The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world at the moment. And there is a good reason for it. The more we research the medical use of the cannabis plant, the more we understand the potential it has. From treating addictions to pain management, cannabis can provide help where traditional medicine fails. In other words, this small green plant is the closest thing to a “miracle cure” we have seen since the invention of penicillin. Let’s take a closer look at the cannabis industry, starting from the health benefits of the plant to the most important facts and statistics about the market that will help you be more aware of the current trends and the future of cannabis.
Amazing Health Benefits
We already know that cannabis can help in treating addictions, healing broken bones, and reducing multiple sclerosis symptoms. It can also help manage diabetes and help with depression and ADHD. There are even studies that show it can have a positive effect on dementia patients. Cannabis can also help deal with migraines and can ease some of the chemotherapy-induced symptoms in cancer patients. However, what it is most known for is its ability to help with the pain. Around 62.2% of medicinal cannabis users are using it for treating chronic pain, acute pain following surgery, or cancer pain. The reason why cannabis is so good with easing pain is that both of its main ingredients, THC and CBD, have anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, CBD has also been proven to ease digestive pain and provide digestive aid.
Rise of the Cannabis Industry
As you can see, there are numerous health benefits with results that simply cannot be ignored. More and more scientists and doctors are understanding this and are joining the fight for legalization throughout the entire world. This is one of the biggest reasons why the industry is growing so fast. Even though cannabis is illegal in most countries across the world, the industry is already showing some staggering numbers. For example, in 2018, the entire cannabis industry was worth $10.4 billion! The biggest part of the industry is, of course, medical cannabis, which alone is worth $5.1 billion. Next, we have the recreational cannabis worth $3.2 billion, then hemp (a versatile industrial crop) that’s worth $820 million. Last but not least, there is CBD oil – the non-intoxicating nutritional supplement, with $202 million value.
Cannabis Market Statistics
Here are some of the highlights:
- Price — the average price for an ounce of high-quality cannabis in the US is $326. On the other hand, the most expensive cannabis can be found in the District of Columbia – the average price for an ounce is $600.7.
- Spending spree — according to some estimates, Americans spend around $40 billion per year for legal and illegal cannabis. Other estimates put this number to $52.5 billion. The only two things that are currently above the demand for cannabis are cigarettes with an estimated total demand of $80 billion and beer with an estimated total demand of $110 billion.
Fun fact – according to a study from 2017, the sales of both medical and recreational cannabis in the US where almost nine times higher than sales of Oreo cookies. The numbers are mind-blowing, to say the least, but what’s most interesting is that they are expected to continue growing with every year – at least by 30% per year. According to some predictions for the next decade, the cannabis industry is expected to be worth $63 billion.
Career Prospects in the Cannabis Industry
As we already mentioned, the cannabis industry is, without a doubt, one of the fastest-growing in the world. That means the open work positions and career possibilities in the industry are in abundance. For example, in 2017, the industry employed 250,000 people, and in 2018, there were 9,397 active licenses for cannabis businesses in the US alone. Entry-level positions as bud-tenders and bud trimmers make up the vast majority. Bud-tenders make about $14 per hour for selling cannabis at dispensaries, while bud trimmers prepare cannabis plant for sale for about $8-12 per hour.
When it comes to career paths that require higher qualifications, job seekers with degrees in chemistry, pharmacology, or botany can truly benefit in the cannabis industry. Entry-level pay for horticulturalists is around $40,000 a year and around $60,000 for botanists. On the other hand, pharmacologists may start at $40,000 per year but can make up to $100,000 in no time. The most interesting fact about the cannabis industry is that women have around 36% of all executive positions. In comparison, in other industries, they hold only around 15% of these roles.
A Word of Warning
The cannabis industry will continue to surprise us in the most positive ways possible. The numbers will continue to rise, and the health benefits will keep on changing our entire understanding of medicine. If it continues on this road, it might even become a part of new standard treatments for both physical and mental health. That said, we felt the need to mention some of the possible negative sides of cannabis use. These represent the obstacles to legalization.
- Cannabis may lead to dependence. Cannabis use disorder nearly doubled in the last decade and is almost three times more common among men than women.
- Long-term cannabis use can cause cognitive decline. For example, cannabis users might experience problems with motor learning control.
- Smoking cannabis may cause breathing problems and damage oral health, causing cavities and aggressive gum disease.
- Cannabis increases heart rate and, in turn, has a negative effect on the cardiovascular system, especially in people with a history of heart conditions.
- Cannabis may cause paranoia and increase the risk of developing schizophrenia earlier in life.
- Smoking cannabis is known to lower sperm concentration and, in turn, affect a man’s ability to conceive. It can also have negative effects on the unborn child if the mother smokes during pregnancy.
All things considered, no medicine is without any side effects, so with proper research, the industry should soon be able to manufacture even more beneficial products and reap greater profits.
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