Cannabis or marijuana has been a part of human history for a very long time. Originating in Asia, the plant spread to other regions around the globe thousands of years ago and has had a myriad of uses in many early societies from practical to spiritual. The idea that cannabis is an evil drug is a fairly recent invention as it is said that many early societies recognized its benefits. This attitude, however, is beginning to shift as the drug is a growing number of people are more aware of the drug and its uses, giving it the potential to grow into a new industry. And with it comes the development of new and innovative partnerships. It is worth mentioning that Cannabis encompasses the strains Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis, each with their own characteristics. For convenience’s sake, the word “cannabis” will be used liberally.
Prejudicial attitudes in the United States towards cannabis can be traced back to the early 20th century. During that time, the Mexican Revolution was in full swing and the United States saw a huge influx of Mexican refugees into the country. With those refugees came alien customs and practices including the use of cannabis or as the Mexicans would then call it “marihuana”. It wasn’t long before false rumors of the plant and its destructive properties were spread amongst the American public and eventually leading to further regulations and more severe penalties for anyone involved with the plant. Some would even suggest that the newfound animosity toward the plant was an extension of the negative attitudes towards the Mexican population and such regulations were put in place to keep an eye on them.
In the present day, attitudes towards the plant are shifting. No longer seen as a sketchy drug used hippies and criminals, cannabis is making its way into the mainstream. In the United States, California, one of the largest legal markets in the world begins the process of eventual legalization back in the 1990s when it approved the use of medicinal cannabis. Since then, attitudes towards the plant has somewhat softened as more people become more aware of the benefits the plant provides. Currently, with six-in-ten (62%) of Americans supporting its legalization and a more cannabis-friendly Congress, things are looking good. As of now, cannabis is legal in several states in the United States with different laws governing its legality. Users should know which states allow its use and understand the local laws to prevent any mishaps. Up-to-date information regarding its status in the different states can be found here.
Cannabis’ rising popularity presents a lucrative opportunity for businesses. Despite the excitement surrounding it, cannabis is still very much a controversial subject. After all, it is still banned or heavily regulated in many parts of the world. As a result, larger companies, especially multi-nationals and those with diversified business models may be reluctant to participate or would have limited, undisclosed participation to prevent any potential backlash from strong opponents and critics of the industry. However, this sentiment may be changing as its development is often reported in a positive light with informative information of its benefits and ample growth and profitability in the coming years.
The door is then wide open for smaller companies, startups and specialized businesses to make a name for themselves. The industry requires expertise in a variety of fields in order for it to grow and many companies have answered the call to provide their services with many finding success. The industry is now awash with companies both old and new to cater to all kinds of needs for companies and businesses that deal with cannabis from companies such as Fluence Bioengineering that provides specialized lighting for growers to CRM software such as WebJoint and Baker Technologies for small business owners and delivery services Eaze and Nugg ,the latter of which also created NuggMD to provide cannabis-related telemedicine consultation. There are even means for like-minded enthusiasts to connect with each other and seek specialized information via social media sites such as duby, budhubz, high there and many more. Helping the growth and formation of these companies are the consultation agencies including the American Cannabis Company and 3C Consulting that have been formed to assist new and upcoming businesses to navigate the complex legal waters of the industry.
The cannabis industry is set to see plenty of developments as companies and individuals continue to find innovative ways for its uses and consumption. The food and beverage industry, for example, is already seeing the introduction of cannabis-infused drinks such as Nirvana Spirits, Mood33, and ice-cream created by Cloud Creamery. Other unique products include cannabis transdermal patches that can be used to treat certain conditions or be enjoyed over a prolonged period of time and the invention of cannabis toothpaste for dental care.
One of the factors that can lead to further growth in the industry is partnerships. As mentioned before, cannabis is still a controversial issue which may mean huge risks for smaller companies despite the exciting opportunity. Furthermore, a number of larger companies have been watching developments in the industry with great interest and are likely open to exploring methods of entry and collaborations. Some of the more notable partnerships and collaborations are listed below:
Mood33 x Caliva
Cannabis-infused beverage creator mood33 entered into a distribution partnership with cannabis dispensary and cultivation company Caliva. The partnership will greatly expand mood33’s reach across the state of California making one of the most widely available cannabis-infused drinks in the state.
Endoca x Tough Mudder
Cannabis products producer Endoca signed an agreement with Tough Mudder to be its official CBD partner. The partnership is a great opportunity for Endoca to promote its products as the tough mudder events attract participants from all over the world from diversified backgrounds. Endoca will be providing cannabis education and product samples to participants of Tough Mudder’s 2019 events in North America and the United Kingdom.
WeedMD x Ignite Cannabis
Canadian cannabis producer WeedMD entered into a licensing deal with Ignite International Brands to produce and distribute Ignite-branded products in Canada. The partnership has drawn criticism and backlash from the public as the WeedMD who had branded itself as a progressive company had chosen to partner with a brand created by American Instagram star Dan Bilzerian, a controversial figure in his own right.
North American Cannabis Holdings, Inc (USMJ) x Kali-Extracts (KALY) x West Coast Venture Group, Corp. (WCVC)
All 3 companies are engaged in efforts to develop cannabis-infused meatless burger to capitalize on both the alternative foods and cannabis markets.
Around the world, the perception of cannabis may be shifting as news of developments in countries where the drug is legal spreads across the world. Some countries with strict laws on the use of drugs especially in Asia have also begun looking into the use of cannabis’. South Korea, for example, has surprised many by legalizing the use of medical cannabis on a restrictive basis in March 2019. Thailand has also recently legalized the use of medical cannabis and had begun rolling out its own line of products. On a similar note, Lesotho and Luxembourg have also made history by becoming the first African and European country to legalize the drug through with some limitations. However, it is still a long way to global acceptance and uses as there is still a strong stigma towards its use.
As cannabis enters the mainstream, people can expect big changes in the culture of its use. The counterculture that surrounded the use of cannabis and has been embraced and celebrated by enthusiasts for decades is coming to an end as larger companies become more involved in the industry. This will have the benefit of increasing the output and lowering its cost while improving quality through the funding of research initiatives and introducing a diverse range of products for the market. It may even seem likely that big businesses will come to dominate the cannabis landscape as loosening regulations and growing acceptance legitimize it as a proper venture, at least in certain countries.