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Guest Post By Serge Chistov, Chief Financial Partner, https://honestmarijuana.com/ What is the greatest opportunity for the cannabis industry this year? If Trump were not to be re-elected, he might federally legalize cannabis before he leaves office. That would open a completely different landscape. If Trump were to lose to the Democratic nominee, I believe he […]

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Guest Post By Serge Chistov, Chief Financial Partner, https://honestmarijuana.com/

What is the greatest opportunity for the cannabis industry this year?

If Trump were not to be re-elected, he might federally legalize cannabis before he leaves office. That would open a completely different landscape. If Trump were to lose to the Democratic nominee, I believe he may come in and legalize cannabis at the federal level. The FDA and DEA would then decide who is going to regulate cannabis, hemp and CBD, and come up with a clear, transparent policy that will allow larger manufacturers to engage in the production and/or utilization of the cannabinoids- which would be a great opportunity. In addition, new states are going online and we’re keeping an eye on the international landscape as well, for example, Colombia going online with THC and CBD production. I think those are the largest potential opportunities out there- short of some new technological developments that can create simplified opportunities for production, new cannabinoids, more research into the benefits of cannabinoids. If you’re talking immediate opportunity, I think federal legalization is the big question mark.

What is the biggest challenge facing the industry right now?

Some of the challenges that are having an impact include lower acceptance, lack of education on the consumer side and a defragmented market, lack of transparency on the banking side. There’s a very slow decision process from Congress to the banks and a shortage of capital for expansion outside of the market interest. Funding of the operations will continue to be a challenge.

What new technologies are going to be brought to market? How will consumers benefit?

I believe we will see the delivery, purification, and incorporation of cannabinoids in a wider range of products. All of this technology will allow the vast majority of consumers to experience and understand that cannabis is not just smoking a joint with your friends in the garage. This is more part of the new cannabis diet with benefits for completely different conditions including pain, anxiety, insomnia, and more. It gives people another medicinal remedy to try. At the end of the day, the consumer can stay safe without relying on the more chemical compounds with a proven track record of being bad for you in excessive doses. Advil and aspirin, for example, the overconsumption of these drugs in the U.S. kills the same amount of people as those who over consume cocaine- roughly 20,000 people a year die from overuse of Advil. If we can reduce that number by consumers taking cannabinoids to help alleviate some of their symptoms, it could potentially be a big opportunity to save lives, educate and get consumers to think about themselves with love and care.

Any new types of products we will see launch in the coming months, will they become more popular than the flower?

We have the technology that allows people to combine the experience of drinking and marijuana, for example a martini with a little drop of cannabis in it. The research is done. People are already mixing the two experiences together. It comes down to responsible manufacturing. The younger generation, the millennials and Gen X, are making a conscious choice about loving themselves. They are not consuming as many cigarettes; they are choosing to vape. They are concerned with their diet and don’t want to put unhealthy things in their body. Smoking of cannabis is not as popular as it was fifty years ago. Today, people are opting for edibles, oral consuming, transdermal consuming. In the future, we will have less smoking and more alternative, more advanced bioavailable consumption methods that will give more bang for the buck.

How does the market overall look, will sales continue to grow?  

Absolutely, sales will continue to grow. More and more consumers are becoming more comfortable with cannabis. Our curiosity levels are rising. Even the skeptics today have more hands on opinions about it. Education and visibility, definitely create more consumer awareness and the consumer can make better choices. I believe that the older consumer is becoming more aware and interested in what herbal remedies can do. We are all looking for products we believe will be healthier for us. The market is going to continue to open. I think the legalization throughout the states and the potential for federal legalization will drive continued growth.

 Any additional trends in the industry?

Pricing on some of the brand products need to be adjusted. More competition will bring the price advantage for the consumer just like in any other industry. We will see more and more retailers consolidating. We are going to see more uniformity. I think overall the trends will be very similar to the trends of the new industry becoming like a standard American retailer manufacturing industry. Standards will increase, prices will decrease, the consumer will have more options. It’s a beautiful thing.

Serge Chistov is a cannabis industry expert and Chief Financial Partner with Honest Marijuana Co. Honest Marijuana has been a leader in cannabis innovation since it’s inception with an organic approach to the growth, production and packaging of cannabis, the launch of the first ever organic hemp wrapped machine rolled blunts, the invention of the now patented Nanobidiol Technology, and the first company to bring THC-O-Acetate technology and products to market. https://honestmarijuana.com/

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