The first half of 2021 was good for the East Coast cannabis industry, as 3 more states legalized cannabis for recreational use. New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut each passed legislation to legalize and decriminalize the recreational use and possession of cannabis. That leaves only three of the 9 states that make up the North-East to have yet to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
The East Coast is often viewed as conservative and uppity by laid back West Coasters. However, some of the largest cities in newly legal East Coast states are rolling out the welcome mat to the industry - and the revenue it presents.
A prominent data, analytics and technology firm specializing in the global cannabis industry recently released its 2021 Mid-Year Market Update. After analyzing and modeling the legal market, and taking into account newly legalized markets, they project U. S. legal cannabis sales to reach $43 billion by 2025.
The emerging East Coast Cannabis Market spurs nationwide excitement.
B.I.G. has been highly involved with the cannabis industry for over 10 years, yet the excitement of new markets expanding never gets old. While the West Coast market continues to mature and work through its growth, the East Coast is buzzing with new opportunities.
That’s why we’re excited to announce our attendance as an exhibitor and speaker at the upcoming 2021 Cannabis Industrial Marketplace Tri-State Summit And Expo. The August conference is the premier event where entrepreneurs learn about legislation and licensing in their states. Exhibitors will share strategies for growing, selling and production to help new licensees get off on the right foot.
We are honored to speak at the Tri-State CIMP Show to educate new licensees on the full spectrum of payment services available to cannabis and hemp businesses. Make sure to stop by our booth #202 on the exhibition floor, where attendees can pick the brains of our ETA Certified Payments Professionals.
Recent East Coast cannabis legalization could potentially change the cannabis landscape for the better.
With the upcoming show being held in Pennsylvania, we’d like to take a quick look at the potential of the tri-state area of NY, NJ, and PA markets.
These three states are part of a densely populated region that has the potential to quickly become the nation’s second-largest cannabis marketplace. Some estimates for the potential of these newly legal states say they will generate as much as $8.7 billion annually within five years. This is not surprising with New York on board. Not only is it the financial center of the world, but it's also one of the most influential states in the country.
It's true East Coast states don't have to reinvent the wheel. They have plenty of examples of successful regulatory frameworks to follow. They also have knowledge from the trials of states like Washington and Colorado that forged the path for recreational cannabis.
These lessons have led to the East sometimes taking a different approach. The governors of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, and Connecticut decided to work together to speed the development of regulations in the East. Meeting at the Cannabis and Vaping Summit in 2019, they decided the quickest way to a streamlined regulatory framework was through a coordinated regional approach.
Legalization efforts in Eastern states have a large focus on social justice concerns as well as providing economic and racial equity. This differs from the view of legalization as a personal liberty and shows the growth of the industry as more states see the potential.
It's safe to say there’s an enormous amount of potential for real change in the cannabis industry as states in the east develop.
However, while these states have the West Coast's lessons to learn from, it seems that they are facing a lot of the same challenges within the states. The journey is not always clear.
East Coast cannabis businesses face many of the same challenges as the West.
Many municipalities within legal states are choosing to bar operations. For example, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, and their famed boardwalk, will not allow operators within city limits. This means that delivery companies will be the only opportunity for revenue in many areas. Even that opportunity is because they must be allowed under the new statewide cannabis law.
However, if the West is any indicator, this will not stymie the industry...
Additionally, access to financial services, banking, and payments continues to plague the cannabis industry. Regardless of which coast they're on.
The complexities of payments and banking within the cannabis industry are often reported inaccurately and/or skewed purposely for the interest of the author's affiliated company. Additionally, many of the solutions being offered are done so through technology companies with little to no knowledge of the banking and payments regulatory framework. Oftentimes they claim to be able to operate outside the oversight of regulation - “legally”.
While FinTech is an exciting and necessary evolution in our antiquated banking system, they must realize that change is only progression when it meets the standards that are in place to protect our security and our country.
Both plant touching and ancillary businesses are quickly learning that transparent cannabis bank accounts and truly compliant payment processing are all too far and few between.
The new cannabis market will provide exciting opportunities for increased revenue for many businesses providing supporting products to the industry. Ancillary businesses such as packaging, labeling, testing laboratories, consultants, and legal services are necessary to the success of the new market. But banks now consider them a “cannabis related business” for serving the cannabis industry.
These businesses may soon find out that their payment processor can no longer serve their business. Ancillary cannabis businesses will need to get a new merchant account from a Merchant Service Provider prepared to serve cannabis and ancillary cannabis businesses.
Cannabis merchant accounts are closer than you think.
Cannabis payment processing is a complicated endeavor. But we won’t be deterred. We’ve been on the front lines, pushing for fair access to financial services for the cannabis industry since 2012. We continue to advocate and lobby for cannabis business equality. In the meantime, we strive to find and build legal and sustainable payment solutions that support cannabis business legitimacy.
Our solution allows cannabis businesses to accept card payments in a transparent manner right now. But more importantly, it prepares your business to accept cannabis credit card payments as soon as there is federal change.
By providing compliant cannabis payment processing, we demonstrate transactions can be handled in a compliant and fully auditable manner. We believe this is the best way to forge the path for fair access to banking and other merchant services.
Our strong dedication and belief that the only, and best way, to move forward towards federal change is by showing the populace that cannabis is a legitimate industry. One way to do this is through compliant, transparent, and legal merchant services.
For a deeper dive, be sure to catch our speech on The State of Cannabis - A Payments Perspective at the show. And, of course, stop by Booth #202 and say hello, we’re excited to welcome you to the B.I.G. family!