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Let’s talk about cannabis: A conversation with NCIA’s Morgan Fox

Views on legalized marijuana have changed substantially over the last few years, and this growing industry has evolved into a professional business. Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 36 states, several territories, and the District of Columbia. The recreational use of cannabis is recognized in 18 states plus the District of Columbia. When many businesses were shut down during the pandemic, dispensaries were allowed to remain open as an essential service.

Morgan Fox, spokesperson for the National Cannabis Industry Association, provides an overview of the industry in the latest edition of Insurance Speak. Fox shares that the global cannabis industry has grown in value to approximately $30 billion in 2021, and approximately two-thirds of those sales take place in the U.S. By 2025, the cannabis industry is expected to be worth $50 billion or more, and these are conservative estimates.

The industry saw a significant uptick in sales during the pandemic, particularly as customers moved away from the underground, unregulated market to the regulated legal markets across the country. As the customer base broadened, so did the variety of products that emerged. “True innovation can only happen in regulated markets, at least at the scale at which we’re seeing it now,” finds Fox.

There are several misconceptions concerning the cannabis industry that Fox quickly dispels. One is that getting a job within the cannabis industry makes it harder to get a job in another area in the future. Fox explains several universities are creating cannabis tracks for the business and science courses, which helps to further its perception as a viable profession offering job opportunities after graduation.

Fox also discusses where he believes the government stands on legalizing marijuana on a federal level and what this might look like in the future. For more on legalization and risk management strategies for the cannabis industry, listen to the podcast above or subscribe to Insurance Speak on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play or Libsyn.

Editor’s Note: ALM will be launching a new cannabis certification for insurers beginning in September. For more details, visit


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