Great green hope: The big picture on legal marijuana


The biggest unclaimed territory in the consumer discretionary universe is cannabis. Even though cannabis remains illegal under federal law, Americans spent $6 billion in 2017 on legal recreational and medical marijuana.

Why it matters: Americans may have spent a total of $50 billion on recreational cannabis last year, according to the best estimates. That leaves enormous room for the legal market to grow, even if cannabis consumption remains flat.

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Patent system gets streamlined makeover

Margaret Focarino, Commissioner for Patents, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) was in a state of crisis in 2009. There was a huge backlog of pending patent applications and it was growing. The process for reviewing patents had not changed in decades and was out-of-date. Employee job satisfaction was low and the longstanding distrust between management and the patent examiners union was ever-present.



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