I woke up to the not-so-shocking news this morning. It only reaffirms my values and fuels my motivation to stay the course, denounce ignorance, challenge flawed policies and to normalize cannabis use in the U.S. and abroad.
The current political climate is a tug of war. The governors of legal states and bipartisan congressional leaders are pushing hard for decriminalization and states’ rights. Public opinion favoring cannabis legalization crosses red and blue lines. Yes, I do expect to see federal funds applied by certain district attorneys to ‘do their job’ where they have a legitimate case to do so such as combating illegal trafficking across state lines, illegal sales and marketing to minors, illegal farming, etc. I also expect institutional investment to slow a bit. That said, dollars directed to mergers and acquisitions continue to break records. Read about the recent acquisition of Washington based edibles company or this week’s round of equity financing by an Ontario / Denver-based group.
The states have a lot at stake. Our collective investment in the industry leads to real revenue. Washington state collected a total of $189 million in legal marijuana income and license fees in fiscal year 2016 and $280 million in 2017.
And California just rolled out their legalization on January 2 of this year. The California market is expected to hit $3.7 billion in 2018 alone, and that number will increase to over $5 billion in 2019. It will be “bigger than beer.”
Are the district attorneys really willing to pick that fight? I doubt it. They are often looking to advance their careers with Senate seats. I don’t see the popular vote swinging in favor of a cannabis opponent, do you? If you know of DA’s who are likely to swing their axe, please let me know in the comments as I’d like to write them a letter or better yet introduce them to children, vets and elderly patients who benefit medicinally everyday.
If we continue to do our job by the book in Oregon, and California takes a firm stand against federal interference, I believe we will make it challenging for the feds to intervene in a meaningful way while setting the standard for other states to apply more pressure. And, our Governor, Kate Brown, has a long middle finger 😉 Here’s her letter to Attorney General Sessions from back in August. I look forward to her response today in defense of state rights and more important, in defense of the good people who reap real health benefits from the miracle plant.