Before long, the United States may be surrounded by legal recreational cannabis. Canada has already created a multi-billion dollar industry through federal legalization in 2018; now, Mexico is looking to join Canada with federal legalization. Overall, thirty countries, from Argentina to Zimbabwe , allow at least some degree of medical marijuana use at the national level.

With so much cannabis activity, the global market is expected to hit $31 billion by 2021.

In spite of the growing global legalization movement, including a majority of U.S. states legalizing some form of cannabis use, the federal government continues to cling to prohibition. In doing so, the U.S. has ceded its economic — and moral — leadership in the cannabis market, and the delays will have repercussions for years to come.

As the founder and CEO an adaptive healthcare solutions company developing cannabinoid-based medicines, I have an intimate appreciation for the effects of federal prohibition. Unable to carry out research into cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals for diabetics in the U.S., we were forced to relocate our first production center to the Republic of Vanuatu in the South Pacific