We had to take notice this past Friday when the Los Angeles Times published an article entitled “Pot is Primed to Grow Into Big Business” on page 1 above the fold:

http://www.pressreader.com/usa/los-angeles-times/20160325/281526520183751/textview

To anyone already in the industry, the tone and content of the article may not be new “news” per se, but we were struck by the fact that the article appeared so prominently on page 1.

  • Facts of note:  223 cannabis dispensaries in Washington state generated $260 million in sales of cannabis and related products (e.g., edibles) last year which generated $65 million in state excise taxes.
    • The Washington state number is expected to more than double this year to $620 million.  And that’s just one state.

The big number, of course, is Arcview Market Research’s oft-repeated estimation that nationwide the cannabis industry will generate almost $22 billion (with a “b”) in revenue in 2020 – about four years from now.  (We were surprised to find that the $22 billion projection dwarfs the National Football League’s revenue of $12 billion last year, according to a February report in Fortune magazine).  Granted — Arcview has a vested interest in making optimistic projections about the industry, but it’s not unreasonable to assume dramatically larger sales figures in the years to come if additional states allow for the decriminalization (a/k/a “legalization”) of cannabis for medical and/or adult use over-the-age-of-21 (a/k/a “recreational”) uses.  Here in California, the industry is getting ready for an adult use ballot initiative in November of this year that many prognosticators feels has a good chance of passing.

Why This Is Important:

All of this has major implications for the need to develop industry-specific strategic and proactive intellectual property protection plans to protect valuable assets such as trademarks/brands, copyrights/content, trade secrets and patents.   We are currently working on just those kinds of plans for several dozen entrepreneurs and cannabis businesses in the industry and our projections indicate that the need for this is only going to increase sharply in the next year or two and beyond.

Stay tuned for more alerts as we come across the good ones!