This year was filled with tumultuous events. The biggest one turned the world into a big prison, while another major event was a milestone in the history of the cannabis industry. The Democratic-Led party passed the MORE Act, with five Republicans voting in favor of the cannabis bill.
What’s more interesting is that this year, before the election results, Arizona, including New Jersey, South Dakota, and Montana, legalized cannabis for adult-use. While all these developments pave a brighter future for the cannabis industry in 2021, the road to federal legalization still lurks in the shadows.
In this post, we will discuss the various nuances of cannabis legalization, how Joe Biden’s Presidency will affect the future of the cannabis industry, and what’s in store for the MORE Act after it was recently passed in the Democratic-Led House.
Even after the bill was passed in the Democratic-Led house, it still has to go through the house of Republicans. With only five Republicans supporting the bill, the future doesn’t look bright. In particular, the GOP Senate led by majority leader Mitch McConnel stands tall in his decision to keep cannabis illegal on the federal level. The only exception, in this case, is the seats that will be up for reelection. If Democrats manage to sweep the GOP Senate, the bill definitely reaches the President’s office.
Also, if everything goes well in the Senate, the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act will most likely become law. Soon after, each state administration will start rehearing criminal cases related to cannabis and reduce sentences. For juveniles, criminal records will immediately get expunged.
Fortunately, this step will enable the authorities to undo the injustice people of color faced due to the war on drugs. Not only this but once the bill becomes a law, the cannabis industry will uphold the values of societal equity. Simply put, people of color will get more opportunities in the cannabis industry. In terms of setting up cannabis businesses and getting loans along with state tax benefits. Overall, the year 2021 will be a new chapter in the history of cannabis if the bill eventually receives recognition in both houses.
If we look at the recent elections held in the US, people voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because they clearly support cannabis legalization. To put things into perspective, let’s take a look at the elections held in five major states. Namely Arizona, Mississippi, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Montana. The results of the elections held in these states came out one day before the US elections results.
People clearly voted in favor of cannabis legalization, as people overwhelmingly approved the use of either recreational or medicinal cannabis use. Further, indicating that the American sentiment towards cannabis legalization is pretty much clear.
Following the results of the five states and people’s continued support, it’s fair to say that people have given their verdict. If the Biden-Led Senate goes against cannabis legalization or decriminalization, the pressure will surmount. More vitally, cannabis has long proven to benefit the nation with tax generation and job opportunities.
In addition to this, the recent legalization has put a wave in motion. In the near future, many states will look forward to legalizing cannabis in some form or the other. In particular, highly populated states such as New York and Pennsylvania. These states will soon implement cannabis programs and legalize marijuana for adult-use. After all, the administration always looks forward to the tax generation from marijuana businesses.
The electoral college will vote again on Monday. The elections are more crucial for the Senate and American citizens after the Trump administration decided to file various lawsuits. So, everyone will keep a keen eye on what happens on Monday, especially after Joe Biden officially wins. Moreover, if the same happens, the Senate will go under refurbishment. Simply put, Joe Biden will bring in new appointments to the key positions. These appointments will definitely affect the future of the cannabis industry in some or another way.
For instance, Biden will appoint a new US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner. The step will most likely bring about a CBD reform if rules surrounding CBD making go under construction. In fact, people will anticipate changes in the existing rules. Although not clear yet, the CBD industry might see a huge change in the near future.
Here’s an example to best explain this situation. If we look at the current regulations the FDA clearly states that CBD companies should not advertise or label products as safe for consumption. The reason for the same is that cannabis is not regulated by the FDA. Only medicines such as Epidiolex receive recognition in the eyes of the FDA for the treatment of severe forms of epilepsy. So, as a result, it has become difficult for people to trust an unregulated industry. Especially when the FDA issues notices to companies advertising CBD dosages incorrectly. However, once the FDA begins regulating CBD products, CBD beauty brands, CBD food companies, and other CBD related businesses will receive recognition in terms of safety.
The fate of the cannabis industry largely depends on the SAFE Banking Act, and here’s why. First and foremost, we need to understand that the SAFE Banking Act, if passed, the bill will allow cannabis businesses to carry out legal transactions. Not only this, but national banks will open financial avenues for both small and big cannabis businesses. Most vitally, cannabis businessmen will no longer carry barrels of cash.
Unfortunately, the bill hangs by the edge of the cliff, and what do we mean by that. It means that the bill was passed in the one house of the Senate last year. However, since last year, the bill has seen no significant progress. The cannabis community was hoping for a change after the bill became an integral part of the coronavirus relief bill but it looks like we have to wait a little bit longer.
The good news is that the Safe Banking Act, along with the MORE Act opens many cannabis business opportunities. If passed, the MORE Act will not only end cannabis prohibition or expunge previous criminal records, but it will also implement a 5% tax to be used later on for the welfare of socially affected people.
That being said, we also have to note that even if the SAFE Banking receives major support from the Democratic-Led Senate, the Republican-Controlled Senate will most likely block the bill from passing. It’s quite possible that they might pass other clauses in the bill, and leave the one associated with cannabis out. Moreover, majority leader Mitch McConnell openly opposes the policies related to cannabis. With the GOP under his control, things will become complicated.
Regardless of what happens at the federal level, there’s one thing for sure, states will follow the wave of cannabis legalization. So far, more than 35 states have legalized cannabis either for medical use or for recreational purposes. So, states such as New York, Maryland, New Mexico, and Connecticut will definitely legalize cannabis for recreational use in 2021.
Besides this, the Pennsylvanian government is also pushing hard to legalize cannabis for adult use after New Jersey legalized it on November 3rd. While legalization is on the agenda for these states, there’s one thing that cannot go unheeded. It’s the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy of the nation.
Let’s face it the pandemic stripped the nation of its economic support. So, the Biden-Led administration will be looking forward to introducing new measures. While cannabis can help resolve the situation, state administrations are already looking forward to incurring the losses through recreational cannabis sales. Also, it is no surprise that even leaders and state governors are already pushing the bills for further legalization.
The only thing that you have to keep in mind is the legal ambiguities associated with cannabis. Even after states legalize cannabis for recreational use, the laws will vary from state to state. So, both cannabis businessmen and people who get a 420 evaluation online have to follow the rules. All in all, state by state legalization will generate new business and job opportunities for cannabis patients, processors, manufacturers, retailers, and growers.
Despite hindrances at the federal level, the Americans vehemently supported cannabis legalization. And the good news is that recently the United Nations helped remove cannabis from the dangerous drug schedule category. So, it looks like the year 2021 will come as a blessing in disguise for the cannabis industry.
The only problem will be the delay in federal legalization. Because the majority of GOP seats are led by the Republicans. Until then, cannabis businesses, whether small or big, can look forward to expanding businesses as more states will legalize cannabis. States will distribute licenses to more dispensaries, and more job opportunities will crop up. So, with the bad, the cannabis industry will see a lot of good in the coming future.