Cannabis execs anticipate expanded legal markets in 2020 – and ensuing challenges

(This is an abridged version of the cover story for the January issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)

Cannabis executives, professionals and financiers can expect 2020 – and the rest of the new decade – to have at least as much impact on their businesses as any year in the past 10.

New legal recreational and medical cannabis states have come online – or are poised to – in Illinois and Michigan as well as unexpected markets such as Missouri and Arkansas.

And then there’s the real prospect in 2020 that voters and/or lawmakers in Northeast states such as New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island will approve recreational markets.

Growth in the cannabis space will not be limited to the United States in 2020, however.

Mexico is making huge strides in recreational cannabis legalization, and medical marijuana markets are gaining momentum overseas from Australia to Italy. Even more countries appear to be moving toward legalizing either medical or adult-use cannabis.

And then there’s the hemp sector.

Hemp farmers began 2019 with federal approval to operate, but they faced a CBD glut, so they now are trying to expand their opportunities by branching into minor cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN and CBD-V.

From a financial standpoint, the industry saw marijuana investors becoming more frugal, which led cash-poor businesses to cut employees by the hundreds and walk away from planned mergers.

In an attempt to help marijuana entrepreneurs prepare for what might lie ahead in 2020, Marijuana Business Magazine spoke with cannabis industry experts to explore some of the pressing questions facing the sector in 2020.

Among them:

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