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Cannabis 42.0 - Forbes

Published April 20, 2024

This 420—the high holiday for cannabis lovers—is special. Granted, marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, but 38 states have some form of legal cannabis—ruby red Ohio is the latest to have legalized adult-use weed since last April—and the majority of Americans currently support legalization, no matter their political leanings. An overwhelming 88% of adults in the U.S. believe that marijuana should be legal for medical purposes, according to the latest Pew Research Center polling, and 59% of adults think it should be legal for those 21 years and older. Only 10% say marijuana should remain illegal.

Giving hope to the entrepreneurs in the $28 billion legal industry is that fact that the Drug Enforcement Administration is currently reviewing the Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation to reclassify cannabis from its current status as a Schedule I drug—the same category as heroin—to Schedule III, alongside FDA-approved medicines such Tylenol with codeine and ketamine.

So far, the Justice Department has been quiet about what it will decide and when it will announce, but weed stocks are up nearly 90% since HHS released its recommendation last summer in anticipation.

For the third-annual Cannabis 42.0 list, Forbes interviewed dozens of investors, entrepreneurs, executives, analysts and business owners, studying sales data and financial documents to identify the 42 leaders who are paving the way towards what is becoming one of the country’s most important economic and social revolutions—transforming cannabis from a criminal enterprise into a legitimate one. Publicly traded companies were not considered in order to highlight smaller, entrepreneurial brands and people revolutionizing the industry from the ground up.

Here are the pot pioneers blazing a path forward.



Kristi Palmer

Husband-and-wife team Kristi and Scott Palmer set out to create a new edibles company from scratch in 2010, mixing their first THC-infused chocolate bars in their home kitchen. With a focus on dosage consistency and a Whole Foods-esque design, Kiva Confections now has 40-plus products, which are available at dispensaries across 35 states.
Visit her profile on to read more articles featuring Kristi Palmer.

Originally Posted [Link here to main Forbes website]
Original Artwork Created by MUTI FOR FORBES
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