Now that I'm on my way home from the fourth annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo, there's one statistic I just can't stop thinking about.
And that's a big deal.
You see, people throw around a ton of numbers at these conferences. But their true values can be incredibly opaque.
Whether the data you pick up on the expo floor is from an entrepreneur, a lobbyist, a politician, an investment analyst, a researcher, a salesperson, or even a "brand representative," you've got to do some work with it.
You've got to put it under the microscope, turn it around in your head, and figure out what it truly means. While most of the "tips" you get are just noise, many are interesting enough to share with friends.
But only a very, very few are truly valuable.
I'm talking about a number or statistic that flips a switch in your brain – and points your way toward future profits in your investment portfolio.
And the one number that stuck with me is this – 25%.
A Message from Michael
That's the percentage drop in opioid-based fatalities in states where medical cannabis legalization has occurred, said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, during his expo-opening speech.
In other words, states that have legalized medical marijuana experience 25% fewer opioid-based fatalities than states that have not legalized medical cannabis.
So that's a significant – financially and emotionally – number.
You don't need me to tell you that we're in the middle of a huge and growing opioid crisis.
Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999. In 2015, opioids were involved in the deaths of 33,091 people in the United States. Most of these deaths – more than 22,000 (about 62 people per day) – involved prescription opioids, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data.
And a study from the American Society of Addiction Medicine for 2016 found that prescription pain relievers – almost entirely opioid-based ones – are the cause of roughly 40% of all drug overdoses. That makes them by far the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. The study also found that four of every five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers.
As this 25% statistic shows us, medical marijuana and cannabis-based drugs – which can be used to treat chronic pain – are going to be one of the biggest solutions to ending our opioid crisis.
And we're just at the beginning.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.