In the second part of a three-part analysis of Australia’s legal cannabis landscape, Cannabiz chief correspondent Steve Jones examines the Office of Drug Control’s role in hampering the industry’s progress.

Forecasting can be a precarious business. Take the Rand Corporation. In 1964, the American think tank famously gazed into the future and concluded that in 56 years’ time, in 2020, many families would have trained apes – live-in apes no less – to perform “low grade” household chores.

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That means that a particularly clever chimpanzee should, by Rand’s reckoning, have made your cuppa this morning, maybe knocked up a bacon sarnie and then done the hoovering.

Even more bizarrely – if that’s possible – one Rand expert suggested those same primates would, by now, double as chauffeurs and later tonight give you a lift to the pub.

Today, while Rand points out that many of its 1964 insights came to pass, it accepts others were somewhat wide of the mark, including another forecast that the world’s population would balloon to eight billion by 2100.

“Their population calculations were off by about 80 years,” Rand said last month, pointing out in an admirably self-deprecating manner, that we’ve almost hit that milestone.

Rand, however, is not the only company to come a cropper in the treacherous art of forecasting.

While not quite matching the absurdities of the home-help ape predictions, Deloitte is one which might look rather sheepishly at a forward-looking report it presented to the Australian Government in 2016.

Steve has reported for a number of consumer and B2B titles over a journalism career spanning more than three decades. He is a regulator contributor to health journal, The Medical Republic, writing on...