As California prepares to launch the largest recreational cannabis market in the United States, a number of celebrities, including Willie Nelson and Whoopi Goldberg, along their respective brands, are hoping to be some of the first to take possession of a license once they are issued.
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However, those in control of the way the industry will play out are still trying to hash out all of the details surrounding this particular aspect of the new legal marketplace in an attempt to get licenses into the hands of cultivation centers and retail pot shops in 2018. The primary snag, at least at this point, is determining who should be the first to receive a license – and should the state’s medical marijuana businesses have first dibs?
A recent report from the Associated Press suggests that celebrity brands already being distributed in the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries will have an advantage when the time comes to distribute licenses. This means the market will most likely see more pot products branded with the images of Bob Marley, Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson before new products from those showing up late to the game.
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Regardless of which companies are first to sell recreational reefer in California, analysts predict the state will be a determining factor in catapulting the industry into a $50 billion market within the next decade.
It is for this reason that Wall Street is starting to pay more attention to all of this legal weed business, the AP reports. Even with cannabis still being illegal at the federal level, alcohol companies are reportedly cautioning investors on what legalization could mean for their bottom line.
This is somewhat humorous, especially considering that the cannabis industry does not have most of the same freedoms as products like alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana companies are not even given the legal right to protect their brand names with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.
The whole of the cannabis industry, despite is predicted mega buoy to the American economy, is simply not handled in the same manner as other legitimate pieces of national commence – at least not yet.
Leaders of the California cannabis movement credit celebrities for bringing normalization to the cannabis industry. Not only do these famous faces have the finances to properly market pot products in a way that instills a sense of legitimacy, but they also have a larger platform to promote the issue to more of the average citizen.
“They’re helping to legitimize marijuana,” Cheryl Shuman, founder of the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club, told the AP. “Marijuana is fast becoming cool and glamorous.”