The biggest change in federal cannabis law is coming in 2019 and it will open up a wave of new opportunity for businesses. And that’s not even the most important part of what our inside source has to say.
I’ve just come back for MJBizCon, the world’s largest cannabis convention. This was more a trade show than an investor event – but it’s where you must go if you’re in the cannabis industry.
There is enormous value in the networking at an event such as this. Just about anyone who matters in the cannabis industry was either at the conference or sent one of their closest confidants.
Of course, it gave my team and me the chance to catch up with the many leaders of the cannabis industry we already knew as well as meet some of the new movers-and-shakers all in one place. It’s a much better way to get information than from listening the same person giving a prepared speech that has been reviewed by his or her company’s lawyers and PR people.
The trade show itself is huge – over 170,000 square feet.
Wandering the booths, you can see where the industry is headed in terms of technology, marketing, product development, branding, and finance.
So it should be no surprise that one of the exhibitors was the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), which has become the go-to exchange for U.S. cannabis companies seeking to hit the public markets. That’s because, due to U.S. federal law, domestic cannabis companies aren’t eligible to list on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq – and many are of the size or at a point on their growth arc that the CSE is just a better fit anyway.
Still, that lack of opportunity is an obstacle, and it’s among many laws that will change as part of our journey to full legalization.
And let me tell you, I’m confident in what the next major cannabis law will be.
We’ve got it on good authority, one of the best in Washington, D.C., that this change is coming fast.
You need to give this a read…
States’ Rights Is About to Take Center Stage in the Cannabis Debate
There are more proposed pro-cannabis bills active in Congress now than any time in history. By my count, there are at least 70 between the House of Representatives and Senate. Importantly, most of them are bipartisan efforts.
Some seek to address a specific, even tiny niche of cannabis research or business. Others would bring about sweeping change. The STATES Act fits the latter to a tee – and you’re going to see it on the books next year after the new Congress is seated.
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I spent some time with U.S. House Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) last week after he spoke at MJBizCon. To say Joyce was confident about the STATES ACT’s prospects in 2019 would be an understatement.
“We’re in a gambling town – I would place a fair amount of money on it,” Joyce said.
Like our friend and colleague John Boehner, the former speaker of the House, said in the American Cannabis Summit, Joyce knows how to count votes.
The STATES Act would:
- Instruct the federal government to stay completely out states’ business when it comes to cannabis.
- Amend the Controlled Substances Act to prevent it being used against any person or company who is complying with state laws.
- Make it clear that cannabis transactions are not money laundering or generating unlawful transactions under federal banking laws
- Remove industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.
More broadly, it would be the first important pro-cannabis legislation to pass Congress.
National Institute for Cannabis Investors Founding Advisory Board Member John Vardaman, who co-wrote the Cole Memo, said the STATES ACT would in many ways codify previous administrations’ wishes to remain hands-off when it comes to state-level legalization and regulations of cannabis.
It’s hard to overestimate just how important the STATES Act is to the cannabis industry in the United States.
Like the 2018 Farm Bill and its pro-hemp provisions being championed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the STATES act has bipartisan support. It boasts needle-moving sponsors that include Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
They are perfect bills for a Congress divided by party to demonstrate that it can get useful work done.
But that’s not even close to the most important part of my private chat with Joyce…
When the Levee Breaks
As important the States Act is, the big picture implications after its passage dwarf the legislation itself.
The passage will unleash a tidal wave of other legislation, Joyce emphasized. The flood of subsequent bills that will come one after another in its wake will bring the federal government in line with most of states in recognizing cannabis as a legitimate product for medical uses and beyond.
The Institute has repeatedly discussed how federal law is slowing the growth of the cannabis industry unnecessarily – well, that is if you can call growing from $10 billion to $50 billion in just a few years slow.
Of course, the end of the line comes when the federal government finally takes cannabis off of Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act entirely.
Once that happens, cannabis will not just to grow, but explode into a $100 billion industry.
As an investor, you want to be in the cannabis industry before the flood of profits is unleashed – not trying to catch up during or after.
We’ve always known the federal government would come around – the only question was when. Now, more than ever, we have backing to our confidence that the answer to that question is coming soon — maybe even next year.
As Congressman Joyce said to cannabis executives Friday in Las Vegas, “Let’s make it happen.”
Thanks for being an important part of the National Institute for Cannabis Investors,
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors
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