Cannabis Industry Investments Up; Australia Gears Up for Cannabis Boom

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By Athena Yenko | June 18, 2013 3:33 PM EST

ArcView Investor Network organized a conference for those companies welcoming the idea of investment in legal cannabis companies. The conference was attended by at least 18 companies which investments will not involve selling marijuana, rather, providing services to the cannabis industry. Services to be rendered by these companies are security, lighting and storage.

Troy Dayton, Chief Officer of the ArcView Group was very positive about the emerging cannabis industry. He said that the conference held was "a historical moment, We're announcing to Wall Street, this is the real deal." He also said that the rise of the cannabis industry will be something like the technology boom of the 1990's.

Reports showed that the future of the cannabis industry is something that cannot be disregarded. A report from Medical Marijuana Business daily said that lawful sales of marijuana will reach $1.5 billion this year and could quadruple by 2018.

A 2005 Harvard economist report showed that if cannabis is to be legalized in all states of the U.S., it can save up to $13.7 billion in tax revenue and decreased law enforcement costs.

CNBC reported that both legal and illegal sales of cannabis are estimated to more than $120 billion a year.

Interestingly, a PEW research Center poll turned out that majority of Americans support the legalization of cannabis.

Is Australia ready for the "booming" cannabis industry?

 Those investors who are seeing the big potential in the cannabis market will find it disappointing to know that the emerging cannabis market is still long shot in the country, mainly because of the laws encompassing the cannabis offense.

According to NCPIC (National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre), It is illegal to use, possess, grow or sell cannabis in Australia, but the penalties for cannabis offences are different in each state and territory.

 HOWEVER, investors might be surprised to know that regions in the country have lenient laws on cannabis offense. This might be an indication that if ever the cannabis market will prove its worth in the coming years, Australia might look into legalising cannabis after all.

NCPIC said that there are decriminalized minor cannabis offences that can just be dealt with civil penalty through a minimum penalty rather than being criminally charged. Such minor offense includes possession of a small amount of the drug for personal use.

South Australia's law on cannabis states that "possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana, 20 grams of hash, one non-hydroponic plant or cannabis smoking equipment leads to a fine from $50 to $150 with 60 days to pay it.

In Australian Capital Territory,  "possession of up to two non-hydroponic cannabis plants, or up to 25 grams of marijuana receives a $100 fine with 60 days to pay instead of a criminal charge. Instead of paying the fine, the person may choose to attend a drug assessment and treatment program.

In Northern Territory, "possession of up to 50 grams of marijuana, one gram of hash oil, 10 grams of hash or cannabis seed, or two non-ghydroponic plants can be fined $200 to pay rather than face criminal charge.

In regions like New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania, cannabis offense is regarded as criminal offense but the laws were relaxed for first time users.

New South Wales law states that, "possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis in NSW may receive a caution from the police."

In Queensland, "possession of up to 50 grams of cannabis, the person caught will be offered diversion."

In Victoria, "possession of no more than 50 grams of cannabis will receive a caution."

In Tasmania, "possession of up to 50 grams of cannabis can be given a caution up to three times in ten years."

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