Most outside observers who don’t use cannabis see the industry from their car: dispensaries and cannabis doctor’s offices. Someone with a small insight may have an understanding of the agricultural aspect of cannabis.
The reality is, California’s legal cannabis industry is a network made up of countless varieties of businesses. As an industry that creates a raw product, manufactures it into finished goods, and sells it directly to consumers, legal cannabis actually requites the cooperation of many businesses to find itself in the hands of customers.
The world-class, legally-compliant cannabis products that are sold in California start as a seed, sold by a seed breeder, are grown by a cultivation company, processed by a concentrate or edible facility, tested by a compliance laboratory, and sold by retail or delivery businesses. All of these companies work alongside cannabis-specific attorneys and cannabis waste companies, utilizing industry-specific technology created by even more businesses.
The industry is massive, and the potential growth of these businesses is why you hear the entrepreneurial rhetoric about however many “billions of dollars in economic growth”.
Here is my opinion: the biggest inhibitor to the cannabis industry’s expansion is federal prohibition. When that changes, and as other states and nations continue to adopt forms of legal cannabis, the industry will become massive.
The fed’s current laissez faire approach to state legalization has created a scenario where businesses exist against the odds. Despite having little access to banking, enduring obscene tax rates and living under the constant threat of a federal crackdown, the industry is growing quickly.
If cannabis wasn’t facing such preventative regulations, I think that all businesses involved would grow exponentially.
The question remains, will it ever become federally legal?
My observations are that Democrats seem to like weed and Republicans seem to support big business, so I see no reason why those two things together would remain under prohibition for much longer.