Cannabis Greenfield Opportunities
It is predicted that the cannabis industry in North America will grow very quickly, as long as it keeps getting legalized. Legal changes and the progressive decriminalization of the plant could create a variety of new opportunities in the industry, whether directly related to it or supporting it. This research covers opportunities that have not yet been commercially exploited or not fully explored, defined as greenfield opportunities. As requested, medical, delivery or consulting opportunities in the cannabis industry are not considered in this research. The potential greenfield opportunities are: Artificial Intelligence (AI), alternatives to banking, cannabis tourism, cannabis events, and cannabis cultural entertainment.
As advances in AI are boosting productivity in many industries, the liberalization of cannabis laws could lead to an increase in production and competition in the market. This would require cannabis production businesses to optimize their margins to stay competitive. The use of AI would assist Cannabis companies in various areas such as yield prediction, environmental control and other aspects of the production process. A greenfield opportunity would be to have companies design specific software and apps for Cannabis companies to help them run their operations. The implementation of AI on their crops will allow companies to deliver exactly the amount of care needed to maximize production. An evolution that has not yet occurred but has a potential in a few years to be cost effective is automation of trimming the plants, to be done by robots.
Alternatives to banking
As cannabis businesses struggle with access to the banking system due to restrictive regulations and laws, a solution has to be found in case the issue persists. As the industry has to deal with large amounts of cash, there is a gap in the market for a commercial solution, either in terms of security or in terms of financial system such as a cryptocurrency. Some alternatives already exist, such as Hypur, which helps banks get around regulations thanks to their software platform that can perform a complete audit of a company, including financial statements and tax returns, and save banks hours. Greenstar Payment Solutions is another alternative, allowing Cannabis companies to process card payments, as it does not use the same network as mainstream credit card companies. None of these alternatives, including Bitcoin, are perfect and there is a need for a better solution in the market.
A deeper change in laws and regulations affecting cannabis could create a wealth of opportunities in the tourism industry in every corner of North America. Cannabis themed dinners, cannabis themed hotels and bed and breakfasts, or cannabis guided tours could be developed around the United States and Canada, which are not possible at the moment due restrictions in the law. In California, a company called America Green has already invested in the field, buying the town of Nipton, to turn it into a Marijuana tourism destination. However, this is not yet possible in the majority of states and remains a greenfield opportunity, subject to legal liberalization.
If cannabis keeps getting legalized in North America, opportunities for specific cannabis events could arise, with conferences, weddings, trade fairs, and tasting events all around the region. Changes in laws are still necessary to allow that as even an advanced State such as California has not fully liberalized the hosting of such events.
Cannabis cultural entertainment
Finally, companies offering such activities as Cannabis painting, Cannabis Yoga, or Cannabis pottery, can find a market in North America. This area is vast and can cover a multitude of activities. Even though some US States have legalized cannabis, it is still not possible to smoke the plant in social settings, such as a bar or a café. A change in the law would boost this type of business, with the possibility to create a whole new kind of social meeting places especially designed for cannabis enthusiasts.
The Cannabis industry is predicted to be worth 24 Billion USD by 2025 in the US, with a CAGR of 15%, which makes it the fastest growing industry in the US. In Canada, the market could reach $22.6 Billion. The progress in the legalization of cannabis could open countless opportunities for the product, as the whole industry would be moving from an illegal one to a legal one and there is a huge gap in between for entrepreneurs to take advantage of. This could be in the sectors of tourism, education, AI, events or even cultural entertainment.