The race is on for startups and big businesses everywhere to develop energy-efficient and technologically advanced cannabis greenhouses. The marijuana industry is taking the world by storm now that more countries are loosening their restrictions and laws on the use and sale of medical and recreational marijuana.
There is a huge market for technology in the industry, and more and more businesses and startups are taking notice. Troy Dayton, CEO of The ArcView Group, the legal marijuana industry’s hub for investment, data and progress, explained:
“Cannabis is spurring on an ag-tech revolution.”
“This is a boom born entirely out of ending repressive laws. The market is already there, it’s just moving from the shadows into the light. That’s why you’re seeing this incredible growth and why so many people see it as a once-in-a-lifetime [business] opportunity.”
There is a huge demand for cannabis, and growers who rely on traditional growing methods are not able to increase their output to meet that demand. Better processes need to be developed.
Currently, most of the scientific and technological developments have been centered on interior cooling and lighting systems. This equipment accounts for a large portion of a marijuana grower’s cultivation expenses, so more innovation is needed to help growers ramp up their production with the use of state-of-the-art water irrigation systems and solar lights. New software is also required so that growers can run different scenarios without wasting time or product to determine optimal growing conditions.
As the world continues to become more accepting of the use of cannabis, more mainstream companies are taking note and jumping on the bandwagon. Swedish lighting manufacturing giant Heliospectra AB is shifting its focus to the marijuana industry because not only is there a high-profit potential, but there is also the opportunity to increase production and reputation without as much competition.
Many other companies like Hawthorne Gardening Co., a subsidiary of Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., are following suit. They want to be in a position to operate in a space where there is more cash, more demand for research and development, and where there are larger budgets for innovation. Although the focus is on the cannabis industry, all farmers could be able to benefit from the development of energy-efficient growing equipment and technology.
Dan Sutton, managing director of Tantalus Labs, said,
“Let’s assume everything that’s ever been done in cannabis cultivation is wrong. We have to build from the ground up, we have this broad realm of science that no one has been able to previously explore.”
Tantalus is currently building a 120,000-square-foot greenhouse in British Columbia, the design of which someday may be used to grow other plant types, such as tree seedlings that could be used for reforestation.
With the steady increase of growers in the cannabis industry, the landscape of the playing field is changing. Now is the opportune time for companies to get in the game if they want to become major players in this market.
The American economy is seeing a resurgence after the dark years of the Great Recession, and one of the reasons is the growth of the legal marijuana market. The current trend of legalization has fueled the industry and if marijuana becomes legal in all states, it could become more popular than organic food.
The explosive growth of the cannabis market was measured by the ArcView Group, a multifaceted research firm that focuses on and invests in cannabis, in the recently released third edition of “The State of Legal Marijuana Markets.” It revealed the industry pulled in $2.7 billion last year, which is a big jump from $1.5 billion in 2013. That is a staggering 74 percent increase.
ArcView came to this conclusion after performing surveys of both legal recreational and medical marijuana retailers in several states, in addition to independent growers and other related businesses. The surveys were done over a seven-month period that began in 2013 and ended in 2014. The group also utilized data from private companies, non-profits and state agencies in order to get a complete picture of the legal marijuana market.
ArcView CEO, Troy Dayton, stated that in a mere 12 months, national conversation about legal marijuana has moved from casual speculation to serious interest as the market has expanded. He added that it would be remiss of any business owner to not consider the many possibilities offered by the legal marijuana industry.
The group’s report also predicted strong sales for 2015, projecting growth to top out around 32 percent. This would place the legal marijuana market in the number one position in comparison to all other industries experiencing rapid expansion.
In the next half-decade, the industry is projected to grow even further, especially with 10 states giving consideration to legal recreational use of marijuana either through legislation or by putting it to a vote. ArcView predicted that a total of 14 states would legalize recreational use, with two more states allowing medical use.
Currently, only four states, Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska, have made retail sales of marijuana legal. Voters in the nation’s capital said yes to recreational use, but sales are still not permitted. An additional 23 states have allowed medical marijuana, but this has not changed anything at the federal level. Cannabis remains against the law in any federal circumstance, and is still classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it has “no accepted medical value in the United States.”
By 2019, the cannabis market is expected to be worth $11 billion. California has the largest individual legal market at $1.3 billion, with Arizona boasting the fastest-growing market at $155 million. Last year saw 1.5 million people buying legal marijuana from dispensaries, with Washington and Colorado seeing $370 million in sales of marijuana products. Alaska and Oregon are projected to add $275 million in the first year of retail cannabis sales.
Troy Dayton said the legal marijuana market is seeing the bets of times, with a strong possibility of creating a new set of millionaires or billionaires. Growth would be limited only by states that are reluctant to relax drug laws.
Image credit: ArcView Group
The legalization movement is gaining traction throughout the United States, Canada and the rest of the world. Some people, especially in states with no form of legalized use, still view cannabis through the confusion of Reefer Madness colored glasses. One Canadian filmmaker aims to change that.
Successful filmmaker, DJ Parmar, is creating a “commercially viable documentary providing an in-depth look into the multi-billion dollar a year legal cannabis industry and what it means to be an investor and entrepreneur in this industry,” and he and his team need your help to fund the project.
This film will not focus so much on the failed war on drugs, politics, or the other commonly discussed topics. Instead, his goal is to show those on the outside what it looks like on the inside, specifically focusing on the business and investment side of this newly budding industry. The documentary is already in production, but the team could use some funding to help speed up the process.
According to the Kickstarter page, this documentary will show “raw behind-the-scenes” footage into the lives and work of real industry leading business men and women and investors.
Learn more, and back the cause that aims to “deliver a clear voice of an industry seeking legitimacy” through the Kickstarter page. If you are not able to donate money, you can still show your support by spreading the word with retweets, Facebook, and talking to your friends.
photo credit: Cannabizness