More and more people are advocating for cannabis around the world. In particular, the U.S. is witnessing the strongest support from its citizens and some politicians. In 2018, 62% of U.S. Americans said that cannabis should be legalized, which has doubled since the early 2000s, according to Pew Research.
Prior to the 2000s, only states such as California, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington were the first to pass medicinal cannabis legislations. Now, more than half the country, including the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical applications. Additionally, 10 states have also legalized cannabis for recreational use. The cannabis industry has grown rapidly both in the U.S. and internationally, where medicinal cannabis has been adopted by a handful of nations such as Australia, Argentina, Colombia, France, Germany, and Italy. However, the biggest barrier hindering the growth of the industry is still the lack of large-scale clinical testing. So far, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t moved to approve cannabis as a registered medicine because there isn’t enough clinical data.
Yet, the FDA did approve a cannabis-derivative drug in 2017, Epidiolex. Overall, political movements within the cannabis industry have led to the market’s explosive growth over the past several years.
According to data compiled by Zion Market Research, the global legal marijuana market was valued at approximately USD 16.71 Billion in 2017.
Cannabis-based companies, medical institutes, and researchers are undergoing studies to understand the cannabis plant better. Medical studies are trying to evaluate how cannabis can be leveraged to treat conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and chronic pain. On the other hand, some researchers are looking to test active components within the cannabis plant such as terpenes and cannabinoids by using chromatographic or analytical testing. According to Zion Market Research, the global cannabis testing market was valued at USD 910 Million in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 2.01 Billion by 2024.
As cannabis testing continually progresses, it is expected that more countries will legalize cannabis for medicinal use. Additionally, clinical trials and studies will allow consumers and institutions to become more knowledgeable about the plant.