The federal government has not legalized the use of cannabis, but to-date 37 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands regulate cannabis for medical use by qualified individuals.. Legislation is currently being proposed that would decriminalize cannabis on the federal level, which would create a large market for the product.
The New Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act
Update: In late June 2022, U.S. Senate Majority Chuck Schumer introduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. Although, a long time coming, this bill has a slim chance of bi-partisan support and getting passed. Calling your Senator can help.
Cannabis brands are already starting to emerge, and marketing efforts are underway to reach potential customers. However, it remains to be seen when federal legalization will occur. Until then, businesses operating in the cannabis industry will need to be aware of the changing landscape and regulatory environment.
For now, it seems that the earliest possible date for federal legalization of cannabis would be 2023. However, this is contingent on various factors, including the progress of legislation and the willingness of Congress to pass such a measure. Until then, the industry will continue to operate in a state of flux.
Federal Cannabis Illegality & Industry Financing
Because of federal illegality, banks and other financial institutions are not able to work with businesses in the cannabis industry, making it difficult for these companies to thrive. Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would change this, but so far nothing has passed and the road to federal decriminalization is expected to be a be long, uphill battle. Some experts believe that it could be another five to ten years before cannabis is federally legal. In the meantime, states are continuing to pass their own laws regarding cannabis. Some states have legalized recreational use, while others have expanded medical cannabis programs. It’s possible that federal legalization could come sooner if more states continue to move forward with their own laws.
Building Your Cannabis Brand in the Current Environment
Until cannabis is federally legal, brands will continue to operate in a grey market and face challenges when it comes to investing and growing their brand and marketing their products. That doesn’t mean the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. The cannabis industry is already a billion-dollar market. In fact, it’s expected to top $33 billion dollars by the end of 2022, and is projected to grow even more in the coming years.
More and more companies are entering the market, and they are all competing for a limited number of customers. This means that it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to stand out from the crowd. Cannabis brands need to find creative ways to market their products and attract new customers.
There are myriad opportunities for growth and success in the cannabis industry. With careful planning and execution, your brand can not only succeed despite these challenges, but be prepared for cannabis as a federally legal product.
So when will cannabis be federally legal? It’s unclear exactly when, but it seems likely that it will happen within the next five to ten years. In the meantime, states will continue to play a major role in shaping the industry. Cannabis companies need to be prepared for a rapidly changing landscape and be ready to adapt their strategies accordingly.
In the meantime, stay up-to-date on legislation and keep your brand visible in the marketplace.