Is it high time for pot PR?

With a few states legalizing marijuana for recreational use, and others allowing more medical uses, it may be time for PR pros to prepare their pot plans.

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Legalization in Colorado, Washington and Oregon has brought the cannabis industry into sharp focus in the press. Twenty other states have varying laws on the books addressing medical marijuana and decriminalized possession for personal use.

The bottom line is that publicity for the pot industry is now poised to grow as the public seeks to understand how the greater acceptance of the drug will impact their lives. Discussions of pot are no longer relegated to culture-specific magazines such as High Times.

When starched and stodgy magazines such as Forbes are paying attention, you know the tide has turned. There’s a reason why the grey suits on Wall Street are finally starting to wake up and smell the coffee, or ganja in this case. The revenue projections are staggering. A report by Marijuana Business Daily in April 2014 estimated that pot sales could grow to $8.2 billion by 2018, and that’s if four or five states legalize recreational use of pot and another two or three legalize medical marijuana. The total annual sales of pot in the United States (though most of it illegal and therefore difficult to track) is said to approach $100 billion.

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