As Nevada’s budding marijuana industry digs in, the United State’s industry as a whole continues to grow at a rapid pace.
The cannabis industry is blooming, and so are all of the businesses that support it.
The world’s largest cannabis industry trade show, the Marijuana Business Convention, is also expanding.
“Everyone’s looking at business opportunities; looking to grow their companies, and wondering how they can get involved in this growth industry,” said Chris Walsh, VP of Marijuana Business Daily.
Walsh is the founding editor of Marijuana Business Daily, the trade show’s host, and by his estimates, cannabis in the U.S. is a $5-6 billion industry, and it’s still in its infancy.
“We think that will probably triple or quadruple in just the next three or four years,” said Walsh.
But there are growing pains because industry representatives believe the federal government isn’t keeping up. Many of them think it may be on purpose.
U.S. News and World Report Chief White House Correspondent Ken Walsh says it’s hard to say under the Trump administration.
“I think the most reasonable possibility is that they leave it the way it is now because of Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, a fierce advocate of criminalizing marijuana,” said Walsh.
Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, the biggest government issue is banking.
“We can’t even pay our employees with the normal payroll checks. We have to have many layers and other ways of being very creative within the system,” said Stuart Titus, President, CEO, Medical Marijuana Inc.
Stuart Titus, president, and CEO of California-based company Medical Marijuana Incorporated says the trend seems to be moving toward forming state banks, an idea Nevada lawmakers have floated before.
Another option: Bitcoin, especially for business-to-business transactions.
“It’s a very interesting safe and convenient way to exchange your commodity; your crash crop if you will, for payment,” said Titus.
Marijuana Business Convention is already the largest convention in the 5-year history of this trade show. Next year it is expected to be even larger. Event organizers say they’re locked in with the Las Vegas Convention Center for the next several years.