Is cannabis the new gold?
And if so, are we at the gates of a greener and much more lucrative gold rush? Long gone are the days in which the legalisation of marijuana seemed impossible.
Across the world, laws have fallen, new laws have been made, and an increasing amount of research has established that marijuana is not a feared and dangerous substance that will harm our society, as once people archaically thought. In fact, it might actually be quite the opposite.
Cannabis has proven its resilience over and over again throughout history, and now in our modern society, it is simply undeniable. It is here, it is happening, and while most countries are yet to legally adopt and adapt to it, others such as Canada, the Netherlands, and several states in the US have legalised this drug with amazing results – both social and economic.
With this panorama, it is no surprise that legal marijuana has awoken a vast fan of business and investment possibilities. Its deregulation has not only opened up paths that used to be legally blocked, but has also raised the bar as far as creativity goes.
Marijuana is not just marijuana anymore; it has expanded beyond itself, even beyond the products that we usually associate it with, so much so that it has even reached the clothing, food and drinks industries. Cannabinoids and the constant innovation in this area have taken the world by storm, and have no intention of stopping.
In the past few years, ever since deregulation came into the picture, the cannabinoid sector has undergone monumental change. Since 2010, cannabis-related trademark applications have risen from 88 to 4,030. Almost half of these belong to Canada, and another 24 per cent to the US.
And even when this market experienced a sharp decrease in patent activity at one point, this was followed by a significant recovery that excelled beyond our imagination, as we’ve discovered in our latest report, “Money in the pot: an analysis of patented cannabinoids innovation”.
We are at the peak of this trend, and are now witnessing a unique and unusual market that is sure to surprise us in the long run.
The industry’s growth is closely tied to the widespread deregulation. The latest members to join as of November 2018 are three more US states: Michigan, Missouri, and Utah.
This reinforces our theory that deregulation in parts of the US is sparking a shift in the cannabinoid market, from strictly therapeutic-centric innovations originating from large pharma companies, to dynamic startups focused on delivering commercial innovations for therapeutic and recreational uses, such as cannabis-infused sodas and vape pens.
Today, the cannabinoids industry is dominated by corporate entities with small patent portfolios, illustrating an early “wild west” market – one that is highly competitive and not yet settled. The opportunities are vast.
So, should investors, businesses, and even governments start focusing more on the cannabis market? After all, with so much time and money being invested into registering trademarks and developing innovative new products, it would seem that we’re on the brink of a revolutionary industry that has both medicinal and social value.
More importantly, looking at the data and analysing the industry’s ongoing growth all around the globe, we have to ask if the countries that are still refusing to deregulate cannabis – the UK included – can continue to do so? At this point, they are turning down a phenomenal business opportunity.
There will be bumps in the road for this blossoming industry, as there are in all new markets. But if we fail to embrace marijuana and deny the market’s potential value, we may end up missing out on a pot of gold.