States Are Taking Steps to Encourage Minority Marijuana Entrepreneurs to Enter The Marijuana Industry

States have taken it a step further than legalizing marijuana: some are actually encouraging minority marijuana entrepreneurs to enter the market for legal marijuana sales and start their own marijuana businesses! Could we be living in better times for the cultivation, sale, and us of marijuana?

The kind of healing of old wounds and restitution for past injustices inherent in these policies is incredibly encouraging for the burgeoning legal marijuana industry. This is especially true after decades of drug prohibition laws that were enforced with a disproportionate effect of violence and repression on black and Hispanic communities in the United States.

In the Associated Press report on this welcome development for minority marijuana entrepreneurs, the AP featured a photograph of Andre Shavers and told his story.

Shavers, a black minority marijuana entrepreneur who runs a marijuana delivery business in Oakland California, is a living, personal example of the positive changes that have been set in motion by the ascendancy of the legal marijuana movement in American politics.

He was once sentenced to five years of probation on felony charges after police authorities broke into his house (in an area of Oakland with some of the most heavy-handed police enforcement) and found a quarter ounce of the harmless plant.

Now Oakland and other cities and states with legal marijuana laws presently on the books are making an effort to make amends to minorities for the damage marijuana prohibition has done to their families and communities.

According to statistics gathered by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, African-Americans accounted for 5.6 percent of the Golden State’s population, but made up a disproportionate 16 percent of marijuana arrests in 2015.

Oakland officials have now approved a policy that sets aside half of the city’s marijuana licenses for low-income residents who have been convicted of a marijuana crime or who live in a neighborhood ravaged by the fallout from the heavy handed prohibition enforcement.

In Washington state, where recreational marijuana businesses were legalized by ballot proposition in the 2012 election, Brian Smith, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, said the board is looking at ways to ensure minorities are well represented among licensees, including the use of targeted outreach to ethnic communities to diversify the licensee pool.

Just about 3 percent of retail marijuana license holders in Washington are African-American, roughly tracking the percentage of the population in the state where 3.5 percent of Washington residents are black. Like California, in 2015 African-Americans made up a disproportionate share- 11 percent- of marijuana arrests.

Our Very First Actively Managed Marijuana ETF May Be On Its Way

Cannabis Investment

US SEC CLEARS WAY FOR CANNABIS EFTs

On Friday, May 5th, Cambria Investment Management filed an N-1A form with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for not just one, but five new ETFs. The diverse basket of proposed funds cover a wide range of industries (real estate, cannabis, robotics and AI), and also include two tax optimized funds – one domestic and one foreign.

The stand-out of the bunch – and the one that is perhaps kicking up the most attention – is the Cambria Marijuana Industry ETF. The proposed fund, if successfully launched by Cambria, will be given the ticker “TOKE.”

Cambria’s Marijuana ETF will track publicly traded companies that support or directly work in the legal production of cannabis, including: companies that legally produce marijuana, those that conduct legal research into its medical or pharmaceutical use, and those that design and manufacture equipment used in the marijuana sector.

While it may be the first cleverly-named marijuana ETF, TOKE is not the first ETF to deal in cannabis-related stocks. The proposed fund will follow on the heels of the first-ever marijuana ETF, the Horizons Medical Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (TSX:HMMJ) – which launched at $10.00 per share last month and is now sitting at $9.59. While the fund trades in Canada, American investors have been able to get in on the action via its listing on the OTC.

Horizon’s ETF isn’t alone, either. In February, a filing popped up for a fund called the Emerging AgroSphere ETF. The proposed fund, which comes from New Jersey-based ETF Managers Group, will include companies exclusively in the medical marijuana space and – if approved – will list on the NYSE Arca.

Both HMMJ and the Emerging AgroSphere ETF are passively managed, meaning the indexes they are based on dictate their performance. This means that TOKE has the potential to be the first actively managed ETF in North America. At the time of writing, there is no indication yet as to when the two remaining ETFs might launch.

