2020 has been a long rough year as of late. But, we’re due for some excitement with the upcoming election November 3rd. With changes due under whichever presidential management, it’s a unique time to prepare for the upcoming changes in legislation. Thanks to state-level announcements the past months, we can observe which states will vote to alter their stances on cannabis, ranging from enabling medicinal use, to total recreational legalization.
Regardless of who is in the White House, we have positive changes ahead.
State legislation provides ideal direction towards upcoming investment opportunities. Demand will surge as a new market needs to be created.
Unsurprisingly, the state adjacent to California is legalizing cannabis for recreational use. It’s a modern example of the universally-beneficial nature of the plant; a 16% tax on sales to benefit the government, funding the community and easing arrest rates from vulnerable groups. This is of great benefit as either a consumer or a proprietor; it’s a large stepping stone for other nearby states to follow suit: with professional endorsements for healthcare companies and mental support groups with private cannabis therapies. Inc the medical cannabis services.
Despite generally being a right-wing state, Mississippi will ease their legislation for medical purposes. In their State vote, they’ve endorsed initiative-65, enabling incapacitated or terminally ill patients to ease chronic pain and to pacify mental distress. It’ll be heavily moderated, but health officials note that it’ll be an ideal painkiller and stress reliever that doesn’t have the impact of morphine, and is equally effective than most pharmaceuticals. It’s not at all a change such as Arizona’s, but it’s amongst the largest legislation changes for cannabis in over a century.
In the upcoming state-level votes, South Dakota is on the ballot to finally legalize medical marijuana. They’re negating a conservative history, and have opted to introduce measure 26- a vote to legalize the medical and recreational use of cannabis. Legalization isn’t currently too strict, with felony charges requiring two ounces (52 grams/approximately $4700 worth of cannabis) on one’s person, designed to punish dealers instead of consumers. Now, with upcoming legislation, there are small businesses, startups, and major pharmaceutical companies preparing for when soon as legislation eventually decriminalizes cannabis.
To few’s surprise, signatures have been accumulated and submitted for approval. With 51% approval from mostly millennial voters, Initiative 190 will allow fair resentencing and decency to those who’ve fallen victim to current harsh sentencing rules regarding possession. Especially since the George Floyd murder, the ability to minimize potential profiling and to improve justice is to be of the upmost benefit. It’ll be a step forward in support of Black Lives Matter as the state recognizes that being caught with cannabis will always be more harmful than cannabis could ever be, with a criminal record having far more of an impact on one’s life. This has been acknowledged in detail, and cannabis law will be revised to ensure citizens don’t become victims to their legal system. With greatly positive implications of social justice, Montana will become a hub of cannabis trade with the support of the population.
Good times are ahead. We’ll have resentencing, treatment for veterans, and we’ll have opportunities to monopolize on what November will establish as a huge stepping stone. PR for both cannabis and the cannabis trade continuously improves, with polls displaying positive changes. Predicting upcoming legislation will always drive your business, and we’ll have upcoming ballots and signatures signed to put everyone in position for the upcoming sprint. You’ll want to know where you’re running.
Thanks to the year’s actions, the momentum gained by activists and advocates has clearly had an impact, and states are becoming increasingly more desensitized by the previous stigma surrounding cannabis- and the upcoming potential changes in legislation is now foreshadowing an impressive surge in the market.
In 2019, the US cannabis industry grossed approximately $13.2 billion amongst both medicinal and recreational usage.
Now, in late 2020 (even amidst a global pandemic), it’s surpassed over $19 billion. New information from New Frontier Data predicts that, assuming all the following states pass their relevant legislations we could be looking at a growth to the score of $9 billion.
South Dakota, New Jersey and Arizona all have upcoming cannabis legislation votes and, if passed, are to be welcomed into the industry as new additions to the current 34 states that allow cannabis in either form of legality. The state votes of all kinds are likely to boost the markets via the legalization of both medicinal and recreational uses of cannabis, with incredible implications of basic bills being passed.
Firstly, New Jersey is potentially the largest new industry that has upcoming votes in the change of legislation. They are to be the first Mid-Atlantic state to legalize cannabis amongst an otherwise conservative section of America. The surge in market opportunities is to be praised, however the greatest factor is the influence that exists in their convenient geography. John Kaiga, New Frontier Data’s chief knowledge officer describes it best:
“If you think about the proximity of the state to New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and other mid-Atlantic states, we expect that New Jersey in and of itself is going to be a huge market, but once you add in the added regional element to it, the state could be earning nearly $2 billion by 2025. So, it is a huge market for the East Coast, and a beachhead for the industry at large.”
Arizona, meanwhile, is currently preparing to vote on Proposition 207, also known as the ‘Smart and Safe Act’ to allow unfettered recreational use at a 16% tax rate.
The state senators understood that to arrest individuals for something so trivial as possession- a factor that is inevitably going to increase- would do more harm to the citizens.
Instead of criminalizing, Arizona is to educate and inform its population, and allow the citizens to decide usage for themselves. Should this pass, estimated annual revenues for cannabis industries are expected to exceed $1 billion in Arizona alone.
Up in South Dakota, there’s the upcoming potential to pass two cannabis ballot measures. The first ballot is Measure 26, to create a medicinal cannabis program to combat mental conditions- a green card system. Approved patients own up to three ounces- an amount that would currently be grounds to imprison an individual in other states that are yet to legalize cannabis.
They’re also preparing to vote on Constitutional Amendment A, which would legalize up to one ounce on one’s person. It won’t allow the opening of any retail outlets or dispensaries; but it’s a massive step forward to helping South Dakota, and other majority Republican states understand the benefits of cannabis’ use. It’s these kinds of strides that will symbolize change all around other Red states, and open up new demographics to build the market.
As Cowen Managing Director Vivien Azer recently noted, “it was inconceivable four years ago that the House would vote to legalize cannabis. The safe position for a Democrat in 2016 was to oppose legalization. Today it is to support legalization.”
With these developments upcoming, there is no time like the present to invest in new fiscal opportunities, as politics and business are to align to the benefit of overdue legalization, and a new surge to a booming market.