Cannabis Industry in 2018: Six Important Areas to Watch (Guest Post)

By: Guest
February 22 2018

With new laws emerging in many states, the Cannabis Industry has many areas to watch.  Here are 6 that we think are you should keep your eye on.

The market for legal weed is heating up in a big way!

The legal cannabis industry generated nearly $7 billion in revenue in 2016, and analysts expect the figure will more than double by 2020, despite continued federal prohibition.  This exploding growth is what makes cannabis industry a hotbed of innovation.

Industry leaders are trying to tap into the growing economic potential of the market, by keeping the cannabis space on the cutting edge as companies encourage new developments in every segment- production, consumption and more.

Cannabis Industry
Marijuana has stepped out the the shadows into big business.

Here are six exciting areas to watch for cannabis industry development in 2018:


1.     Data & Point Of Sale (“POS”) Software

Medical marijuana is one of the most highly regulated industries in the world and this opens up huge opportunities for software startups and offerings in the cannabis industry.

Software companies have realized the need of the cannabis industry for specialized POS software and other business applications to stay compliant and control costs.

Data scientists have also realized how big data is becoming an indispensable tool to help medical marijuana grow across the globe. These companies aim to take the volumes of sales data and transform it into user-friendly information so that canna-business people can make better-informed decisions.


  1. Banking

The federal banking restrictions limit the ability of the cannabis industry to access even basic banking services. In fact, big banks don’t handle any cannabis-related money due to FDIC regulations.  Congress keeps stalling, as necessary legislation fails to get enacted each year.  Tus, most of the industry’s business – including retail sales in dispensaries, taxes, and payroll is conducted using cash.

Cannabis Industry
People involved in the Cannabis Industry need to bank, but the politicians will not enact legislation

But, the industry isn’t waiting on Feds to ease their banking woes. They have come up with cannabis cryptocurrencies and virtual wallets as an alternative to cash for cannabis businesses and customers. Some dispensaries are also using BitCoin, where a customer can buy Bitcoin and redeem it in the store.


3.     Advertising and Marketing

As the marijuana industry continues to grow, the conflicting federal-state marijuana laws are causing marketing problems for everyone within the industry. Even in the world’s largest cannabis market ― California, the law is smoky.

The current status of cannabis still in flux makes it difficult for many marijuana startups to navigate the tangle of advertising restrictions that state legislators have placed on new entrants.

Sometimes even the social networking sites- Facebook and Instagram accounts of the cannabis related businesses are shut down for violating what they purport to be the community standards as delineated in their terms of service.

Now marketing companies are focused on re-branding the cannabis industry, stepping away from the classic pot leaf logo in favor of sleek, minimalist design-  demonstrating the industry’s futuristic vision.

4.     Consumer goods

Popular culture is embracing cannabis legalization and as the plant move towards fragile but lucrative legal status, it is attracting curious first-time users interested in edibles but not bong rips and smoking doobies.

In fact, edibles and other alternative ingestion methods were proudly displayed at Marijuana Business Conference and Expo.

Entrepreneurs have realized that there’s a strong rationale underlying cannabis as a healthy lifestyle and wellness product. Also, veterans anticipate cannabis-based beauty products as one of the new cannabis trend.

The new customers are driving innovation in the cannabis industry. In the near future, there would be a kind of gentrification of cannabis and probably a cannabis edible version of everything that you can imagine would be available in the market.


5.      Biotechnology-

Within this buoyant legal cannabis market is a sub-sector which is flourishing with opportunity, innovation, and deep roots of medical possibilities.

Many drug discovery and development companies uniquely focused on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids are aggressively trying to explore this uncharted territory of the plant’s curative compounds and applications.

Fueled by an increasing volume of supportive research, cannabis-based biotech companies would play a pivotal role in the advances in genetic and intellectual property of the cannabis plants.

In 2018, biotech companies will try to define their product and make it more predictable and consistent. Also, the research companies will come up with successful trials that could inspire FDA to review their policies on cannabis.



  1. Ancillary industries

There are countless marijuana- based startups and businesses forming every day. But, industries outside the cannabis space are also taking notice of the boundless opportunities in the booming industry and jumping on the profitable bandwagon.

All kinds of ancillary businesses that never actually touch the plant are entering the cannabis industry- from hydroponics and cultivation products to consultancies, media companies, the plethora of new technologies.

The blossoming ancillary industries have allowed the industry to broaden and establish a level of legitimacy.

Cannabis enthusiasts and business owners will continue to work towards the advancement and innovation related to cannabis in any way possible in 2018.


This is a guest post by Kathy T. Cooley. This post has been edited for syntax and grammar.  The Law offices of Jay Leiderman is not responsible for the accuracy of the content herein or any opinions or ideas expressed herein.  This post is for entertainment and literary value and is not intended as legal advice.  If you have legal questions about ideas presented herein please contact a lawyer knowledgeable in this field of practice.

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