[Todd Harrison is the CIO and co-founder of CB1 Capital and a columnist for Investopedia. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Investopedia.]

I went on TV in 2012 and said that cannabis was my single-best investment theme for the next decade. 

I had just begun studying the science so I spoke only of the potential economic opportunities and societal benefits: tax revenue, job growth, prison populations and crime rates. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had entered a rabbit-hole of intellectual curiosity from which I’ve yet to emerge. Efficacy-driven wellness. It was a huge concept but I knew I was early.

Fast-forward six years and many will argue it’s still early, while others are betting that it’s too late.

The former, a large swath of the global population, is tainted by 90 years of misinformation that’s been perpetuated by those benefiting from the status quo, which began with William Randolph Hearst defending his paper empire and continues with big pharma protecting their prescriptions.They view cannabis as a gateway drug or cite moral conflicts and the conversation ends there.  We believe many of them will evolve into late-cycle adopters that provide future layers of demand.

And there are those who always got it and continue to get it, although many are where I was six years ago: totally gung-ho on the notion — true believers — but operating with an incomplete understanding of the science or application spectrum.  They enjoy using cannabis as a social lubricant or they know one-off use-cases such as helping cancer patients with pain and appetite, or as an opioid terminus. Even so, they’re confused as to who is going to smoke all this weed?

What both sides are missing and what we’ve spent the better part of the last decade researching

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