Emerging growth industries can be some of the most profitable in which to invest. From the rise of the internet, to electric vehicles, to cloud computing, hitching a ride with the early leaders in a new and exciting industry can lead to handsome gains…
But aside from pure innovation, another way an industry can grow from zero to very large is by going from illegal to legal! Not since Prohibition was repealed in 1933 has that happened. Now, there’s a pretty good chance cannabis may be legalized in the U.S. (at least in several important respects, if not totally) at some point in the not-too-distant future. Even without full legalization, several high-probability regulatory rollbacks would be good for U.S. multistate operators.
Don’t believe me? Farther below is a chart that says you should sit up and pay attention to the U.S. cannabis space.
Pro-cannabis sentiment gets high
Some may be skeptical that U.S. politicians would ever legalize cannabis, but legislators also want to stay in office, and they listen intently to the will of their constituents. As such, it’s pretty difficult to keep cannabis illegal for long if the following Gallup poll trend holds up:
As you can see, the last 20 years have seen a flipping of U.S. voters’ opinions on legalizing cannabis, from roughly one-third of respondents favoring legalization in 2000 to over two-thirds favoring it today. It’s an interesting progression, with favorability rising very fast from 1969 to 1977, before stagnating for about 20 years, and then resuming its fairly consistent climb over the next two decades.
The causes could be several, from younger generations more fully embracing legal cannabis, to more medical studies revealing therapeutic benefits for a variety of ailments, to state legalization initiatives proving to be successes. In 1996, California was the first state to approve medical marijuana, and in 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize recreational weed. Today, 35 states plus Washington, D.C., have some form of legal cannabis, with 15 now open to recreational adult use after recent ballot measures passing in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota.
So it’s likely that a younger, more tolerant generation; increasing evidence of medical benefits; and many states having legalized weed without major disasters have helped public sentiment along.
Will cannabis really be legalized by a new Congress?
Although the House of Representatives just passed the MORE Act, which would decriminalize cannabis on a federal level, it’s a long shot in the Senate, which is likely to stay in Republican hands.
Nevertheless, there is other legislation that could…
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