legislation Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 12, 2019
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12min2140

By Jeff Remsburg, Contributing Editor InvestorPlace.com Apr 8, 2019, 7:13 pm EDT

Where we stand with federal marijuana reform initiatives, and what that means for your marijuana investments today

With last Friday’s “landmark” bill, Congress is closer than ever to long-awaited reform measures that would, in effect, legalize marijuana.

“Landmark” is how Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) described the legislation introduced this past Friday. If passed, it would end the federal prohibition on marijuana.

The legislation is called the STATES Act (Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States). In practical terms, it would allow each state or territory to decide its own policy on marijuana, without federal intervention.

(You can follow all the proposed legislation here)

It will still be a while before the bill gets a full House vote. Regardless, the momentum and growing support from an increasing number of politicians are what’s important for now. It’s part of a new wave of legalization that has already created massive stock winners. At this point, it’s undeniable — legal marijuana is one of the biggest investment opportunities of this generation.

So, given this federal milestone, in today’s Digest, let’s review federal marijuana reform efforts that have taken place over the last few months. Then, in light of where we stand today, let’s discuss which investments are likely to thrive in this environment.

***Major federal reform began with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill this past December

The Farm Bill was major news for marijuana investors. To understand why, I’m going to turn to our resident marijuana expert, Matt McCall. Matt is one of the most respected, and successful, marijuana analysts in the business.

The bill legalized hemp — a cannabis derivative — for the first time in nearly a century, opening up what could be a $20+ billion industry in a relatively short amount of time. As hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil hits the mainstream, we’re looking at an industry with the potential to be 55 times larger in just five years … it has game-changing ramifications on the hemp industry …

Prior to that, hemp was classified as a Schedule 1 drug according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and federal laws prohibited growing or selling it. A previous Farm Bill from 2014 allowed a few states to give out limited permits to grow hemp for specific uses, but it mostly remained illegal.

The DEA’s classification made no sense. Schedule 1 drugs are the most addictive and dangerous in the world and have zero medical benefits. We know that isn’t true with hemp. Can you believe that the DEA viewed hemp as more dangerous than cocaine, which is a Schedule 2 drug?

Given this hemp legalization, we’re now seeing CBD-infused products being sold in traditional outlets including Walgreens and CVS. Beyond that, CBD has already become so popular it’s making its way into products you may never have suspected — for instance, CBD dog treats.

This CBD-popularity dovetails into the second area of federal reform — the FDA.

***While the conversation is evolving, real reform from the FDA appears slow … but moving

While CBD made from hemp is now legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD made from marijuana is still illegal. That’s because marijuana remains a controlled substance.

The lack of formal guidance from the FDA has led to lots of confusion as to which CBD products are legal versus illegal, as well as marketing claims and general advertising. This has slowed CBD’s growth (even though its current growth is staggering despite these challenges).

During one of his last days as FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb appeared before a House appropriations subcommittee and explained the challenge. In essence, regulating CBD will require a unique model that may take years to complete.

“That’s the conundrum here,” he said. “We don’t have a really modern proxy for where this has happened.”

That’s why Gottlieb suggested that congressional action on CBD could lead to a faster resolution than paths through the FDA.

But in an effort to push the ball forward, the FDA will hold its first public hearings on whether to allow CBD to be legally used as a food-and-drink ingredient on May 31.

If you want to be a part of this conversation, the agency is asking for public comment. If you’d like to learn more and have your voice heard, click here for more information.

***Another key piece of federal reform is happening with the SAFE Banking Act

On March 28th, a congressional committee approved the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act. The legislation is intended to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

This is big because with marijuana still illegal under federal law, getting banks to accept deposits from marijuana-related companies is extremely difficult. That’s because any bank that does business with marijuana companies could be charged with “aiding and abetting” — which is a federal crime.

In order for the marijuana industry to make its next quantum leap, banks need to be in on the game. And last Thursday’s vote from the House Financial Services Committee is evidence that’s happening.

The vote is also significant since it was approved despite some resistance from Republicans. You see, when Republicans held the House majority, they blocked marijuana amendments from even being considered.

Even last week, top Republicans on the Financial Services Committee requested to delay the vote, given some unanswered questions. The vote went ahead and was passed despite this request, which is a reflection of the chamber’s new Democratic majority.

When the legislation will reach the floor is unclear. But if passed, federal banking regulators will not be able to punish financial institutions just because they service marijuana businesses that enjoy legal status under state or local law. That will be a watershed moment for the legalized marijuana industry.

***Coming full circle, given the status of these various federal reform efforts, where do we see the most impact on investments?

Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. So, as you would expect, the investments seeing the biggest gains are those that have less risk of federal prosecution. CBD falls into this area, despite the current murkiness surrounding its FDA approval. Given this, many CBD stocks are exploding.

Matt’s own Elixinol is one example. Elixinol makes and distributes CBD supplements and skincare products. At the time of this writing, Matt’s subscribers are up over 175% since December.

So, CBD companies should be on your radar if you’re looking to begin a portfolio of marijuana investments.

A second marijuana investment area that has some insulation from federal repercussions is found in “picks and shovels” companies — in other words, companies that provide services to the marijuana industry, but don’t directly participate. For instance, a company that provides fertilizer and production equipment to a grower.

The example from Matt’s portfolio is Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR). It’s a REIT which buys properties from medical marijuana growers, then leases the buildings back to the growers. At the time of this writing, Matt’s subscribers are up over 150% since August.

As to pure-play marijuana companies, such as those that sell marijuana directly to consumers, we expect they’ll thrive in the coming years after full federal legalization. But until that happens, we anticipate outperformance from these “safer” marijuana plays.

That said, if you’re looking for huge investment returns, the time to invest is usually before the crowd piles in. That means an investment in more direct marijuana companies today could pay off huge tomorrow.

If you’re looking for help identifying marijuana investments, Matt will be hosting his first-ever Cannabis Stock Summit where he will explain the area he’s most excited about right now. It’s based on a strategy that targets a specific type of marijuana company positioned to benefit from a unique market event. Click here to learn more.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to keep you up to speed as to the status of federal reform as 2019 unfolds.

 


StaffStaffNovember 2, 2018
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4min3440

There is unprecedented support for marijuana legalization, and advocates say the midterm elections could mark the point of no return for a movement that has been gathering momentum for years. You can find the latest information on legislative efforts here at the Green Market Report in our Bill Track tab.

Political oddsmakers at MyBookie.ag agree. Currently, the online betting site favors pro-marijuana initiatives to pass in several states on the November ballot, including ultra-conservative Utah.

Many are calling these elections the “tipping point” for cannabis, with 4 states going to vote on major cannabis laws, and cannabis measures showing up on local ballots across states. As an example, California itself, which legalized cannabis recreationally earlier this year, will still have 82 ballot measures across the state related to cannabis.

If voters in all four states approve, 2018 will conclude with 32 medical marijuana states and 11 that allow recreational cannabis for adults. This would add even more to the movement for national reform, applying significant pressure for the repeal of federal prohibition.

These elections are pretty monumental, actually, because for the first time Millennials will surpass Baby Boomers as the largest generation eligible to vote. There are 8 million more voters eligible in the USA to vote now than there were when President Donald Trump was elected to office. Young voters are said to be what can tip the election, as long as they get to the ballot box.

It’s been just six years since Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize marijuana, but in that short time, seven other states and the District of Columbia have followed. On top of that, the entire country of Canada legalized use last week.

Below are odds for each state with initiatives on the November ballot courtesy of MyBookie.ag.

Adult Use:

Will Michigan legalize recreational Marijuana before 2020?

Yes       1/2 (-200)

No        8/5 (+160)

Will North Dakota legalize recreational Marijuana before 2020?

Yes       1/4 (-400)

No        3/1 (+300)

Medical:

Will Missouri remove restrictions on medical marijuana before 2020?

Yes       1/2 (-200)

No        8/5 (+160)

Will Utah remove restrictions on medical marijuana before 2020?

Yes       4/6 (-150)

No        11/10 (+110)

 

Betting Glossary: Favorites (likely winners) have the minus (-) number which correlates to payout. For example, -200 means you’d need to wager $200 to win $100. Conversely, plus (+) numbers are for underdog bets and have higher payouts because they are less likely to happen, +160 means you’d win $160 with a $100 wager.


Anne-Marie FischerAnne-Marie FischerOctober 31, 2018
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9min10150

Cannabis could be the issue that tips the ballots towards certain candidates around the U.S. as the country heads into mid-term elections on November 6.

Up for vote will be all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate, 39 state governorships, and various state and local elections as Americans exercise their democratic right of the vote.

Many are calling these elections the “tipping point” for cannabis, with 4 states going to vote on major cannabis laws, and cannabis measures showing up on local ballots across states. As an example, California itself, which legalized cannabis recreationally earlier this year, will still have 82 ballot measures across the state related to cannabis.

Not sure about your state? Green Market Report offers Bill Track 50, a state-by-state overview of the bills across each U.S. state.

Major Changes for 4 States

The whole country will have their eyes on four states who may or may not join the 30 states who have legalized medical cannabis and 9 states (plus Washington, D.C.) who permit recreational cannabis.

