Politicians are showing their true colors. Fortunately, we don’t need to rely on them to move the cannabis market in the right direction. See what I mean…

“I said from Day One that the marijuana issue was going to be controversial.”

That was Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) back in March explaining why adult-use cannabis legalization fell from New York‘s budget bill for the fiscal year beginning April 1.

Although Cuomo said he still believes “we’ll get it done this year,” he openly admitted that it would be more difficult to pass a standalone bill.

It was a similar story in New Jersey last week when Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-NJ) said he’d be giving up on efforts to legalize recreational cannabis in his state.

We had been optimistic about the neighboring states’ race to a legal market, where the threat of losing tax dollars through the Lincoln Tunnel when the first of the pair to legalize marijuana would pressure lawmakers to act quickly.

But politicians did what politicians do, getting in their own way and failing to pass significant measures before the clock runs out on the legislative season.

I’m not worried.

In fact, what appears to be a roadblock now is actually setting up for the passage of recreational cannabis in a much more familiar way.

And there’s still time to position yourself for major potential profits if you make the right moves today.

Here’s how we’ll soon get legal cannabis in New York and New Jersey…

Power to the People

When Vermont went legal last year, it became the first state to do so by the legislative process.

The nine remaining adult-use states plus the District of Columbia all gained their legal status through ballot measures.

Ultimately, the referendum has proven to be the ideal way to achieve recreational cannabis legalization.

Perhaps that’s why Sweeney is throwing his weight behind a measure on New Jersey’s 2020 ballot.

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He’s right to. A 2018 poll out of Rutger’s University found that 60% of the state’s adult residents favor legalizing cannabis.

If New York lawmakers can’t get their act together, they would be wise to support a similar measure for the 2020 ballot in their state. According to a 2018 Quinnipiac University poll, support for legal cannabis in “The Empire State” comes in at 63%.

With that level of general support, cannabis referenda in both states would be almost guaranteed to pass.

And it may even be better if voters are the ones who decide.

The Referendum Advantage

Vermont may still be the only state to go legal by legislative process, but it’s worth nothing that lawmakers botched that process.

The state only legalized possession, not recreational sales – meaning consumers must either use a medical card or purchase product through illicit channels.

That’s the type of law you get when elected officials argue over various provisions and measures go through several revisions until they approve a final version.

The referendum process, on the other hand, is streamlined. Voters either approve the proposal as written or they don’t.

And that cleaner process could lead to much bigger profit potential.

Whatever route New York and New Jersey take, they’ll need to make sure they pay attention to what’s happening just a little ways north on I-95 in the coming weeks.

A New Player Enters the Game

Just last Wednesday, Connecticut House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D-CT) suggested that the state legislature may vote on legalizing recreational cannabis sometime in the next few weeks.

If lawmakers in “The Constitution State” can get their act together and pass a meaningful adult-use cannabis law – and if they can do so while avoiding the mistakes of Vermont – they could place significant pressure on both New York and New Jersey.

No state wants to see its constituents take tax dollars across the border – not when legislators know full well the enormity of cannabis tax revenues.

Whether Connecticut passes a cannabis reform bill before its legislature adjourns on June 5 or not, it has set itself up as another domino waiting to fall.

To ensure the biggest potential gains, investors should know how to get in before any more of those dominoes fall.

What feels like incremental reform right now will be a blip on the radar when we’re looking back in a few years.

Nationwide federal cannabis legalization is not far off. Make sure you don’t miss out.

Greg Miller
Executive Director, National Institute for Cannabis Investors

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Comments

3 responses to “Why the Referendum Is Our Greatest Tool”

  1. Politicians live in fear of attack by special interests, and something as socially controversial as this is ripe for smears from the moralists. In that regard. I don’t blame them. Referendums take the pressure off them, so it’s not surprising to see this arising as a tool for legalization

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