Trump Archives - Green Market Report

William SimpsonWilliam SimpsonJuly 17, 2018
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3min13650

With President Trump signaling his likely support for the bipartisan Congressional effort to ease the U.S. ban on cannabis in legal markets, the country as a whole could benefit immensely.

By giving states the rights to determine the best course with cannabis, business valuations could go through the roof. For example, under the current laws, Golden Leaf Holdings, a cannabis company with cultivation, production, and retail operations that is publicly traded in Canada, is unable to be publicly traded on the Nasdaq. Conversely, Canadian cannabis companies are already allowed on the Nasdaq, giving them a significant advantage in the globally booming market.

The most significant progress for businesses would come with the easing of Internal Revenue Code 280E, which has, by and large, blocked cannabis businesses from tax deductions, credits and banking in general. The passing of this bill would be a tremendous step for states with legalized markets. American cannabis entities struggle daily to make retail an efficient platform, while barely breaking even under the current regulations. The Treasury Department demanding money from a market they deem illegal needs to end.

Most significantly, ending the federal ban could represent a step in the right direction towards addressing systemic criminal justice issues that unjustly target minorities, which is far more important than any business-related outcome.

This measure is far from a single, fix-all solution. Even if the bill became law tomorrow, businesses wouldn’t be able to reap the benefits right away. If cannabis remains a Schedule 1 narcotic, banks will continue to be hesitant to opening accounts for businesses. The same goes for standard business practices like shipping across state lines.

Furthermore, nothing federally-approved changes local and state laws. This means issues stemming from occupancy, zoning, packaging and other regulations will still loom over businesses. Too many voices in cannabis could leave the industry at the whim of political agendas and powerful competitor lobbies, including tobacco, alcohol and pharma.

While the bipartisan bill does provide the U.S. a step in the right direction for both the cannabis industry and its citizens, we must remember that it still is just one incremental step in the process. Plenty of work is left to be done on federal, state and local levels to revise regulations for businesses and citizens in states with legal markets. That said, the possible passing of the bill should be championed for the huge victory it would represent. With hope, it would be far from the last one to come.

 


William SumnerWilliam SumnerJune 8, 2018
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3min11630

The prospect of legalized cannabis in North America just got a little bit brighter. On June 7, 2018, the Senate voted to approve Bill C-45, a measure legalizing recreational cannabis in Canada. The measure will now go to the House of Commons for a final vote.

If approved, the potential financial effect could be tremendous. A recent report released by Stifel Financial estimated “a total medical market opportunity of $1.3 billion CAD and a recreational opportunity of $8 billion CAD (retail sales).” Additionally, the report found that the wholesale market opportunity for licensed producers could reach as high as $5 billion CAD.

With the majority of the House controlled by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, which successfully campaigned on cannabis legalization in 2015, the odds of Bill C-45 passing are quite high. However several amendments to the measure made by the Senate, such as allowing provinces to ban personal cultivation, could slow down the legislative process.

Speaking with The Toronto Star, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor said that once passed, it would take upwards of two to three months to implement the new law.

In the United States, President Donald Trump stated that he would most likely support a bipartisan bill, introduced by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, that would essentially end the federal war on cannabis.

“I support Sen. Gardner. I know exactly what he’s doing; we’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes,” Trump told reporters, as quoted by NPR.

Under the proposed legislation, the Controlled Substances Act would be amended to allow states to write their own cannabis laws without fear of federal interference. The apparent support offered by President Trump breaks with the position of his Attorney General, Jeff Session, who has been an ardent opponent of legalized cannabis and most recently rescinded the long-standing Cole Memo; which was put in place by then-President Barack Obama.


Debra BorchardtDebra BorchardtApril 13, 2018
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4min12360

The Washington Post reported Friday that “President Donald Trump has promised a top Senate Republican that he will support congressional efforts to protect states that have legalized marijuana.” Senator Cory Gardner has been stalling on approving nominations for Justice Department positions as he held firm on the states rights issue for legalization.

According to the story, Trump told Gardner over the phone that he would not go after states that had legalized marijuana and as a result, Gardner is softening his stance on DOJ nominations.

“President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), according to the Washing Post. “My colleagues and I are continuing to work diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution that can pass Congress and head to the President’s desk to deliver on his campaign position.

The co-directors of the 2012 Amendment 64 campaign that legalized marijuana for adults in Colorado, Mason Tvert and Brian Vicente, have issued statements in response to the news.

Statement from Mason Tvert, who co-directed the Amendment 64 campaign and serves as vice president of communications at VS Strategies, a Denver-based public affairs firm that specializes in the cannabis industry:

“We are grateful to Sen. Gardner for standing up for the people of Colorado, as well as to President Trump for respecting states’ rights to adopt their own cannabis policies.  Colorado has taken great strides toward replacing the illegal marijuana market with a responsibly regulated system. It has been a long and difficult process, but we may now be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This is one more step toward ending the irrational policy of marijuana prohibition, not only in Colorado, but throughout the country.”

Statement from Brian Vicente, who co-directed the Amendment 64 campaign and is a founding partner of Vicente Sederberg LLC, one of the nation’s leading law firms specializing in cannabis law and policy:

“We see today’s announcement as an endorsement of the work we have been doing in Colorado for the past decade. From the birth of our regulated medical marijuana market in 2010 to the opening of the adult-use market in 2014, we have sought to be the model for responsible cannabis regulation. We are incredibly proud that Sen. Gardner was able to represent not just our state, but our industry in his discussions with the president. This is a great day for everyone in Colorado and around the country who risked their personal freedom to shape the regulated cannabis market.”



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