You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Cannabis is here to stay. And now, the medical cannabis industry is becoming a major entity.
DENVER Ã¢â‚¬â€ It is being called the green rush. With more states moving to legalize medical marijuana, the business of growing and dispensing it is booming, even as much of the rest of the economy struggles.
Now, flush with financial clout, and with their eyes on pushing Congress to further loosen laws, medical marijuana industry leaders are forming a national trade association. While there are smaller, local trade groups, organizers around the country say this will be the first business organization working on the national level.
Based in Washington, the group, the National Cannabis Industry Association, will focus primarily on lobbying, but will also help medical marijuana businesses navigate a patchwork of laws that differ depending on location.
I expect to see new stress lines between an emerging medical cannabis industry and the push for legalization. In the long run, legalization will win, because every step forward that medical cannabis takes is also a step forward for legalization. There may be some short term profit-taking that could put temporary wrenches in the works for legalizers…
But in the long term, the fact is that medical cannabis users like cannabis and they would not put up with any move by the medical cannabis industry to make it non-recreational (ie, an unpleasant yet necessary medicine), which is the only way that the medical cannabis movement could end in anything other than legalization.