January 21, 2013

Weekly Wrapup: MMJ Industry on a Roll, Trends Signal Strong Year for Cannabis Business

Image for wrapup of medical marijuana news

There’s been a marked change in the nature of medical marijuana news so far this year: Most of it is now overwhelmingly positive.

For much of 2012, you couldn’t go a day without hearing about government raids, civil forfeiture threats, bans, moratoriums and legal challenges to state MMJ programs. On a couple particularly bad days, the entire industry seemed on the verge of collapse.

Now you can’t go a day without hearing about lawmakers proposing medical cannabis legislation, dispensaries starting up in new states, huge court wins for the industry and public opinion polls showing strong support for MMJ.

The shift dates back to the November elections, when the cannabis business as a whole made huge gains. Since then, the medical marijuana industry has regained some of its swagger and is once again on the up-and-up.

Last week, Medical Marijuana Business Daily highlighted two promising trends:

#1. Support for medical cannabis appears to be reaching all-time highs in several states, according to recent polls. A wide majority of voters in Hawaii  – which has MMJ laws on the books but does not allow dispensaries – favor the creation of a system to distribute the drug via regulated centers. Residents in Arizona back the state’s medical marijuana act, despite challenges by local officials, while support for medical marijuana is strong in New Hampshire, North Carolina and West Virginia. These survey results mirror national polls showing growing acceptance of medical cannabis across the nation.

#2. Another dozen states are poised to consider medical cannabis laws this year. Legislators have already introduced MMJ legislation in half-a-dozen states – with Kansas and Idaho joining the list just last week – and lawmakers in other states plan to do so soon. Many of these efforts could fail to gain much traction. But it’s possible one or two states will approve MMJ laws this year, which would represent a huge win for the industry.

These moves follow several other significant developments the week prior, including the revival of San Diego’s medical cannabis industry, more evidence that the federal crackdown is losing steam and a huge court win for Harborside Health Center in California.

Of course, anyone involved in the medical marijuana industry for more than a day knows the situation can change in the blink of an eye. The industry could very well be on its heels again in a few months. But the possibility of a complete reversal in the MMJ landscape looks low at this point, as the trends all point to a promising future.

Other top stories in MMJ Business Daily last week:

Washington State Seeks Cannabis Consultants

CT Proposes Medical Marijuana Rules

Guest Column: Community Involvement Can Pay Dividends

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