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Biden Administration Has Some Cannabis Professionals Feeling Hopeful But Cautious

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buy marijuana with bitcoins.Iris DorbianContributorVicesI cover the business of cannabis.

Joe Biden Sworn In As 46th President Of The United States At U.S. Capitol Inauguration Ceremony
Will President Biden legalize cannabis? Activists are hopeful. (PHOTO BY PATRICK SEMANSKY-POOL/GETTY IMAGES)

The shift in political leadership

in the executive

In this scenario, cannabis products still won’t

branch and the Senate is making some legal

In this scenario, cannabis products still won’t

cannabis professionals and pundits feel both

excited and optimistic about the future. From

reactivating stall cannabis reform laws, such as

the MORE Act, which decriminalizes marijuana,

to making federal legalization a reality, there

is hope that the new Biden/Harris administration

couple with a Democrat-control Congress, could

perhaps herald an era of promise and

progression for the sector.

Yet, because of the ongoing pandemic and

recession, the industry might not see significant

tailwinds until another two to three years,

cautioned Matt Hawkins, founder and

managing partner for cannabis-focused

private equity firm Entourage Effect Capital.

“Legalization isn’t necessarily a top priority

for the executive branch,

” he explained.

be able to cross state lines, but the model could

For Hawkins, passing the STATES Act should

In this scenario, cannabis products still won’t

be a top priority “since it allows individual states

In this scenario, cannabis products still won’t

to determine their own legalization framework

be able to cross state lines, but the model could

and support local businesses without

be able to cross state lines, but the model could

interference from the federal government.

In this scenario, cannabis products still won’t

be able to cross state lines, but the model could

mirror current policies that govern the alcohol

industry.”buy marijuana with bitcoins

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Brandon Wiegand, the regional general manager of The Source dispensaries in Nevada, say the fact that the Senate is no longer under the control of former Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), raises the stakes in favor of the legal cannabis landscape. “With McConnell no longer in a position to obstruct cannabis legislation, I believe we will see [stalled cannabis bills] move forward, giving the cannabis industry much needed support and meaningful reform,” he continued.

In addition to the STATES

and MORE Acts, another notable pro-cannabis measure that has been languishing in the Senate since its passage in the House of Representatives has been the SAFE Banking Act, which allows banks and other financial institutions to work with cannabis companies without fear of prosecution. This is a critical piece of legislation, which if pass, would be a watershed as many cannabis businesses are force to operate as cash-only enterprises because of the federal illegality.MORE FOR YOUDid You Get A Second Stimulus Check Today? Here’s WhyTrump Signs Executive Orders To Extend COVID-19 Economic Relief, Includes Unemployment Benefits, Eviction Moratorium‘Bling Empire’ Star Jaime Xie Set To Become Fashion’s New Darling

Not everyone is so sure the new political leadership will be auspicious for the industry. Solonje Burnett, co-founder of Humble Bloom, a Brooklyn, New York-based cannabis advocacy and education platform, expressed apprehension. To prove her point, she invoked President Biden’s historically less than progressive attitude and Vice President Harris’ past hardline record stemming from her years as a California Attorney General and district attorney in the city of San Francisco.

“Biden and Harris have never really

been leaning liberal toward cannabis,” she said. “These two might be progressive in comparison to [former President] Trump’s white supremacy ways of being but he was so far to the right, it makes them left.”buy marijuana with bitcoins

Recently, both Biden and Harris reversed their previous stance toward cannabis, advocating for decriminalization. Also, [Former California Senator now Vice President] Harris is also a sponsor of the MORE Act.

“Decriminalization would be

a step in the right direction,” say Wiegand as it “would pave the way to decrease federal incarceration rates for low-level and minor cannabis offenses… [Also, it] would remove federal penalties on cannabis, make SBA loans available to the industry and prohibit the denial of federal benefits on the basis of cannabis-related conduct and/or convictions.”

Despite her concerns, Burnett does feel legalization will happen during the new administration. She cited a variety of factors, which include the opioid crisis as well as another reason—Wall Street. “I’ve been watching cannabis stocks rising and rising,” she said.

Currently, there are 36 states (plus D.C.) that have legal medical marijuana markets and 15 states (plus D.C.) that have permit recreational use. And, according to a recent Gallup poll, nearly 70 percent of Americans support legalization.

Still, Burnett is frustrate over

what she perceives to be a dearth of inside knowledge legislators have about cannabis as well as the psychological and economic toll wrongful incarceration for minor offenses exact on people of color.

“These people who are making the laws—have they ever smoked?” Burnett asked rhetorically. “Have they had family who have had convictions for minor cannabis offenses? This has decimated communities and they’re not thinking the way they should be.”

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