While the sale and consumption of cannabis has been legal in the Netherlands for many years, the slow process of its legalization for recreational use in the US has done much to keep cannabis in the headlines in recent years. Now, Canadian cannabis company Tilray is hitting the headlines due to its soaring stock. And here at Tomedes, we’re experiencing a notable uptick in the requests for translation from cannabis companies.
US cannabis legalization – a potted history
Colorado and Washington State led the way in the US back in 2012, when they voted to legalize recreational cannabis. Cannabis use is now entirely legal in eight US states, while its use for medical purposes is broadly legalized in a further 23 states. Estimates show that the number of cannabis-related businesses in the US reached up to 28,000 during 2017. Recreational sales, meanwhile, stand at $11,670 million.
Tilray's bitcoin moment
Given this background, it is no wonder that cannabis companies like Tilray have seen their stock shoot up in value. However, the dramatic upswing in interest in Tilray in late September has taken even market analysts by surprise, with MarketWatch describing the change as Tilray’s “bitcoin moment.” The site noted a 2,000% uptick in interest in its Tilray quote page as well, while Reddit is awash with cannabis subreddits. Tilray even became one of Google’s top trending search terms at one point.
The rise of cannabis translation
Recreational use aside, cannabis use around the world is increasing as a result of interest in its medicinal properties – something which regular users have been advocating for many, many years. As a result, requests for business translation relating to cannabis are on the up.
Interestingly, many requests for cannabis translation incorporate medical elements, meaning that there is significant crossover between demand for cannabis translation and demand for medical translation. Translators working in this area must therefore ensure that their expertise and knowledge is fully up to date.
Recreational-use cannabis companies also require translators, which is further driving the increase in need for cannabis company translation. The growth of the use of cannabis in edible products is also contributing, with some 857,260 units of marijuana-infused edibles sold in Colorado alone in December 2017.
The future of translation for cannabis companies
The cannabis industry is growing rapidly. Its use for medicinal purposes has the potential to shake up the health industry significantly, and specifically Big Pharma’s role within that industry. Marijuana grows like a, well, weed. It’s cheap and, according to its advocates, can treat a vast range of conditions, providing pain relief, slowing and stopping cancer cells from spreading, preventing Alzheimer’s, controlling seizures and tremors, treating glaucoma and helping with a variety of mental health conditions.
Then there is the recreational use element. Five years on from its legalization in Colorado and Washington State, cannabis has proven popular as a recreational drug. Legalization has had a number of interesting results, not least of them a localized economic boom in both states. That boom is now being replicated elsewhere in the US. Whichever way you look at it, cannabis is big business, meaning that demand for translation for cannabis businesses looks set to continue increasing.
If your company is one of those with a cannabis translation need, Tomedes is here to help. Our highly experienced translators cover more than 90 languages. Please contact the Tomedes team for further details.