All Aboard! Cannabis Freight Train Now Full Steam Ahead in USA
The overwhelming majority of Americans want cannabis legalized.
When President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in on January 20, 2021 as the 46th President and the 49th Vice President of the United States, the cannabis freight train officially continued an unstoppable roll that will smash through the mountain blocking cannabis legalization at the federal level in their country.
That’s not only good for the USA, but also for Canada.
The train left the station when Biden won the US election and gained momentum in early January when Democrats won both Senate seats in Georgia, giving them control of the Congress and more power to act on their promise to legalize cannabis. Even without the Georgia wins, Biden could have used his executive powers to plough through the red tape. Regardless, it’s now full steam ahead and that’s going to make a lot of people, and cannabis businesses, incredibly happy.
The overwhelming majority of Americans want cannabis legalized. Combine that with the fact that both state and federal governments are starving for the jobs and tax revenues that a legalized cannabis industry could provide to an economy devastated by COVID-19, and you have a track straight to the bank. Cannabis stocks have already jumped, including some in Canada, and there will be more financial gains and cross-border business opportunities to come.
Harris made history when she became not only the first female Vice President, but also the first African American and the first South Asian American to be elected to such a lofty position, and she was very vocal about her favourable stance on cannabis policy reform during the US election campaign, promising to decriminalize pot, remove it from the classified substance list, and expunge cannabis convictions from the records of millions of Americans.
Although cannabis has been legalized in many states, its use is still illegal at the federal level.
The latter process had already begun at the state level, most notably in Illinois, which announced more than half a million expungements and pardons for people with low-level cannabis offenses on their records, and Harris is expected to do more of the same once the new administration has the COVID-19 crisis under control.
There will be numerous issues as cannabis legalization goes nationwide, but five more states passed favourable cannabis legislation in 2020 including Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, Arizona and Mississippi. There are now 15 states with legal, recreational cannabis, and 36 more that have legalized cannabis for medical use. One in three Americans live in a state where recreational cannabis is legal. That’s over 100 million people. That’s power.
Although cannabis has been legalized in many states, its use is still illegal at the federal level. Importing cannabis from other countries or even across state lines is against the law, and federally governed institutions, including banks, are still forbidden to work with cannabis growers. That’s all going to change now.
Legislation is already in the works at the federal level to positively change the working relationship between cannabis companies and banks, remove federal penalties for cannabis use and possession, expunge past cannabis conviction records and regulate the industry.
Cannabis legalization is going to help the US economy, but it could do much more than that. Who knows? Maybe once cannabis is legalized at the federal level, Americans will all get along better too.
You know, just like us Canadians.