WealthSpike: Family offices are smoking the wacky backy

WealthSpike hasn’t smoked a joint with anyone who works for a family office, but there might be plenty of occasions to do so in the future. That’s because the latest investment buzz high-end investors are increasingly talking about is marijuana.

In a recent article in the US magazine Private Wealth, various family offices were positively off their heads about the investment opportunity that legal marijuana appears to present. But there’s more to this than a bit of silliness. The sector is growing incredibly fast and it might be a good time to get into now, before it’s too late.

In 2014, legal marijuana was the fastest-growing industry in the US, according to The ArcView Group, an investment research firm. Sales in that year were up 74% year-on-year. In 2015, the sale of marijuana in Colorado was nearly $1 billion, only a year after legalisation began.

Altogether 24 states and the District of Columbia have legalised medical marijuana, another 16 have legalised cannabidiol-only medical cannabis, and three states and the District of Columbia have legalised recreational marijuana. More states are expected to follow the legalising trend in the years ahead. And the move towards legalisation isn’t just confined to the US. Australia is expected to legalise the use of medical marijuana this year. Canada legalised marijuana some years back, and much of western Europe has decriminalized the use cannabis.

Investors into the sector are also looking beyond just the cannabis plant, and are beginning to invest in commercial and agriculture real-estate connected to the growing and distribution of marijuana.

So, if investors can see through the haze of the hype of the fast-growing marijuana business, there’s money to be made. And maybe some nice recreational time to be had as well...