Statistically, the cannabis industry is experiencing some of the highest growth in the world right now. Legislative efforts across the country have resulted in the passage of medical and recreational laws in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia.
And just recently, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced plans for the entire country to legalize the use of recreational marijuana.
Support for the legalization of medical and recreational cannabis has grown from a local grassroots effort to a groundswell. And it’s just getting started.
According to reports, the legal cannabis industry is currently worth around $8 to $10 billion, but the unregulated cannabis industry is estimated to be anywhere from $100 to $200 billion. In 2016, the NFL industry made approximately $9 billion in annual revenue.
With all the media attention and interest surrounding the NFL, in addition to their superstar athletes, it’s almost hard to believe that the industry may soon lag behind cannabis.
What does this mean for the marketplace? As the legal cannabis market becomes mainstream, a February 2017 Forbes Magazine article projected that it will create more than a quarter of a million jobs by 2020. That’s more than the expected level of jobs produced in manufacturing, utilities or even government.
However, there are still a number of hurdles facing the cannabis industry.
I worked in the financial market for more than 20 years before founding Amercanex. After meeting with professionals in the cannabis industry, I realized the need for a transparent tracking infrastructure that would increase public health and safety. There wasn’t one in place, so we created Amercanex.
Our marketplace helps protect both the consumer and business owner by tracking cannabis from seed to sale, creating price transparency and operating at true market pricing, while instilling safeguards for the wholesale cannabis industry.
These safety measures are badly needed. Because cannabis has been largely unregulated for years, there has not been a track record of government oversight and protection. There are also hurdles for banking and transportation, which Amercanex has helped to ease with our ACEpay e-wallet solution and transportation solutions.
The cannabis industry may not be as well known as the NFL is right now, but it’s definitely one of the most interesting and dynamic industries to be in as it makes its way to center stage. And maybe one day, some of the brands will be as well known as their team names.
Steve Janjic is CEO of Amercanex, a Denver-based electronic commodities exchange for cannabis.