No matter which way the election goes, there will be many changes pertaining to the cannabis industry. The federal government classifies Cannabis as an illegal controlled substance. However, voters in several states have decided ballot measures on marijuana's legal status under state law. On November 3, the total number of states making it legal under state law will grow, potentially changing the national conversation around legalization.
On November 3, 2020, voters in four states (Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota) will decide statewide ballot measures to legalize marijuana for personal use. Voters in Mississippi and South Dakota will decide statewide ballot measures to legalize marijuana for medical use.
Heading into November, 11 states and D.C. have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes; nine through statewide citizen-initiated ballot measures, and two through state legislative processes. Additionally, 33 states and D.C. have passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing medical marijuana.
Different implications depend upon the outcome for President, the Senate, state elections, and the referendums. Significant uncertainties exist heading into the general election for President; the Green Wave will likely continue either way. Here are some of our thoughts and questions we have on the eve of the elections, and there will undoubtedly be many more by next Friday:
- What do you expect to see in a Democrat-controlled Senate?
- Do you think we will see serious movement on cannabis-related bills, like SAFE banking (which would make it easier for banks to serve cannabis businesses)?
- If there's another wave of Covid relief, do you think we can see Cannabis get included in it?
- What are the chances of the MORE Act, which would remove federal penalties on marijuana and expunge some cannabis-related records, among other things passing? Are all Democrats on board?
- What is the chance that the MORE Act gets folded into a more significant criminal justice/racial justice/policing piece of legislation?
- What impact will legalization in New Jersey have if it passes? Will there be a lot of fighting over the details in the regulations?
- Will the opening of the New Jersey market change the political dynamics in the region?
- If New Jersey legalizes, will it create a sense of urgency in New York and Pennsylvania? What about Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island?
- If five states succeed and vote to create new medical or recreational cannabis markets on Election Day. How could the creation of five new markets change or affect the national conversation around legalization?
To help us through the implications we have invited two expert speakers on the topic. Andre Haroche is a co-founder of Silverleaf Venture Partners, a cannabis focused venture capital firm. J.T. Taylor is Hedgeye's Chief Political Strategist. A brief biography of our guest speakers:
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