With specialties ranging from technology to health care, visionary companies are learning how to apply their expertise to meet the increasing and evolving demands for cannabis-based products and services.
A recent report from the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) calls the 2016 election “a watershed moment for the cannabis industry.” While the report highlights concerns about how the Trump Administration could affect players in the blooming cannabis industry, the cautionary article offers room for optimism.
Among other points, NCIA notes the potential for policy changes at the Department of Justice, which since 2013 has crafted its state marijuana programs around the “Cole Memo.” Written by James Cole, former U.S. deputy attorney general (2010-2015), the memo provides eight priorities concerning federal policy on the cannabis industry.
“Hypothetically, new leadership at the Justice Department could revoke the Cole Memo and return to an era of federal enforcement actions against state-compliant cannabis businesses. However, such an action would almost certainly provoke substantial backlash,” writes NCIA.
Meanwhile, a recent initiative by Senator Elizabeth Warren of the Senate Banking Committee demonstrates growing acceptance of the cannabis industry, and raises hopes that the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) will soon provide updated guidelines for marijuana companies looking for access to banks and credit unions. Earlier guidance provided by FinCEN in 2014 addressed the concerns of businesses that dealt directly in marijuana, like pot shops and marijuana dispensaries. “Indirect businesses that service the marijuana industry” were left in regulatory limbo, not knowing what rules, if any, applied to them.
One “indirect business” of vital importance to the marijuana industry is handled by Singlepoint subsidiary, SingleSeed Payments, which will provide a number of transaction and payment processing services, such as cashless ATM, Pay-by-Text™ and text message marketing to the cannabis industry.
In a recent interview with MoneyTV, Singlepoint CEO Greg Lambrecht discussed the value banking services would provide to marijuana businesses, also highlighting his optimism for the industry.
“With Oregon, Washington and Colorado, the cannabis business was roughly somewhere around $5 billion. With Florida, Massachusetts and California, I’ve seen a lot of estimates of it growing to $50 billion, and some estimate saying $100 billion. We’re going to be the merchant processor on that money, so this is a very exciting time for Singlepoint.”
Another business that will feel the ripple effects of industry change is MassRoots, Inc. (OTCQB: MSRT), one of the largest technology platforms for the regulated cannabis industry. The company’s mobile apps enable consumers to provide community-driven reviews of cannabis strains and products, enabling consumers to make educated cannabis purchasing decisions.
The cannabis industry is also comprised of other “indirect players” such as Eco Science Solutions, Inc. (OTC Pink: ESSI), an eco-tech company with several smart-device apps and related supplements to natural medication use; and Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC Pink: MJNA), whose HempMeds Mexico® subsidiary recently received approval from Mexico’s health authority, COFEPRIS, to import the company’s Real Scientific Hemp Oil-X™ to treat a patient for pain associated with cancer treatments and for general well-being.
Additionally, OWC Pharmaceutical Research (OTCQB: OWCP), through its Israel-based One World Cannabis Ltd. subsidiary, develops cannabinoid-based therapies targeting a variety of different medical conditions and disorders. One World was created to apply pharmaceutical research protocols and disciplines to the medical cannabis industry, and enables OWC Pharmaceutical to take advantage of Israel’s position as the global center of medical cannabis research.
Ultimately, the forecast for cannabis business is bright, buoyed by public and congressional support that demands change.
“The 2016 election is a turning point for marijuana policy and the cannabis industry in the United States. Never before have so many Americans lined up to reject the failures of marijuana prohibition and support legal, regulated cannabis programs,” says NCIA.