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Cannabis Business Owners Express Optimism About Future Of Industry

A survey of cannabis business owners in the United States finds that they are feeling generally optimistic about the future of the industry, according to MJBizDaily.

The MJBizDaily cannabis business survey took place Feb. 13-March 15 and brought over 600 responses, most of them from owners, founders or executives in plant-touching or ancillary cannabis businesses.

It found that over 48% of revenue-generating cannabis businesses expect the industry will perform “somewhat better” or “much better” over the next 12 months.   When adding business operators who expected the industry to remain about the same for the coming year, it brought the total to 82% who said things would remain stable or improve.   19% of those responding expected the industry outlook to worsen over the next year.

The survey was conducted prior to the decision by the Justice Department to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act to Schedule III, a category for drugs with less potential for abuse.

Among those making plans to open a marijuana business in the near future, 82% said they expect conditions in the industry to improve in the next year, while 72% of those early in the planning process felt the same way.  35% of respondents who had closed businesses felt the industry was going in the right direction.

Almost 72% of the respondents operate in cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, processing or retail.

One operator interviewed for the report, Chad Ricketts, director of retail for Colorado-based Native Roots Cannabis, described the sense of optimism.

“Given how young it is and how quickly trends in cannabis change, there’s always a strong sense of potential and opportunity,” Ricketts said.  “I think most businesses that enter the space do not know what to expect out of the gate but do expect that, in the long run, things will end up going well as we head toward federal legalization.”

Lo Friesen, founder and CEO of Heylo, a cannabis product manufacturer in Washington state, reflected on his own experience in the industry.

“The first two years are a honeymoon phase of business, especially in cannabis. You can ride the ‘shiny-new-thing’ wave in those years, and things can feel easy,” Friesen said. “The years that follow are where the real work begins.”

The most optimistic sectors of the industry were manufacturers and processors, 73% of whom thought things would improve over the next 12 months.

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