By NuggMD Co-Founder & CMO, Alex Milligan.
It’s fair to say that the active participants on both sides of the cannabis market – suppliers and consumers – are delighted to read each headline heralding yet another state or county legalizing the use of recreational marijuana. As a matter of fact, fewer than 7 million of America’s 335 million inhabitants live in places without some degree of marijuana legalization. The surprising speed with which state-level legislation is dropping the barriers to adoption is a long-awaited dream for many who had been previously involved in the cannabis ecosystem only “from the shadows.”
What’s driving this new wave of approval? Few would argue with the presumption that a key stepping-stone to this process has been the broad acceptance of medical marijuana (MMJ) by the medical community as a mainstream treatment strategy for a long list of clinical maladies. While growth estimates in such a dynamic industry are hard to nail down, the most common indicate that while the MMJ market surpassed $22.4 billion in 2020, it is estimated to register over 19.3% CAGR between 2021 and 2027, reaching $87.4 billion.
But I’d like to discuss a leap that many then make in predicting the MMJ industry’s growth patterns for the next decade. The assumption is that as recreational marijuana becomes more mainstream and therefore freely accessible (without the formality of prescriptions, the formality and precision of dosage, and limitation of application), the demand for MMJ will begin to dwindle. While superficially there appears to be some logic to this theory, there are over a dozen different reasons why this is not the case.
The smoke at the end of the tunnel
Legislation and formal legalization are a process. Despite the headlines, marijuana is actually only fully legal (for both uses) in 15 states and Washington DC, while 25 only allow medical use with a prescription from a doctor. Will the rest get there? I think they will. But some states – perhaps many – will take years, and even then, ease into recreational use gradually. Until then, MMJ continues to maintain and grow in value.
The word from above
Though the Biden administration has been indecisive about decriminalizing marijuana at a federal level, the one thing that both the president and vice president agree on is reform to support the use of medical marijuana. Federal support for recreational use appears to be far off, and in the meantime, supporting medical use may represent the administration’s …