predictions for the cannabis industry in 2016

We recently provided an overview of the key cannabis events of 2015. As we turn the page and dive into 2016, it’s undeniable that the year is going to be momentous. We asked a few of our friends what they believe 2016 will bring to the wonderful world of cannabis.

6 predictions for the cannabis industry in 2016

“In 2016 we will see the legal marijuana business come of age. As we move into the third year of our ‘grand experiment’, we are seeing the creation of some truly scaleable national brands — and with the entrance of the ‘celebrity cannabis brands’ from Snoop, Willie and Marley, that trend will really gain traction this year.”

Dave Rheins Co-founder & Executive Director Marijuana Business Association

  “In regards to east coast states that have initiatives on the ballot for 2016, we anticipate significant investor interest from within the Northeast corridor, as Wall Street Investors are already attempting to corner parts of the East Coast market before established West Coast firms actively pursue this part of the country. We also expect to see more interest in the industrial hemp industry in 2016, which is a unique opportunity for farming regions within states like Pennsylvania, where agricultural innovation is being welcomed with open arms by regional economic development and investment groups.”

Tyler Dautrich Founder Greenhouse Ventures

  “Women will play a pivotal role in the cannabis industry in 2016. As the world continues to consider marijuana legalization, more women have an opportunity to fulfill their entrepreneurial goals and become leaders of a global community for the first time in history.”

Morgan Kristine Founder Cannabis Women’s Alliance

  “In 2016, we’ll see more sophisticated, insights-driven marketing, that has strategic implications on how a business scales-up for growth. There will be differentiated brands. Customers will be targeted, segmented by need, and purchase cycle if a patient. And, emerging media vehicles will allow a business to reach global audiences more effectively.”

– Karen Freese Principal & Founder Freese Branding & Consultancy

  “Tipping point is reached as California votes to legalize. Big money makes its move and the Feds give in to the inevitable and legalize marijuana.”

– Mike Jaglois Chief Brand Architect Canna Ventures

  “2016 is going to be crazy…in a good way. By the end of the year we’ll have at least 7 new fully legal states including California. The NFL will drop a blockbuster and take marijuana off it’s banned substances list. And as President Obama exits he’ll take executive action to reclassify marijuana to a Schedule II substance and remove hemp entirely.”

– Eric Layland Founder Canna Ventures



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2015’s cannabis recap: the death of the “stoner”

There’s no denying that 2015 was a monumental year for cannabis, and that the major events of this past year will have an enormous impact on the economic markets, as well as the cultural significance of, legal cannabis for years to come. Here’s a brief summary of a few of the headline catching events of 2015, and how they might affect us all in the year to come.

1. the year the stoner stereotype died

While there’s no specific date for the first “event” of 2015, we’re calling the year out as the beginning of the death of the “stoner” stereotype. For far too long marijuana use has really only been examined by mainstream America through two lenses: the war on drugs, and Hollywood’s portrayal of the “stoner”:

As more states legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana, as more scientists and doctors research it’s effects, and as elected officials continue to call for the removal of the federal ban on marijuana, the clearer the lens becomes for those looking at marijuana through the lens of the war on drugs. It’s really hard to call a child suffering from epilepsy a “stoner” when CBD oil has been the only thing that has ever helped curb their symptoms. And as mainstream America begins to see videos of sweet old grandmas hitting a bong, or listening to Afroman’s updated version of Because I got High, or hearing from countless famous cannabis consumers, the clearer the lens becomes for those who’ve really only examined marijuana use through an entertainment lens.

It’s becoming increasingly harder to apply the lazy stoner stereotype to so many different types of people. We do, however, acknowledge that the classic stoner stereotype will always apply to a certain percentage of those who consume cannabis (as any stereotype might apply to some percentage of any group), but even the stereotype alone is evolving and becoming more embraced.

For the second year in a row, a Girl Scout in San Francisco set up her cookie stand outside of a dispensary, selling 208 boxes of cookies in just two hours. The relaxed soccer mom and similar personas, are now rejecting false stereotypes about cannabis and the “dangers” it presents. And old guard vs. new guard vs. green rush entrepreneurs, are starting to identify unique opportunities to develop market niches that look nothing like Cheech, Snoop or Spicoli.

2. celebrity cannabis

Celebrity brands began to emerge on the coattails of the late 2014 announcement of Marley Naturals by “cannabis conglomerate” Privateer Holdings. The most notable of those penning their names to product lines in 2015 included: Willie Nelson, Rihanna (maybe?), and Melissa Etheridge.

3. U.S. surgeon general admits “marijuana can be helpful”

In February, US Surgeon General Vivek Murphy was quoted on CBS This Morning saying, “We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms that marijuana can be helpful.”

4. the compassionate access, research expansion and respect states act (CARERS)

For the first time in United States history, three sitting US senators introduced a bill in March of 2015 to change the way the country deals with cannabis. The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act (CARERS) earned bipartisan support being co-sponsored by democrats Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).


5. puerto rico legalizes medicinal marijuana

In May, Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla issued an executive order that authorizes the use of cannabis in Puerto Rico for medicinal purposes. Massachusetts, Illinois and Nevada also opened their first medical dispensaries.

6. closer to getting U.S. vets access to cannabis care

US Senators voted, for first time, to increase access to cannabis for US Veterans. The Daines/Merkley amendment, which permits physicians affiliated with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend cannabis therapy to veterans in states that allow for its therapeutic use, prompted powerhouse Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – and other democratic senators – to send letters urging Health & Human Services, DEA and ONDCP to ease restrictions on medical cannabis research in July.

7. majority of americans support legalization


As Fall rolled across the American continent, seismic shifts began to reveal cracks in the prohibition argument. A new Gallup poll revealed 58% of Americans supported full-on legalization of marijuana.

8. california gets ready to end pot prohibition

California Governor Jerry Brown, overseer of the most populous state, signed into law three bills establishing a framework for what is likely to become the largest legal marijuana market in the world.

9. oregon opens rec stores

Further establishing the Left Coast as the Best Coast, Oregon commenced legal recreational sales on Oct. 1, 2015, and so far sales have been booming!

10. our neighbors got closer to legalization

Canada elected pro-pot Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Just as noteworthy, Mexico’s high court (pardon the pun) ruled growing marijuana for personal consumption a “personal right”, paving the way for future legalization efforts.


11. ohio rejects marijuana monopoly

This year Ohio voters revealed they weren’t swayed purely by the notion of legalization. Rather they understand when a law is bad and rejected a ballot measure heavily funded by the rich and somewhat famous that would have created a state run monopoly. Or it could have been that voters really hated the idea of being pandered to by a pro-pot mascot.

As 2015 fades into distant memory and we turn our attention to 2016 and the impending year, it’s difficult to deny that the tides have changed.  It’s clear that 2015 was a turning point, however, 2016 is shaping up to be the tipping point when elections take center stage in November. Should even the unfathomable happen and a Republican win the White House, our Nation has moved unapologetically in favor of ending cannabis prohibition. Well done, America. Now, let’s hold on tight and continue to support each other in 2016. Momentum is in our favor. The end of prohibition is near!



The Bay Area


(206) 420-6121


Mon - Fri : 8am–6pm PST

Sat - Sun: Closed