U.S. Cannabis Demand Continues to Soar

U.S. Cannabis Demand Continues to Soar
U.S. Cannabis Demand Continues to Soar

A NY Post article reported on rising usage of cannabis in the United States. It provides cannabis investors with an interesting snapshot of the potential of the cannabis industry in two respects.

Since 2002, cannabis consumption has risen by 47 percent in cannabis-legal states, according to a survey conducted by the Rockefeller Institute. Even in states that have not legalized cannabis, usage has risen by an average of 33 percent.

For cannabis investors, these are strongly positive numbers. But note the predictably primitive manner in which the NY Post expresses this data.
 
America’s gone to pot, with the number of marijuana smokers spiking dramatically— even in states where it’s illegal — in recent years, a new study shows.

The number of folks who admitted to monthly weed use in states where the drug isn’t allowed recreationally has soared 33 percent since 2002, according to an analysis of federal data by the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

And the increase is even, well, higher — 47 percent — in states where lighting up is legal, according to the sprawling survey of all 50 states.

“America’s gone to pot…”

“The number of folks who admitted to monthly weed use…”

Hilarious.

More enlightened readers know that cannabis is a safe, healthy substance. The cannabinoids in the cannabis plant (the active ingredients) are also produced naturally within the human body.

Cannabinoids are essential to our health. Their properties are very similar to those of vitamins.



Imagine the NY Post was writing an article about vitamin C consumption. How ludicrous would it appear if it wrote the article in the following terms?
 
America’s gone to oranges, with the number of vitamin C users spiking dramatically – even in states where it’s illegal – in recent years, a new study shows.

The number of folks who admitted to monthly orange consumption where vitamin C isn’t allowed recreationally has soared 33 percent since 2002…

The mainstream media has been “warning” us about safe, benign cannabis for 100 years. Even as cannabis is legalized state-by-state (and soon nationally), apparently these vacuous warnings are going to continue.

Back in the real world, cannabis is rapidly becoming a popular consumer trend among Americans. It is becoming the recreational drug-of-choice among educated professionals – precisely because it is so much safer and healthier than the legal alternatives: alcohol and tobacco.

The problem standing in the way of all this legal consumer demand (and potential investor profits) is government.

States across the U.S. (and provinces in Canada) insist that “eliminating the cannabis black market” is one of their top priorities as they legalize pot. But (in most cases) their actions totally undermine this goal.

They over-tax cannabis. They over-regulate cannabis. They provide inadequate retail access.

In California, voters demanded that cannabis be legal by state ballot. But the gutless state government has allowed local governments to opt in (or opt out) of legalizing cannabis.

Nearly 90% of California counties still have some level of cannabis Prohibition in place. California compounds this folly by over-taxing cannabis and creating a steadily shifting maze of regulations for the legal industry.

As a result, California’s cannabis black market continues to claim 60% of market share. Those are revenue dollars that should be flowing into the pockets of (legal) cannabis companies – and their shareholders. Those are additional tax dollars that should be flooding into state coffers.

Instead, California’s government has regressed to the failed thinking of the 1980’s with a new War on Drugs. It’s spending vast amounts of tax dollars attacking its cannabis black market, even though this heavy-handed law enforcement operation is doomed to failure.

Nearby, Colorado is already winning the battle against the cannabis black market without spending a dime. Just reasonable taxation and industry-friendly regulation.

Colorado has the largest, healthiest cannabis industry in the United States (in proportionate terms). It has the smallest cannabis black market.

Scrape away the anti-cannabis hysteria of the NY Post and cannabis investors get a glimpse of the potential of cannabis demand in the United States.

It’s rapidly becoming more popular even in states where cannabis is illegal as consumers (increasingly) ignore antiquated anti-cannabis laws. It’s America's 21st century Tea Party.



Anti-cannabis U.S. states, the federal government, and all these politicians seeking re-election can continue to oppose this New Tea Party at their own peril.

For cannabis investors, the message is also clear. Cannabis demand can only go up. Current revenues for the legal cannabis industry remain just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential size of this market.

Cannabis stock valuations across North America continue to lag these positive fundamentals. Sophisticated investors will easily recognize the opportunity here.
 

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