The American Cannabis Legalization Movement Continues to Gain Steam
The last several U.S. elections over the past decade have grown increasingly polarizing. Policy issues have largely taken a back-seat to “smear campaigns,” negative ads, and other off-script topics.
While politics and elections continue to focus around individuals in the Republican and Democrat parties, one common theme that a majority of Americans increasingly agree upon is the legalization of cannabis. In fact, 67% of Americans support the federal legalization of cannabis, an increase from 41% in 2010.
Up until the November 2020 election, 230 million Americans, or roughly 70% of the total population, lives in a state that has some form of legalized medical and/or recreational cannabis. Even in the brutal 2020 election, American voters approved recreational cannabis in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. In addition, voters approved medical cannabis measures in Mississippi and South Dakota.
According to market research firms, like New Frontier Data, the American cannabis movement is still in the early stages and shows lots of promise for future growth. By 2025, New Frontier Data estimates that the combined legal medical and recreational cannabis market within the United States will reach $35 billion.
Growing Public Support and the Need to Grow Tax Revenues Drive Legalization
In 2020, it is difficult to get 67% of Americans to agree on any topic. The fact that an overall super-majority of the country supports cannabis legalization at the federal level is something that cannot be ignored by politicians any longer.
On the other hand, federal, state, and local governments need new tax revenue sources now more than ever. The coronavirus pandemic has slashed government budgets, which will most likely lead to cutbacks in vital programs and services.
At a certain point, governments that have been resistant to cannabis legalization will have no choice but to concede, if for nothing else, as a way to bring in more tax dollars. Some of the recent cannabis legalization initiatives that have passed in very conservative states with a history been resistant to such ideas show that the times are changing.
In 2019 alone, the state of Colorado collected $302 million in cannabis tax revenue. This was a big jump from 2018’s total of around $266.5 million. For cash-strapped states like Illinois, it’s hard to ignore the potential revenue source.
Several U.S.-based Cannabis Multi-State Operators (MSOs) Listed in Investors Prism Cannabis Index
The Investors Prism Emerging MedCannabis Index provides a diversified approach to the cannabis industry. Featuring small- and micro-cap Canadian and American-based cultivators & distributors, cannabis accessory suppliers, and medical cannabis developers, the index takes a bird’s eye view of the emerging industry. Here are the U.S.-based cannabis MSOs listed within the index:
- Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: CURLF): Based out of Massachusetts, Curaleaf is engaged as a vertically-integrated cannabis operator that focuses on cultivation processing and distribution. Currently, Curaleaf operates across 23 states, which contain its footprint of 93 local dispensaries, 22 cultivation sites, 30 processing sites, and an army of over 350,000 registered patients.
- Green Thumb Industries, Inc. (OTCQX: GTBIF): Based out of Chicago, Green Thumb Industries is a diversified MSO that is engaged in the manufacture and distribution of cannabis consumer packaged goods. Green Thumb currently operates across 12 states, featuring 13 manufacturing facilities and 96 licensed retail locations. The company recently reported strong Q3 2020 financials, which showed year-over-year revenue growth of 131% to $157.1 million.
- Trulieve Cannabis Corporation (OTCQX: TCNNF): Known for being Florida’s first and largest fully licensed medical marijuana company, Trulieve describes itself as a vertically-integrated “seed-to-sale” company. This includes cultivation, production, and distribution. The company has operations across Florida, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; including 68 licensed dispensaries.
Overall, the cannabis legalization movement continues to gain steam in the United States. Positioned for strong growth, the U.S. market will largely see its full growth potential once it is decriminalized and legalized at the federal level. At the same time, politicians are facing increasing pressure from a supportive public opinion and tax revenue standpoint. In the meantime, it is up to American voters to keep the growth and the movement alive.
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