My name is Andy and I recently joined Poseidon, a fund focusing on the legal cannabis industry. Since joining, I’ve noticed firsthand the disappointing lack of accounting and finance-minded professionals participating in this revolutionary industry. For this reason, I’d like to tell you why accountants, bookkeepers, and finance gurus alike should consider the high growth industry of legal cannabis.
It’s growing – like a weed!
The next time you’re enjoying a vintage from Napa Valley, consider that once upon a time (1933), alcohol too was federally illegal. One by one though, the people’s voice was heard and states took it upon themselves to repeal prohibition and the disastrous effects prohibition spurred.
Recently, a nearly identical process has begun in cannabis. In 1996, California was the first state to legalize the medical use of cannabis and in 2012, Colorado voted to legalize its recreational use via ballot initiative. Since then, 29 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis in one form or another. Legal cannabis is now the fastest growing industry in the United States on track to become a $50b industry, with growth rates comparable to television, home, and mobile internet adoption.
There are legitimate medical benefits to cannabis
Thanks in large part to Charlotte Figi, the young girl whose parents used high cannabidiol (CBD) cannabis to medicate her persistent seizures with tremendous success, the medicinal value of CBD, and cannabinoids in general, entered the public lexicon. As our understanding of the endocannabinoid system and cannabis’s function as a neuroprotectant expands, so too does its acceptance as legitimate medicine.
While more research is needed to speak definitively, cannabis has demonstrated efficacy in the areas of chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, Alzheimer’s and even cancer! While I wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical, check out Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s article explaining why he changed his stance on cannabis.
Prohibition has had devastating consequences
Despite being classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance on par with heroin, cannabis is nonetheless readily available (and America’s #2 cash crop prior to any attempt to legalize it). It’s estimated that we spent $3.6 billion enforcing marijuana prohibition in 2010. Arguably, the human and societal toll of locking up nonviolent drug offenders has been far worse.
As a society, we need to figure out how to legalize and regulate marijuana in a way that balances the risks. There is still a tremendous amount of research that needs to be done, both on the benefits and detriments of this vilified plant. Under prohibition however, this research has been virtually impossible to perform. Supporting legit businesses by making sure they are getting their books in order helps to legitimize the industry in the eyes of the law and enables sustained growth.
Not to mention, the puns are pretty dope
Work in cannabis and trust me, your buds will be jealous. Its few and far apart that an opportunity to catalyze an industry presents itself. And much like any other industry, potential employers span the gamut; from plant touching cultivation and dispensary businesses to ancillary tech, data, media, marketing, compliance and beyond.
So, if you have a background in accounting or finance and think you might want to join the cannabis industry, reach out! We’ve put together a brief survey to compile interested candidates at the URL below. You can also check out start-ups on AngelList and introduce yourself to venture capital firms and incubators in the space; someone you know might even already be involved.
Interested Candidate Survey: https://goo.gl/forms/vnM2iWtQHg0mHWKP2