The powerful influencers in the cannabis industry include all types of businesses, individuals and wealthy investors. The diverse groups are driving the production of cannabis-based products, services, educational systems, and research. Everyone involved in the industry is developing new business models, creating processes and systems that have never been seen before while creating new careers. The fast-paced growth of the industry is being driven by both short-term and long-term profits that can be enormous.
Corporate America is now one of the most influential players that are defying the political system.
The number of players is too long to list, but some of the most powerful influencers include:
Amplify Seymour Cannabis ETF (CNBS)
Arizona Iced Tea
Altria Group Inc., Tobacco
Constellation Brands Inc., Alcoholic beverages
Evolv Ventures, the VC arm of Kraft-Heinz
The UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative
Thrive Capital Management (founded by the brother of presidential adviser and Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner), a $35 million fundraising round for LeafLink.
Trichome Financial Corp. led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
University of Colorado
Corporate America has figured out that most Congressional members are not reliable enough to ensure stability in the cannabis industry and have moved on without Congress’ approval. The cannabis industry is not unlike other industries that have developed without federal or state regulations to become multibillion-dollar industries that include social media platforms, the vitamin industry, Amazon, and other eCommerce platforms. Although non-regulated industries have succeeded, cannabis has a few major hurdles. The factors holding back business growth are the legality of the plant, lack of implementation of basic business practices such as banking rules, and dealing with social justice for the thousands of people (mostly minorities) that have been imprisoned over generations for the use and possession of marijuana.
The lack of leadership from both federal and state politicians will continue to create global, political, and economic tensions. However, the power of businesses and consumers which demand products and services, along with the creation of careers, will drive the business and ignore the ever-growing dysfunctional political system.
Due to the millions of dollars already invested by corporations, researchers, politicians, and higher education, the cannabis fad will develop into a new norm. Despite all the hurdles of doing business, organizations and individuals have moved forward with creating a multibillion-dollar global industry. The cannabis industry globally will expand into a USD 66.3 billion-dollar industry, according to Grand View Research, Inc. by 2020. The United States and Canada will lead the global growth while Israel will play a significant role in research. In the meantime, other countries will try to catch up to participate in the ‘green gold rush.’