Pharma, Beer and the Future of Cannabis
There has been a lot of news this year in relation to cannabis, some good, some bad and others well…”meh.” Today we’ll be talking about a few issues relating our favorite plant and the organizations surrounding it.
Cannabis the New Beer
Firstly, you’ll be more than happy to hear that cannabis is gaining momentum in the US and many beer drinkers are opting in to buy weed over brew. A new survey by Cannabiz Consumer Group revealed that 27% of beer drinkers in states that have legalized, are opting to buy weed over their favorite beverage and participants in states that currently don’t have a legal system in place agreed.
The total sample pool was of about 40,000 people. Currently, the Beer industry is generating roughly $100 billion in sales each year, however if cannabis were to be legalized, they expect to be losing more than $2 billion per year as the Cannabiz Consumer Group expect roughly 7% of national beer drinkers to make the switch once fully legalized.
This in my humble opinion is a lowball figure as the surveys revealed that more like 25% of the beer drinking population will most likely make the change.
Now this doesn’t mean that cannabis consumers don’t like beer. Every now and then a smooth joint and a cold beer can do wonders, especially if it’s sunny out and you’re chilling next to the pool. However the average cannabis consumer doesn’t drink nearly as much beer per week as the average beer consumer.
Nonetheless, I think it’s a good thing that people are switching to cannabis over beer due to the fact that it’s just healthier and doesn’t incite violence, as alcohol does. Did you know that nearly half of all violent crimes can be linked back to alcohol? Knowing figures like this, the switch from beer to cannabis is a welcome one.
Pharma still Meddling with Cannabis Legalization
Perhaps 80 years ago the biggest opponent of legal marijuana was the oil and petroleum industries, however these days big Pharma is one of the biggest opponents. This is evident with the legalization efforts that happened in Arizona this past year. Insys gave $500,000 USD to “Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy” which is the most prominent anti-cannabis organization operating within the state.
This was just a few months after the DEA “okayed” one of their newest drugs “Syndros” which is a synthetic version of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Obviously, if Arizona legalized last year, it would have cut deep into their profit margins and pharma can’t have that happen now can they?
The donation they gave to ARDP roughly constituted 10% of their total donations which means it was quite sizable. In the end, they attributed to maintaining marijuana on the back burner for a few more years all because they want to protect their profit margins.
Now, it’s okay for a company to want to protect their profit margins, however when you do it at the expense of everyone else…well then you’re simply being a dick about it.
This is nothing new. The prison industrial complex, Big Pharma, Big Alcohol and the works all supports prohibition because as you can see, regardless of where marijuana is legalized…it’s cutting into their profit margins.
Prisons will have fewer inmates if cannabis was legal. Pharma would lose out on billions if marijuana was legal because patients prefer to use cannabis over pharma meds where possible. This is the crude reality every cannabis activist should be aware of…money and power are the main motivators for the prohibition of marijuana.
The Future of Cannabis
Now, we might look at the information presented to us and see a dreary landscape for the future of cannabis, however according to GreenWave Advisors it might not be so bleak.
They speculate that by 2021 the entire US will go the way of legalization. Regardless of what the Trump administration is attempting with cannabis, the people have spoken. There are already ballots in motion for 2018 and 2020 for other states that want to opt in for legal marijuana.
The main motivators behind these initiatives are tax revenue, healthcare and of course seeing how well it’s working in other states like Washington, Colorado and so forth.
With more investors ready to dish out the cold hard green, we will begin to see an explosion within the cannabis industry over the next few years that will overshadow the progression we have made in cannabis over the past two decades.
Once enough states have legalized marijuana, the Federal government will essentially have no more jurisdiction over cannabis, seeing that there are roughly 5,500 DEA agents globally, it’s nearly impossible to prosecute cannabis operations without state involvement.
If all states or most states have legalized cannabis, they would not be able to assist the DEA since it would technically be legal within the state. And thus, the hand of the federal government will be forced and they would have no other option but to bend to the will of the people.
And once this occurs, we’ll see the cannabis industry grow to new heights…and this is something to look forward to.
The Sticky Bottom Line
While the landscape surrounding cannabis might seem stormy at moments, the fact of the matter is that there is seemingly nothing that can be done to stop the legalization of cannabis. It seems we have finally hit the tipping point in relation to legalization.