Cannabis Crossroads

Takeaways from the Cannabis Committee's recent webinar, “Cannabis 101: The Growth of the Industry and Future Predictions"

May 04, 2022 Photo

CLM’s Cannabis Committee recently held a webinar entitled, “Cannabis 101: The Growth of the Industry and Future Predictions,” which focused on current marijuana laws and regulations, the cannabis business in general, the insurance and banking environment, and where it is all likely headed. Below are a few takeaways from the presentation.

12:00:00 p.m.

Melissa K. Roeder, Of Counsel, Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska

Brenda P. Wells, Professor, East Carolina University

12:05:10 p.m.

Melissa Roeder

“The answer [to the number of states that have legalized marijuana in some capacity] is 37. We have 18 states—this is adult use, also called recreational use. So, you do not need a medical card to purchase some amounts of a marijuana-type product. This also does not include Washington, D.C. and Guam, which also have adult use.”

12:05:30 p.m.

Melissa Roeder

“D.C. is interesting because you can’t actually purchase the marijuana there, but you can go into a store, purchase a T-shirt, and you get a gift of marijuana. It’s very generous of them. Every single state has its own laws, its own rules; it’s still not federally legal, so it is a bit of a Wild West.”

12:07:57  p.m.

Melissa Roeder 

“South Dakota actually passed adult use and medical marijuana the exact same day on a ballot in 2020. The governor of South Dakota did not like that, had opposed that initiative, went to the Supreme Court, and it was actually struck down by the Supreme Court of South Dakota. I anticipate it’s going to go back on the ballot for South Dakota.”

12:10:33 p.m.

Brenda Wells

“The U.S. cannabis industry hit a record $24 billion in sales last year, and CNBC predicts that will be up to $70 billion by 2028. We are also finding that more people want to invest in it, and more people favor it, so a lot of large cannabis organizations are having an easier time getting private equity investments.”

12:11:15  p.m.

Melissa Roeder

“It’s big dollar. And when you talk about big dollars, and lack of federal regulations, and lack of banking…it makes you wonder where we’re going to end up. Is this going to be a tobacco operated business? Is this going to be alcohol-related? Is it going to be pharmaceutical funded? I always put money on Big Pharma.”

12:11:56 p.m.

Brenda Wells

“I think it has just as much of a chance of being managed and funded by Big Pharma than anything…. For now, we’re in limbo: I’m not sure where it’s going. The businessperson in me wants to see a free market; an open market where people can buy and sell freely with minimal regulations, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

12:12:56 p.m.

Brenda Wells

“The pharmaceutical industry is sniffing around this very intensely. They are looking for ways to patent their own strains and basically do what they’ve done with prescription drugs, which is pretty much corner the market.”

12:27:00 p.m.

Brenda Wells

“I have seen an insurance company or two—they basically issue policies that say, ‘We cover you for your marijuana business, but we don’t cover contraband,’ and then they try to use the contraband exclusion to not pay you for your cannabis. So, that’s a problem and something the insurance industry needs to stop doing. It’s just making people hate us.”

About The Authors
Phil Gusman

Phil Gusman is CLM's director of content.

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CLM’s Cannabis Committee promotes claims and litigation management education relative to all aspects of the cannabis industry, including current legal and regulatory compliance, claims handling, and litigation management best practices that are unique to this highly regulated industry.

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