The time is right for big tobacco to exploit business opportunities in the production of marijuana-based products, according to new analysis from Bloomberg Intelligence.
Ken Shea of Bloomberg says, “U.S. medical and recreational marijuana sales may climb to $8 billion by 2019, up sharply from about $2.4 billion in 2014, according to the Marijuana Business Factbook 2015. Potential federal legalization of marijuana for recreational use could present large opportunities for major U.S. tobacco companies, given their cigarette manufacturing scale, knowledge of managing similar regulatory and legal risks and possible similar production supply chain."
With supply and demand on a sharp and steady climb, policy makers are wringing their hands to deal with implications of more stoned citizenry. One bill that failed in Sacramento yesterday sought to authorize roadside drug tests to help police officers identify high drivers. The bill did not meet resistance from marijuana advocates and enjoyed support of law enforcement, however experts say the science is not advanced enough to determine whether a high driver is an impaired driver.
Ken Shea, Bloomberg Intelligence senior analyst
Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws