Marijuana, cannabis, pot … whatever term you use, the use of legal marijuana is rising fast all around the globe, according to FinancialBuzz.com.
The website goes on to say in a news release that in the early 20th century, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which prohibited cannabis entirely. Prior to then, cannabis was primarily used as an herbal medicine to treat ailments. However, due to the biological nature of the THC or tetrahydrocannabinol compound, cannabis was deemed as a drug by prior administrations, reports FinancialBuzz.com in the news release.
By the early 1990s, a handful of states began to legalize cannabis for strictly medicinal purposes as California became the first state to do so back in 1996 with the approval of Proposition 215.
After California’s ruling, numerous states began to follow suit and legalized medical cannabis. Then in 2012, the cannabis industry was completely reshaped after Colorado and Washington both legalized recreational cannabises.
Now, there are 33 states that have legalized medical cannabis while 10 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use as well. Following in its steps, a string of countries also began to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes. Countries such as Argentina, Australia, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Spain, and South Korea have all implemented some form of cannabis legislation, the release continues.
Notably, Canada became the second country ever to legalize cannabis entirely in late 2018 after Uruguay was the first country to legalize cannabis back in 2013.
Despite Uruguay’s early adoption, the North American region still represents the largest global cannabis market. Specifically, U.S. states such as California, Colorado, and Washington are the primary market drivers because they collectively deliver billions of dollars in cannabis revenue every year. While cannabis is still federally illegal in the U.S., its growing advocacy and usage is causing the market to continue growing, the release adds.
According to Grand View Research, the global marijuana market is expected to reach USD 146.4 Billion by the end of 2025 while exhibiting a CAGR of 34.6% during the forecast period. Canopy Rivers Inc. (OTC: CNPOF) (TSX-V: RIV), Canopy Growth Corporation (NYSE: CGC) (TSX: WEED), Cronos Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CRON) (TSX: CRON), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Aphria Inc. (NYSE: APHA) (TSX: APHA).
Currently, the medical cannabis sector accounts for much of the global market share. However, as the North American recreational market continues to prosper, the recreational sector is expected to overshadow its medical counterpart. Nevertheless, the medical sector is still thriving and is much more readily available around the world as most countries are not moving toward legalizing recreational cannabis because of its psychoactive properties.
However, based on the economic growth on display in North America, some countries are beginning to explore opportunities for the plant. Furthermore, as clinical trials and research continue to advance, more countries will begin to consider adopting medical cannabis legislation.
As of now, researchers have suggested that cannabis can effectively treat symptoms associated with medical conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer’s Parkinson’s, chronic pain, and epilepsy. Moreover, the positive data from clinical trials had resulted in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving its first cannabis-based drug, Epidiolex, to treat childhood epilepsy.
Specifically, Epidiolex is a CBD-based drug, meaning it does not provide the consumer with psychoactive effects like its THC complement does. The FDA’s approval of Epidiolex marks a historic milestone within the industry since it is the first time a government agency has recognized cannabis as a medicine, the release points out.
Additionally, the growth of the CBD marketplace is expected to complement that of the THC marketplace, causing a symbiotic industry: “On one hand, yes, it’s really surprising to see this young industry be at such huge numbers so quickly—and still kind of pulling itself together—and on the other side, I don’t think it’s a surprise at all, because it’s about time,” said Lex Pelger, science director at Bluebird Botanicals, in an interview with Cannabis Dispensary.
“With such a long human history of cannabis being an important plant, it makes sense that this is just exploding back onto the public consciousness like it does every couple (of) decades.”