MJ BizCon 2019 Floor legal cannabis industry

This past year has been a big one for the legal cannabis industry gathered at MJ BizCon. Formerly confined to the shadows and a few western states, the legal cannabis industry has become a big business with all the benefits as well as the problems associated with it.

MJ BizCon Reports

According to MJ Business Daily President Chris Walsh, while the legal cannabis industry is expanding greatly and booming in the foreseeable future in general, the tumultuous nature of the industry has made it so many of the more prominent companies are hurting. The Canopy Growth Corporation stock (CGC) that was valued near $40, for example, is near $18. They are dealing with corporate issues many corporations are also dealing with it.

More than one said it was not an easy year for the legal cannabis industry. CGC and Aurora’s respective stocks are down by a bit. But they’re dealing with real corp problems versus a lack of demand or another issue that, in theory, couldn’t be fixed. In a bubble of investment companies, investment expectations were too high.

CBD and Hemp Booming

CBD and hemp are another story.

Since its legalization last year in the Farm Bill, MJ BizCon said CBD in the last year has become a booming business and a craze. CBD is now being sold at local corner stores throughout the country. In addition, Kroeger and CVS have begun selling CBD. However, it’s not very regulated. Thus, many feel that some CBD is sub-par. That includes placebos that are similar to snake oil.

Hemp has many uses. But preparing factories to process hemp has been a bit difficult. And the process is delayed.

Texas and Florida are planning to have large hemp markets. This is amusing because it goes against the usual dichotomy whereby more progressive Democratic states are taking the lead in all things related to cannabis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are likely to regulate hemp and cannabis, but they really do not know how yet. However, the FDA is working hard on it. They have banned CBD companies from saying there are health benefits associated with the product. This was done to eliminate the snake oil aspect. There is a great deal of anecdotal evidence that is quite helpful in treating some ailments. (Buyer beware).

Vaping problems continue to plague the legal cannabis industry. It seems that mostly illegal cartridges are hurting people. That means people would be safer if it were legal. Thankfully, the issue does seem to be subsiding.

Many medical cannabis advocates are concerned that medical cannabis patients could get the same products from legal adult-use dispensaries. Then the adult-use market will take away patients from the medical program. Budtenders (marijuana dispensary workers) can offer strains to help with different ailments. It is far more preferable than the hassle of going to a doctor.

Many other corporations in the tobacco, alcohol, and pharmaceutical industries are interested in getting into cannabis. That includes Altria (formerly Phillip Morris) and CVS, among others.

Depending on how you measure it, the legal cannabis industry is barely ten years old. That’s depending on if you count medical markets versus adult-use markets. Medical marijuana first went legal in California in 1996.

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Dan Ulloa
Dan Ulloa is the Editor and Publisher of Heady NJ, with a background in politics, journalism, and a passion for the cannabis community. He curates and publishes news, events, and insights on the industry. Dan has been a leading voice in the New Jersey cannabis scene, educating and informing the public about this rapidly evolving industry. He ranked #35 on the INSIDER NJ Cannabis Power List out of 100 in 2022.