In Denver, the mile-high city, the legal cannabis is a billion dollar business.
“Currently there are, approximately, over 3,000 medical and retail marijuana businesses. And over 40,000, approximately, occupational licensees,” says Dominique Mediola, Deputy Director, Marijuana Enforcement Division, Colorado Department of Revenue.
From setting marijuana policy to selling accessories to running pot dispensaries, women are leading the way.
“The women that are pushing this, and pushing this agenda, they’re bad ass. They are on top of things, and they are changing the views on what this plant is,” says Wanda James, owner of Simply Pure marijuana dispensary. She is a former Navy lieutenant who also worked on President Obama’s National Finance Committee. Today she is one of the first African-American women to open a marijuana dispensary.
According to a recent poll by Gallup, 64% of Americans favor legalizing the plant.
When Gallup starting asking Americans the question back in 1969, only 12% of Americans were for legalizing marijuana.
“The trajectory of Americans’ views on marijuana is similar to that of their views on same-sex marriage over the past couple of decades,” Gallup said in an online post.
“On both issues, about a quarter supported legalization in the late 1990s, and today 64 percent favor each. Over the past several years, Gallup has found that Americans have become more liberal on a variety of social issues.”
According to a report published by New Frontier Data, U.S. medical marijuana sales in 2017 hit $5.3 billion, accounting for 67% of total cannabis sales, and by 2025, medical sales in currently legal states are forecast to grow to $13.2 billion, at which point medical sales will account for 55% of all sales. Comparatively, adult-use sales in 2017 are forecast to reach $2.6 billion, rising to $10.9 billion by 2025.
Medical sales are perhaps the most untapped new market because there are so many people who have not considered cannabis use. For example, medical cannabis has been used to successfully treat epilepsy in patients for years, and recently the U.S. Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, said it should be studied and treated like other pain relief drugs.
A growing body of scientific evidence is leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to do that. Meanwhile, researchers at Colorado State University are examining the benefits of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive byproduct of cannabis, for treating dogs with epilepsy and arthritis.
According to Jane West, CEO, Women Grow, “There isn’t a playbook so you make your own. In a lot of states, there aren’t even regulations written yet. And there you can still truly shape the industry.”
Image: Courtesy Women Grow