On November 6, 2012 Colorado and Washington State legalization marijuana for recreational use. Since then it has gotten many people to think, which state will legalize marijuana next?
In this post, I briefly examine how entrepreneurs might be able to accurately envision the future of recreational and medical marijuana in the U.S. by utilizing Google Trends. First movers in the next states to legalize weed will be able to capture the local legal marijuana markets. They will be able to run out competitors, build their weed businesses, and develop their cannabis dispensary brands to capitalize on marijuana legalization before others have a chance to set up shop. NORML, a nonprofit lobbying organization working to legalize marijuana, does a great job monitoring marijuana legislation across the country, but just being up-to-date on cannabis related state referendums isn’t enough.
I use Google Trends to get detailed insights on trends in the marijuana industry. For example, I searched “marijuana” and limited my findings to the United States and the year leading up to November 6, 2012 and guess which two states, besides California, had the highest search volume index? That is right – Colorado, scored a 90 out of 100 and Washington scored a 88 out of 100. This compares to Oregon, whose residents narrowly voted against legalizing marijuana, which scored an 84. But what does this all mean?I am suggesting that the month before the election, I could have accurately predicted that Colorado and Washington were about legalize marijuana, while I would not have been as confident about Oregon if I had used Google Trends.
Using this same logic, I will make a bold prediction that the next states to legalize marijuana for recreational use, in chronological order, will be Oregon then Maine and then Michigan.