2016 was, indeed, the year of favor for Marijuana not only in California but also across many states that championed the approval of Medical Marijuana. But while many players in the cannabis industry are still lighting the lights of victory and rolling up their sleeves, 2016 has come to an end and the new year of 2017 is here with all manner of new things. Many are now asking and speculating how Marijuana economy will be like not forgetting that we’ll also have a new presidential administration. So should we expect much or things will remain the same? Well, it’s time to look ahead and put things in there right places before we again find ourselves transitioning to another year.
Now, while winners continue to celebrate the great milestone achieved by the legalization of recreational/medical Marijuana, it’s good to note that full freedom is not yet granted to the cannabis industry. Licensure at the state level is yet to take place sometimes in 2018. With all these in mind, any analysis can say that 2017 will look like how it has been for years. However, there will be a few adjustments that will be taking place as various players brace up for the much-excepted changes in this industry that has been a topic of discussion since California and other states kicked off the process of legalizing medical plus the recreational use of this giant drug.
Aaron Herzberg, a partner that also doubles up as general counsel at the CalCann Holdings, LLC, says that 2017 will just be a year of transition in the Cannabis economy from the previously unregulated system to the licensure of the use of the world’s most produced drug. So what exactly will be happening as the systems change? Well, attention will, of course, shift from other industries to this new baby that looks promising to those willing and ready to test its waters. California will start to experience an influx of investors and other large-scale players. All these and other activities will no doubt widen the marijuana market in preparation for growth when all systems are set ready to accept the use of the drug for both medical and recreation use.
Marijuana market in California will be receiving a lot of attention both from supporters and skeptics. It will, of course, be a building phase that will determine whether or not the sector will grow to maturity as expected or will just expand and again shrink. Other markets will be watching for the progress and changes gradually. Indeed, it will be a very interesting year for analysts. Those within the industry will be very vigilant not to be defeated by the new entrants. Aside from those interesting happenings, the state will also be tightening the loose nuts to ensure that opportunists do not mislead or engage in unlicensed activities in the pretext that they are using or manufacturing products from cannabis for medical/recreation use.
In the early months of 2017, the legislature will be playing its role to ensure that it smoothens out any discrepancies that might be there in the recently approved laws that have given cannabis a special place in the medical field. Before the drug enjoys full freedom, there’s need to reconcile state and federal law about marijuana. The main idea here is to avoid a situation where there will be two parallel systems each giving a little bit different regulations about the drug. With that said, it means that the legislature will not be left out in the transitioning to the acceptance of cannabis as a useful drug in the medical field.
Every year, California arrests approximately 20,000 people for offenses related to marijuana. Will the number increase or reduce in 2017? Well, “…marijuana arrests will stop…” says Lynne Lyman, a director at California’s Drug Policy Alliance. He further argues that even those in prisons will have the freedom to file petitions and apply for release. And unless the courts have compelling reasons to stop or deny them the release, the offenders will be eligible for release. Besides that, everyone else who has had cases of marijuana before will be eligible to apply for reclassification of their files. All these and others are the things we should expect in 2017 as California and other states that have legalized cannabis prepare to give a clear place to this drug. However, it’s good to note that it will still be possible for one to be arrested for offenses relating to marijuana. Remember that the approval of the laws didn’t give freedom to everyone to deal with or trade cannabis.
In a nutshell, 2017 will be a year of changes and movement to the new cannabis economy that has received a big boost following the legalization of recreation and medical marijuana. Though these changes seem to be a breakthrough, it’s good to note that it won’t be easy to get licensing to grow or produce marijuana products. Similarly, the legalization might not bring to an end the illegal growing and trading of marijuana in California.