Cannabis – Where are we and where are we going?

Published on 30 April 2019

The cannabis sector is relatively broad, spanning FDA-approved drugs to consumer products. Both markets are still at a fraction of their potential peak sizes due to laws forbidding the use of cannabis and also regulatory hesitance to approve drugs with related active ingredients. Worldwide sales for all regulator-approved cannabinoid therapeutics were only $53m in 2018 while the total legal cannabis market in the United States was only around $8bn in 2017 compared to $234bn in sales for the alcoholic beverage industry. However, things are changing, mainly due to two reasons: legalization is popular with voters and politicians recognize that the tax revenue that could be extracted through sales taxes/VAT could fill budgetary holes.

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