2020, a year you might want to keep your eyes on. It’s a pivotal year of presidential elections in the USA. And if you haven’t heard already, there are plenty of candidates ready to tax cannabis in the recreational and medical U.S. market.
Canada’s legalization of cannabis was a strong sign that cannabis will be as freely available as alcohol one day. Especially in the states. With 33 states allowing medical marijuana use, it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. federal government becomes smart about cannabis in the recreational market. Overall, america’s support for weed has grown exponentially over the years. Mostly due to the new generations of social media babies being born in a world filled with podcasts and posts conveying the benefits of weed. One pollster (Gallup) found that over 66% of respondents favored the legalization of weed. Cannabis will definitely be a trending topic in the 2020 elections.
The main issue many candidates (mostly Democrats) agree on is the removal of marijuana from the federal list of illicit substances. Why spend billions in the legal system fighting a drug that is relatively harmless compared to deaths by car and/or alcohol? Obviously driving high is a critical issue that has come up in almost all debates against legalization. But the benefits from taxes, limiting drug cartels and cost savings from decriminalization all outweigh most negatives in many voters’ minds. Smart people will vote for candidates willing to see the bigger better picture especially on topics like cannabis and legalization of substances including psychedelics.
Republicans might not be as eager to jump on the weed bandwagon but they might have to endure in order to win the next election. Even in Canada, conservatives have embraced the legal marijuana market because of the large voter base. Most people are getting increasingly desensitized to weed as a ‘bad’ drug and those who routinely use cannabis will be inclined to vote for a candidate who isn’t biased against it.
So what does this all mean for 2020? Many people will bring cannabis to the forefront of the presidential debates. For a small but significant portion of the American population, cannabis will be a deciding vote. Therefore, candidates for U.S. president will have to consider the consequences of being on either side of the weed legalization debate.
What does this mean for the industry? Legalization in the U.S. (or even discussions about it) will be an incredibly pivotal moment for the entire world. As for companies who grow cannabis and are publicly traded, they would expect a floodgate of new retail and fund investors. Not to mention the jobs created from servicing the cannabis industry in fields like disposal and security. Even in Canada, tens of thousands of jobs were created a few years before cannabis was fully legal.
2020 will be a critical time in U.S. history. A vote yes for cannabis will create a new economy of jobs, businesses and taxpayers. Candidates will have to adjust for the time and start building a relationship with cannabis and the people who use it. Cannabis might very well be a deciding factor for the next president of the United States. We’ll just have to wait and see.
The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) rose $0.28 (+0.88%) in after-hours trading Thursday. Year-to-date, MJ has declined -2.17%, versus a 4.96% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
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