Early on in December, Bank of America Merrill Lynch released a research report projecting the future of the cannabis industry. This is one of the first research reports from a major financial institution, so a milestone has been reached in one of the fastest-growing industries that is seeking more recognition and the profits that come along with that recognition. However, the report makes it evident that cannabis still has a long way to go till it is considered a normal industry.
At the moment, 23 states have legalized some form of cannabis, most of which are medical. Four states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Also, next election day, California and, at least, five other states are likely going to hold a vote on cannabis legalization. In 2014, legal marijuana was the quickest growing sector in the United States, grossing $2.7 billion. According to the report, this year will not be different and by 2020, the industry can generate up to $35 billion. However, legal marijuana is still a minor American industry since there are just a few growers, manufacturers, and sellers throughout the country.
The report is called “Medical Cannabis has high POTential: A joint biotech and tools Primer” and actually is of benefit to marijuana because it approaching the crop seriously. The focus of the article is on the medical side, including sections of drugs derived from cannabis to treat a wide variety of ailments, including schizophrenia, type II diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorders and even types of cancer. Marijuana advocates believe that crop has many more uses that the country just has not seen yet. The report is sure to mention this and attest to the possibility.
“The good news out of all this is it just opens [Wall Street’s] eyes to an investment scene that they may not even appreciate yet,” stated analyst Alan Brochstein, whose businesses 420 Investor and New Cannabis Ventures focus on the marijuana industry and finance. However, he states that the report lacks “actionable information” that would sway a potential investor.