Cannabis may be illegal on a federal level across the United States, but that hasn’t stopped a multi-billion dollar industry from emerging on the state level. While some investors have avoided the country’s cannabis market due to the federal risk, new cannabis legislation in the House and Senate could dramatically reshape the industry’s risk profile. The legalization of adult-use cannabis across a growing number of states could also create new opportunities.
In this article, we will take a closer look at these regulatory changes, new state markets and how investors can participate in the industry’s growth.
Regulatory Changes Are Afoot
Senator Cory Booker introduced the Marijuana Justice Act earlier this year to deschedule cannabis and expunge past cannabis-related convictions. Supporters argue that marijuana use is roughly equivalent across the population, but African Americans are 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession. Majorities across both political parties are ready for change and support legalization with little regional variance.
Aside from social justice, the SAFE Banking Act promises to eliminate problems with cannabis banking. The bill offers targeted federal protections for credit unions and other financial institutions for accepting deposits, extending credit, or providing payment services to cannabis businesses as long as they are compliant with state regulations. The move could increase transparency for cannabis businesses and make transactions easier.
These bills and several others being debated in the House and Senate could radically transform cannabis laws in the United States. By descheduling cannabis and enabling frictionless banking, the industry could benefit from less security risk, easier access to capital, easier consumer payments and improved transparency. The Democrat-controlled House and growing public opinion could help push these trends forward in 2019 and beyond.
New State Markets Opening Up
The cannabis industry has experienced significant growth over the past year, as well as some noteworthy setbacks. Massachusetts, Michigan and Vermont recently passed legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis, but legislation has stalled in states like New Jersey that aimed to pass legislation without a voter referendum. In fact, nine-of-ten states that have legalized adult-use cannabis did so via a referendum rather than through legislation.
Michigan became the first Midwest state to legalize adult-use cannabis in December 2018, which is significant given the Midwest’s conservative political values and the state’s high cannabis usage. According to Marijuana Business Daily, the state’s cannabis market could be worth upwards of $1.7 billion over the coming years given its massive existing medical cannabis program and high usage rates compared to other states.
New Jersey experienced a setback when it attempted to legalize adult-use cannabis earlier this year. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo aims to pass marijuana legislation this month, but the success of that effort remains to be seen. Other states have dragged their feet implementing cannabis legalization frameworks even after voter referendums. Companies and investors will be keeping a close eye on these markets over the coming months.
How to Invest in These Trends
Grown Rogue International Inc. (CSE: GRIN) is a multi-state operator with award-winning cultivation, distribution, and retail in Oregon, distribution and manufacturing in California, and most recently acquisition of retail and cultivation assets in Michigan. The company plans on running two strategically positioned retail centers in Hazel Park and Midtown Detroit, as well as a 19,000 sq. ft. cultivation center in Detroit. These efforts strengthen Grown Rogue’s position in one of the most intriguing markets in the United States.
Please click here for additional information on Grown Rogue.
Planet 13 Holdings Inc. (CSE: PLTH) (OTC: PLNHF) has developed one of the largest cannabis superstores in the country. In Las Vegas, Nevada, the company’s Cannabis Entertainment Complex has become a tourist destination of its own. The company recently announced an agreement with Mike Tyson’s Tyson Ranch to be the exclusive launch partner in Nevada—a key development given the boxer’s reputation in the city.
Please click here for additional information on Planet 13 Holdings Inc.
Rubicon Organics Inc. (CSE: ROMJ) (OTCQX: ROMJF) is a licensed producer in Canada, one of only three organic LPs in the country, with existing brands in Washington and California. The company is combining three trends under one roof: organic products, BC bud, and California cool, to create a powerful international consumer brand.
Please click here for additional information on Rubicon Organics Inc.
Investors may want to take a closer look at Grown Rogue International Inc., Planet 13 Holdings Inc., Rubicon Organics Inc. as they are well positioned to capitalize on expanding legal markets and favorable regulations in the United States over the coming years.