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  • Lou Killeffer

Did someone say, "It's time to bake"?

Well, yes, in fact, as the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana accelerates across America, more and more folks are turning to cannabis for its proven medical and recreational properties.

The upshot of all this was made clear last week at a remarkable event, “Demystifying the Science and Economics of Cannabis”, held by the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) at the Boston Consulting Group’s spectacular offices at Hudson Yards in Manhattan.

My good and gifted friend, Margaret Honey, President & CEO of NYSCI, introduced the evening’s two passionate presenters and advocates: Ms. Jeanne Sullivan, Director of Capital Formation, the Arcview Group, where "Cannabis meets capital", and Dr. June Chin, a leading integrative cannabis physician with MedLeafRx whose ground-breaking work has been profiled in Good Housekeeping, USA Today, and NBC TODAY.

Putting aside the social justice issues surrounding America’s continuing affair with cannabis, (which seem extraordinary from virtually any perspective), simply consider the medical, economic, and revenue generating impact of what’s happening here and now in the United States. For no matter where you sit, or think you know, or think you think, as Jeanne made clear, "the toothpaste’s out of the tube" creating a new, fast-growing sector with implications across medical research, pain management, farming, pharmaceuticals, investment, taxation, and yes, wealth creation!

Notably, the Pew Research Center reports that while wide generational and partisan divides persist, today 61% of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized, nearly double the number who said so in 2000 (31%).

And where its taken root, the effects of legalization are in full flower. Colorado alone projects flower sales of $2BN in 2017, with accompanying tax revenue of $500MM. As Jeanne says, there's something like a new gold rush going on right now, and she quickly points out that not all the fortunes made in 1849 were made in gold. A heck of a lot of people made a hell of a lot of money in picks and shovels too!

Already there are lots of firms and enterprises sprouting up in an array of fields far from the expected cultivation of plants and the creation of edibles. New ventures abound in production, delivery, e-commerce, compliance, data analytics, product innovation, and my personal favorite, branding.

Much of this fueled, in large part, by the growing understanding and application of cannabis as a medicine with unique and increasingly well-defined benefits. To hear Dr. Chin tell the story of her sister's journey brings these trends and their significance home in quite a compelling way.

Clearly, the times they are a changin', and rapidly so. And all this activity is well before Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, and Big Tech step up and in with both feet. Although the smart money says they're already quietly applauding from the sidelines as they study hard and decide how best and where to play.

To learn more about the nature of today's marketplace, and to see some surprising content, log on to the Marijuana Business Daily here.

And to find out more about the medical benefits of marijuana, and Dr. Chin's practice specifically, please click here.

I trust you'll find all of this worth your while, and as fascinating as I have, in understanding a medicinal, cultural, and commercial phenomenon that really has legs and looks like it's ready to run.

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