your tenant?'” said township Supervisor Ken Verkest. “This is a great source of revenue for us. Whether you like it or not, it’s coming. Isn’t it better to eliminate these black market, cash-only guys?”
It's a different story in Oakland County’s Oakland Township, where township Supervisor Dale Stuart says medical marijuana businesses will never be welcome.
Marijuana use among pregnant teens has spiked in California
California already has the world’s largest pot economy and the state is preparing to legalize recreational sales on Jan. 1. But a new study about marijuana use by pregnant women suggests the pot boom is having an overlooked impact on public health.
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland looked at data collected from 279,000 pregnant women who completed a screening for marijuana use as part of standard prenatal care. Across all age groups in the study, marijuana use by pregnant women saw a modest increase from 4 percent in 2009 to 7 percent in 2016. But over that same period, self-reported weed use by expectant teens under 18 soared from 13 percent to nearly 22 percent, and from 10 percent to 19 percent among pregnant women ages 18 to 24.
Officials Warn You Can Still Get a DUI for Marijuana After Jan. 1 Legalization
Officials are cautioning Californians that the state won’t be devoid of marijuana regulations when the drug becomes legal for recreational use on Jan. 1.
Messages reminding drivers, “Drive high, get a DUI,” began popping up on Amber Alert display signs along freeways statewide on Wednesday as part of a campaign launched days before California officially becomes the sixth state to fully legalize weed.
Driving under the influence of marijuana has always been illegal in the state, but law enforcement will face new challenges in regulating such offenses once pot use inevitably becomes more commonplace.
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