There is still no telling how well these (hopefully) soon-to-be-launched ETFs will perform in the market, especially considering the fact that HMMJ has declined by about four percent since it began trading. But, at the same time more and more states are legalizing medical cannabis, and – according to Arcview Market Research – sales in the marijuana sector as a whole grew 30 percent in 2016 alone. The industry is also projected to triple in size over the next four years.

Marijuana Businesses Better Stock Up On This Product in 2017

There are some big changes happening in cannabis consumer preferences that marijuana businesses should pay close attention to in 2017!

marijuana businesses should stock up on cannabis oil for vape pens

Earlier this year the California-based marijuana delivery service called Eaze (known as “The Uber for weed”), released its second annual “State of Cannabis” report.

The report draws on data from 250,000 California users and a survey with 5,000 respondents to provide a very comprehensive picture of your customers if you’re in the marijuana industry.

If you’re not selling cannabis oil cartridges as part of your marijuana business and making a concerted effort to advertise this product category to your clientele, you’re missing out on a big opportunity in a rapidly growing cannabis product segment.

According to Eaze’s first report at the beginning of 2016, marijuana oil cartridges for vaping were a mere 6% sliver of overall sales for the past year. This year sales of marijuana oil cartridges are up over 400% making up a full 24% of the delivery service’s sales.

As more cannabis consumers take to vaporizing their weed, fewer and fewer are purchasing the raw plant itself. Over the last year sales of the marijuana plant’s raw flowers fell from 75% to 54%.

Customers are less interested than ever in lighting up and smoking, when they can use a cleaner, less harsh vaporizer, or purchase any number of edible cannabis products ready-made, that they don’t have to prepare themselves.

Finally, consumer purchases of flowers, edibles, and concentrates that are primarily CBD-based has increased 38% over the last year.

CBD or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that is remarkable for providing consumers with many of the palliative and medical benefits of marijuana, without producing the characteristic psycho-active “high” that is caused by THC.

Marijuana businesses that are paying attention will cater to the increasing consumer demand for these product categories.

Investing in The Marijuana Industry Promises Huge Returns

Investing in the marijuana industry has never looked more lucrative.

investing in the marijuana industry yields big returns

Earlier this year, Forbes astounded its audience by noting that 2016 marijuana sales in the US states where it’s legal outmatched the Dot-Com boom of the early 2000s.

They based this on a report by Arcview Market Research, which is the market leader in data research for legal marijuana market in the United States. According to Arcview, legal marijuana sales in North America grew to $6.7 billion in 2016.

As Forbes Magazine observed, by comparison the entire US GDP during the Dot-Com era grew at 22% versus the 30% growth we’ve seen in the marijuana market to achieve those kind of number sin 2016. And remember that at the time, the dot-com expansion was considered unparalleled in its scope and magnitude.

Arcview’s editor, Tom Adams wrote:

“The only consumer industry categories I’ve seen reach $5 billion in annual spending and then post anything like 25% compound annual growth in the next five years are cable television (19%) in the 1990’s and the broadband internet (29%) in the 2000’s.”

At the rate the marijuana industry is growing, we can reasonably project legal cannabis sales north of $20 billion by the year 2021 just five years from now.

Consumers clearly value marijuana for its psychoactive effects, the characteristic “high” caused by the THC in its leaves, rewarding consumers with relaxation, greater enjoyment of their company and surroundings, increased insight, and greater creativity.

Many consumers use marijuana the way American workers have used alcoholic beverages since this country was founded, as a way to unwind after a hard day’s work. The demand for legal marijuana is undoubtedly robust and hardly flinching at federal prohibition of cannabis and cannabis products.

Investing directly in marijuana dispensaries themselves or cannabis farms is just one way of investing in the marijuana industry. Another is to invest in the various auxiliary businesses the provide support and business infrastructure to this multi-billion dollar boom industry.