Posted on April 23 2018
If you've been even just remotely paying attention to current events, it's hard to miss the explosion of growth in the greater cannabis industry. Cannabis is quickly becoming both the largest and the fastest-growing industry in U.S. history. The industry has graced the covers of both Newsweek Magazine and Time Magazine in just the past few months. Everywhere you turn, it's in the news.
However, despite this fast-paced growth, it has been tamped down due to Federal prohibition. While individual states have been drafting their own unique legislation to legalize cannabis within their borders, the new (Trump) Administration came into power and the new Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced this past January that he was rescinding the Cole Memorandum.
As fast as the industry has been exploding already, it's been held back by the lack of Federal Banking and other headwinds related to Federal prohibition. But if you were in a legal state, such as Colorado, and were willing to deal with the headwinds and headaches, you could still move forward. Hence the so called "Green Rush." But on January 4, 2018 when Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum it sent chills through the industry. Boatloads of money is sitting idle on the sidelines, waiting for better clarity.
Now, some innovative minds have produced some legislative ninja moves that prove that sometimes the best approach is the simplest approach.
First, the Governor of Vermont has made cannabis legal in a very unique fashion. You can click this link to read the detailed article about Vermont Cannabis Legalization, but the short story is that the Governor wanted to decriminalize marijuana without all of the complicated rules, regulations and oversight involved in rolling out retail shops and dispensaries, not to mention the costs to the state for creating new oversight and regulations departments and more. The move: simply declare it legal and allow people to grow cannabis at home. Setting up Cannabis Commissions and a framework for mass cultivation and retail sales can come later, in a separate initiative. But at least now possession and consumption are non-issues, and people can grow a reasonable number of plants themselves at home. This cost the state NOTHING, and is a quick and painless way to legalize cannabis within the state. We believe this is a model for other states going forward and would not be surprised in the least to see other states adopt a similar stance - particularly those erring more on the side of prohibition currently.
The second legislative ninja move was announced this past week by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). He is introducing legislation to make cannabis legal at the Federal level by simply delisting it from the DEA's Drug Schedules, and simply kicking the can down the road to the individual states. Essentially, instead of trying to regulate it, the Feds will simply wash their hands of it and leave it as a State's Rights issue for each state to handle as they deem appropriate on a state by state basis. Boom! Done.
If you think the "Green Rush" has been an amazing sight to see (and indeed it has!), just wait. Once the Sword of Damocles (in the form of Federal prohibition) is removed, a metric sh*tton of investor cash is going to move off the sidelines and into play. Federal laws and banking obstacles are holding the industry back right now, but after legalization we expect to see a huge uptick in Green Rush IPOs.
But it's won't be just Wall Street jumping in -- those local town, individual folks who were previously interested in the industry but too timid to risk Federal prohibition will be emboldened to throw their hat into the ring. Bakers (edibles), extractors, equipment manufacturers, shop owners and more will all flood into the industry once the spectre of Federal handcuffs has been dispelled.
As if the Green Rush weren't epic already, just wait - you haven't seen anything yet! The future is Green. I think that emerald shade looks lovely on you this time of year.