There is no greater proponent of marijuana legalization than the pleasure business. Not Stormy Daniels’ pleasure, but mere alcohol and cigarette pleasure. Make way for legal marijuana. Why? It is a ready-made market of youthful, existing customers who are adventurous. Businesses are still salivating over a forecast of $24 billion in the country in 2025 according to New Frontier Data, a cannabis market research firm; half of that amount will be from medical marijuana. (Wallace) The firm also projected that the industry will employ 250,000 workers, direct and indirect. The same forecaster projected that California sales in 2025 will be $6.6 billion. The firm’s executive Vice-President stated plainly: This is not “just a flash in the pan.”
An executive summary in a report by Arcview Market Research report gushes: “The data in this report confirms what pioneer investors and entrepreneurs suspected: legalization of cannabis is one of greatest business opportunities of our time and it’s still early enough to see huge growth.” (Arcview) BDS Analytics, who partnered with Arcview, created, with a bit of sleight of hand, a forecast of $40 Billion applying a multiplier effect to the $20 Billion of projected consumer sales in 2021, then adding jobs and tax revenue. Not to be outdone, Forbes magazine projected worldwide sales of $57 Billion in 2027. In North America, sales will grow from $9 Billion in 2017 to $47 Billion in 2027. Australia’s legal marijuana market is projected to increase from a mere $12 Million in 2018 to $1.2 Billion in 2027, the same as Italy. (Pellechia)
Yet these rosy projections do not contend with the facts. Despite the enthusiasm of voters on Prop 64 that legalized recreational stoning, six out of every seven cities in California do not allow recreational cannabis stores. One out of every three cities does not allow any cannabis business. Fewer than one in five allow medical marijuana. How then did the Proposition garner 57% of the vote? No surprise. San Jose and Oakland are populous cities with rich tech employees or government-supported professional protesters who hang around the Berkeley campus and pretend to be political revolutionaries. Nor is the heavy vote in favor of legalization in West Hollywood a surprise – it is the moral world’s anus. Nor is Palm Springs a shock – 83% voted for Prop 64 – it is the home to which Hollywood wannabes disport on weekends.
The simple fact is that legalization was pitched by the usual suspects – drug criminals and superannuated hippies. It is possible that when the scientific evidence catches up, the gullible and avaricious will both be stonewalled – but I doubt it. It will be too late. Big business has arrived – move over.
California allowed pot advertising and got what it deserved. “With marijuana legal, California is flooded with dubious health claims about the drug,” the L. A. Times reported. It pointed to the sheer absurdity of Internet articles: “Cannabis cures cancer.” (Robins) The LAT article posted July 9, 2018 further stated: “The online world is awash with such posts, startling scientists and physicians who are urging weed’s proselytizers to tap the brakes.” The site bragged: “There Are Now 100 Scientific Studies That Prove Cannabis Cures Cancer.” It links to dubious scientific papers that focus on specific experiments, not on actual cancer patient outcomes.. The papers do not provide clear, replicable evidence that marijuana can cure any form of cancer. Many are studies on mice that cannot be extrapolated to humans as science has proven again and again. Moreover, as I indicated in the Science posts, GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabidiol product for reducing seizures, has been approved by the FDA – it will cost $32,500 per year for each patient treated. Business is business. EpiPen again.
The Internet once again is making fools of the general public. And the marijuana industry is hungrily taking advantage of the credulity of the uninformed. California produced 60 pages of regulations attempting to rein in the potential health and safety problems while still collecting the tax revenue. It is true that entrepreneurs are projecting sales growth that even Amazon would envy. But not everyone is impressed with the New Frontier Data forecast. The Marijuana Policy Group trashed such projections: “In general, almost all of those quick-and-dirty national estimates come from back-of-the-envelope calculations, and they are wrong by a factor of two or more.”
To be continued