It may sound silly to walk into a bar and order up a beer with a weed chaser or to open a late night box of cereal called “Weedies” to help you sleep, but that is exactly the era we’re moving into.On Election Day, the citizens of both Colorado and Washington made the bold decision to legalize marijuana and manage it with controls similar to alcohol, prompting speculation about Amsterdam-style “drug tourism” and a new round of jokes about Colorado’s official song, Rocky Mountain High.Certainly, for Colorado, there will be big concerns about stoners on the ski slopes, and in Washington, even bigger concerns about stoned lumberjacks wielding chainsaws. But those tend to be edge cases in a much larger opportunity movement.
Here is a sampling of some of the new industries this will spawn:New Products – With a growing aversion to “smoking,” the style and form of marijuana will need to be shifted into edible and drinkable products. This will include everything from sodas, to candies, to cookies, to inhalers, to lotions, and much more.Conventions & Events – Seattle’s Hempfest is already the world’s largest pot gathering with over 250,000 people getting together, smoking dope, and discussing the stoners view of the world ahead. Look for the number of conventions, Meetups, and other kinds of events to expand greatly.Associations – Many new associations will come out of the woodwork including retailers associations, growers association, standards associations, etc.Testing Laboratories – The alcohol industry is already tightly controlled, but marijuana brings with it a thousand times as many variables as booze. Testing will be the centerpiece of control for this industry.Ratings Organizations – We hear a lot of hype about which kind of pot is the best, but this will open the doors for new companies to do a thorough ranking of the industry options.Newspapers & Magazines – There is already an underground newspaper and magazine industry for the weed world, but this will grow dramatically.News Specials – The first wave of opportunity will develop around news organizations, as this will become a rich vein of news programming.Education, Training & How To Guides – Everyone looking to enter the field will be searching for quick ways to bring themselves up to speed. This type of training will become more formalized over the coming years, and some of the coming legislation will likely require it.Movies, Documentaries & TV Shows – Look for industry-related new sitcoms, comedies, documentaries, and other ingenious “potlines” to involve an entirely new set of good guys and bad guys.Patents – Expect a rush to patent new marijuana devices, gadgets, formulas, processes, and much more.Support Groups – There will be many negative issues resulting from legalization and each one will likely create the need for support groups to help people work through them.Pharmaceuticals & Alternative Medicines – Suddenly THC will be finding its way into a variety of stress relieving, pain controlling, and sleep enhancing pills. Big Pharma is already licking their lips on this one.Farmers Markets – Get it right from the source. Farmers markets will welcome the new weed dealers with open arms.Marijuana Tourism – While this seems to be the primary focus of the news media, marijuana tourism will only be a tiny piece of a much larger industry.Many More – Look for additional opportunities in agriculture, processing plants, transportation, distribution, marketing, advertising, training, certification, regulators, and much more.