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Panel: Medical marijuana lights up investment opportunities

2017-06-08 02:16 [INVESTING] Source:Netword
Guide:The hurdles can be high and the pitfalls unpredictable when investing in the burgeoning medical marijuana industry, but it offers unparalleled opportun

Managing Partner David Lipton in a large medical marijuana grow room at Advanced Grow Labs in West Haven, Conn. on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media / Connecticut Post

Medical marijuana patient William McDonald loads a cannibis bud into a vaporizer at his home in Monroe, Conn. on Sunday, August 9, 2015. McDonald uses cannibis in a variety of forms to treat his thyroid cancer, and symptoms from cancer treatment, like swelling in his legs. McDonald, who considers the drug a miracle cure for him, said he has lost 200 pounds in the last year and a half. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media / Connecticut Post

Buds of medical marijuana hang from coat hangers in the curing room at Advanced Grow Labs in West Haven, Conn. on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media / Connecticut Post

Head production manager Dain Colandro takes cutting of New medical marijuana strains at Advanced Grow Labs in West Haven, Conn. on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media / Connecticut Post

 / Michael Ciaglo

1. About 44% of Americans have tried marijuana, according to a 2015 Gallup poll. The percentage has grown steadily since Gallup first asked the question in 1969. Photo: Michael Ciaglo, Houston Chronicle / Michael Ciaglo

2. Fully 11% of Americans (more than 1 in 10) reported to Gallup in 2015 that they currently smoke marijuana. Photo: Getty Images

3. Support for the legalization of marijuana has been growing, with 53% of Americans in favor of it as of 2015, per a different Gallup poll. Support is stronger among younger folks than older ones, and weaker among Hispanics than among whites and African-Americans. Photo: Getty Images

4. Americans are especially likely to favor legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The drug has been found useful to treat glaucoma, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel diseases, arthritis pain, multiple sclerosis pain, and chemotherapy pain and nausea. Other possible uses include curbing the growth of cancer cells and Alzheimer's disease, stimulating appetite, and treating anxiety. Photo: Getty Images

5. It's not all good news for the drug, though. Like regular tobacco, it contains carcinogens, and inhaling a lot of smoke is not good for anyone. Though it may be less addictive than other drugs, some people do become dependent on it. It can impair driving ability, too. Many studies find marijuana to be less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, but that doesn't mean it's safe. Photo: Getty Images

6. Folklore has it that Shakespeare may have smoked marijuana, and that Queen Victoria might have used it to alleviate monthly cramps. It's also reported to have been recommended as a substitute for alcohol by prohibition campaigners in the 19th century. Photo: Getty Images

7. Legalizing marijuana could deliver significant tax revenue to governments seeking just that. In its first year after legalizing marijuana, the state of Washington collected about $70 million in taxes. For Colorado, it was $53 million -- and marijuana tax revenue is outpacing that from alcohol in the state. The Cato Institute has estimated that state governments and the federal government could save around $8.7 billion through the legalization of the drug. Photo: Getty Images

8. Growing marijuana, like growing many other crops, requires a lot of resources. According to Mother Jones magazine, California's crop requires 50% more water during its growing season than the city of San Francisco uses in a year -- some 60 million gallons. In Denver, it's estimated that less than 2% of the city's electricity usage is for growing marijuana -- but that rate is growing rapidly. Photo: Getty Images

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