In 2016, Bloomberg reported that consumers spent $6.7 billion on “legalized weed.” This one number stands as proof of the success of the cannabis industry. If you consider that much of the money spent on illegal weed still goes properly unaccounted for, it is a real eye-opener to the business possibilities as more states go legal and more people become interested in stepping into the industry as entrepreneurs, business owners, growers, or other valuable players in the world of marijuana. Check out some of the ongoing and expected trends for the cannabis industry in 2018.
Regulation A+ Offering for Cannabis Companies
Perhaps one of the biggest trends in the cannabis industry for 2018 revolves around equity crowdfunding for cannabis companies, which is now at a peak in popularity allowing more cannabis-related entrepreneurs to get their foot in the door and get their business ideas up and running. Crowdfunding works for cannabis companies because it operates outside of federally-regulated financial institutions. Whereas a prospective cannabis grower or startup dispensary would have a hard time getting business loans from a bank, they can turn to crowdfunding as a way to get the funding they need.
Crowdfunding has become such a big thing for cannabis companies that there are crowdfunding platforms specifically designed to help those in the industry get funding. A few examples of the best cannabis crowdfunding platforms, according to Finder.com, include:
- Fundanna Crowdfunding
- CannaFundr Crowdfunding
- 420FundMe Crowdfunding
While crowdfunding has quickly stepped to the top as a viable way to fund cannabis operations, there are some limitations that will most likely carry over into 2018. There is a grey area to mind in this business, so funding and investment is never as simple as it sounds—even with crowdfunds. For example, you may be able to get funding through a platform, but you may still need a regular business account to draw the funding to. Plus, ordinary folks who would otherwise be happy to offer to fund through these platforms may not be able to because they are not a legally-recognized cannabis investor.
If you prepare for a few challenges, know your business model, and know your state and federal regulations as someone in the industry, the challenges with cannabis crowdfunding can be overcome. Just make sure you are attentive to the marketing aspect of your startup and know the rules of the platform you plan to use.
Cryptocurrency for Cannabis
When two mainstream ideas emerge around the same time period, it’s pretty awesome to see them collaborate together, and cannabis and cryptocurrency are the perfect examples of such an industrial union. One of the primary things that cannabis and cryptocurrency have in common is a desire for obscurity and privacy. While cannabis is now legal in several states, a lot of the federally owned and ran financial institutions refuse to get involved, which poses a major challenge for those looking to break into the cannabis industry. They have nowhere to turn for financing and accounting services.
Because cryptocurrency is a decentralized financial operation, it is the ideal solution for people in the industry looking for things like business loans, business accounts, and other financial collaboration and support. Digital currency is proving to work out really well for a lot of reasons for the cannabis industry, including:
- Digital currency can be privately used to purchase cannabis for those users with privacy concerns
- Digital currency provides a way for people to avoid giant cannabis-relative fees set in place by the state or at a federal level
- Digital currency allows buyers to get what they need without carrying around a large sum of cash
There are actually several forms of coins developed that have the cannabis industry at heart, including Potcoin, Budbo, and Hempcoin. All of the known cannabis industry-focused cryptos have their own advantages to boast, and some are more geared to private buyers, while others are geared toward growers and distributors. As 2018 progresses, there will probably be even more cryptocurrencies come about that help power the cannabis industry financially.
Cannabis as a Wellness Lifestyle
You can’t talk about cannabis as an industry in 2018 without considering the fact that cannabis is becoming a wellness lifestyle for a lot of people. With marijuana legalization being on a steady uptick across the country, cannabis is now more accessible than it’s ever been for people who want it for its medicinal properties. And the cannabis industry is taking note of the demand and following suit to be capable caterers to these users.
Just one look at the products available shows that cannabis and wellness are now intertwined and probably won’t be looked at as two separate industries in the near future. Marijuana concentrates are now classier than ever, with dabs now being able to be used in vape pens and other more socially acceptable forms. CBD oils and concentrate oils now come in roll-on forms or in tinctures that can be dropped under the tongue. Cannabis products can even be organic or certified non-GMO. The list of changes goes on and on.
People with ailments that range from Parkinson’s to ADHD continue to line up outside of dispensaries to get their prescribed medicine. While the medical advantages of cannabis have been a well-kept secret for a lot of years, the open acceptance of the herb has started an ever-growing evolution of using marijuana specifically as medicine. You can even find some cannabis products with outlined dosing instructions for certain conditions.
Growing Community Around Cannabis
In 2018, enjoying cannabis is not going to be a thing you do tucked away in a back room by yourself. From the west coast to the east coast, cannabis use is becoming more widely socially acceptable both for recreational and medicinal use. About 61 percent of the American population is now in favor of legal weed, which turns out to be about six out of every ten people you meet. This number has nearly doubled since 2000 when few states were jumping on the legalization bandwagon.
Expansion of industry overall, the multiple states legalizing, and even other nations going legal too have all had a hand in growing community around cannabis. As the year rolls on, expect to see more spaces open up in legal states where people can come together and enjoy cannabis. Whether it’s something like coffee shops where customers can smoke, dab, or have an edible as they please or art studios and exploration venues where people can consume cannabis and get creative—these places will continue to pop up.
As cannabis has evolved as an industry, users are more allowed than ever to meet up in public, talk about their love of the green goods in the open, and enjoy different cannabis products together without fear of repercussions or legal woes. Therefore, a new, modern community of cannabis enthusiasts has flourished and these trends show no signs of slowing down any time soon.
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This communication shall neither constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which the offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to the registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.