Growing Pains

As quickly as the marijuana industry is growing, and much profit as companies are raking in, there are two issues at hand that many are saying hold progress back: banking and energy.

With 23 states having legalized medical use, and four outright allowing recreational use, windfall profits of over $5 billion in the past year have many ready to tip their hat into the ring. And that number may be growing this year as ten more states are considering legalization through ballots or legislatures and 4 more are in the same process regarding medical use.

Unfortunately, regardless of state and current status of cannabis therein, many banks and financial institutions are balking at the idea of fully supporting these endeavors. According to Julia Wright at civilized.life, only about half of businesses that are tangential to cannabis were able to maintain accounts with the number of those growing the plant leveling at less than 30%. One man, Tim Cullen, says that in the past six years, he’s had 14 accounts, with banks even closing his personal account and college savings fund for his child.

Not only is money a problem, but marijuana is extremely energy dependent to grow, with all the growers of the country pulling about 1% of all energy costs nationwide.

The problems are only temporary, as the projected growth for the industry is looking up, with analysts predicting it may reach the levels of the California wine market within the next few years.

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