On November 1 in Michigan, Proposal 1 will show up on the ballots across the state. Proposal 1 is worded as follows: A proposed initiated law to authorize and legalize possession, use and cultivation of marijuana products by individuals who are at least 21 years of age and older, and commercial sales of marijuana through state-licensed retailers. Proposition 1 would allow the purchase and possession of cannabis for adults over 21, and will allow cultivation of up to 12 plants for personal consumption. The Proposition also includes a 10% excise tax dedicated to implementation costs, clinical trials, schools, roads, and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located. 

Having failed to implement the medical cannabis laws in 2016, North Dakota is going full stop on their path to legalize cannabis across the board. Proposition 3 legalizes the use, sale, possession, and distribution of marijuana for anyone 21 years or older.  For anyone under the age of 21, the law creates a new specific subset of non-felony penalties. Additionally, the law legalizes “paraphernalia” for marijuana exclusively. Finally, records are expunged for anyone that followed the new law even if it occurred in the past, except for cases of someone being under the age of 21. The Proposition focuses heavily on the harmful effects of alcohol and opiate abuse in comparison to cannabis and seeking a relief of cannabis-related penalties.

In a previously conservative cannabis state, Utah is finally moving to legalize medical cannabis through Proposition 2. Led by the grassroots Utah Patients Coalition (UPC), there was enough signatures collected to add medical cannabis to the ballots for this November across the state. Proposition 2 namely seeks to protect terminally and seriously ill patients with specific debilitating medical conditions from arrest and prosecution if using medical cannabis pursuant to their doctor’s recommendation as well as allow a patient who needs assistance to designate a caregiver to help the patient to obtain and administer their medication among other cannabis-related rights unseen before in the state.

Finally, Missouri is also adding medical cannabis to the ballot. In the state, voters will be able to choose from several different medical cannabis measures that will appear on their ballots. All three measures would provide general legal protections to patients and create regulated systems of cannabis production, processing and retail sales. One proposed constitutional amendment would allow medical cannabis doctors to recommend cannabis for any medical condition to see fit. Another constitutional amendment limits doctors to prescribing per a list of qualifying conditions. Another statutory amendment would tax medical cannabis at 2% while limiting cannabis prescriptions to qualifying conditions. Ballot measures like these allow citizens to vote in the more conservative state to levels where they are more comfortable. Baby steps, right?

Other States to Watch

The gubernatorial race in Florida may determine the outcome of the future of the legalization of recreational cannabis in the Sunshine State, following a strong emergent medical legalized market. Both governor candidates Andrew Gillum and Ron DeSantis may not have similar ideas when it comes to health care, climate change, and gun control, but they both aren’t opposed to full cannabis legalization, with Gillum being more fervent in his support.

Voters in 16 counties around Wisconsin will see a question on their ballot regarding cannabis policy similar to “do you believe that marijuana should be legalized and regulated like alcohol?”, which will possibly forward cannabis progress within the state.

6 municipalities in Ohio – Dayton, Fremont, Garrettsville, Norwood, Oregon, and Windham – will be able to vote on the decriminalization of cannabis.

Engaging Youth Through Cannabis Laws

This year, cannabis has been put on the table yet again in big ways and is proving to be a strategy to engage young voters. These elections are pretty monumental, actually, because for the first time Millennials will surpass Baby Boomers as the largest generation eligible to vote. There are 8 million more voters eligible in the USA to vote now than there were when President Donald Trump was elected to office.

Young voters are said to be what can tip the election, as long as they get to the ballot box.

With 2 in 3 people or 66% of people now supporting the legalization of cannabis in the United States, we could expect to see a pro-cannabis result come in across the board as individual states administer their midterm election votes.

Become Informed on Cannabis Progress in Your State

Two helpful resources have been designed to help people understand the cannabis initiatives happening within their state.

Green Market Report offers Bill Track 50, which is an up-to-date, state-by-state overview of the bills being supported across each U.S. state. The interactive map allows you to click on each state to see that state’s trending bills, along with an up to date accounting of actions on the bill and a list of sponsors.

The National Cannabis Industry Association has released a Congressional Scorecard that shows state-by-state the voting history of members of the House of Representatives on marijuana-related appropriations amendments that were considered between 2014 and 2016 as well as identifying cosponsors of the legal cannabis industry’s priority legislation in both the House and Senate.

Cast Your Vote

Voters have a democratic choice on which side of the cannabis movement they choose to be on. My Bookie.ag is an online sportsbook where people wager more than just sports bets but also weigh in on important political and legislative issues as well. The platform was excited to announce that their online community bet 2 to 1 that cannabis would be federally legalized by 2020 in the United States.

Your important vote on November 6 can get the country one step closer.



About Us

The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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