Ending Cannabis Prohibition: Congress Holds Hearing Not On ‘If’ But ‘How’

Ending Cannabis Prohibition: Congress Holds Hearing Not On ‘If’ But ‘How’
Ending Cannabis Prohibition: Congress Holds Hearing Not On ‘If’ But ‘How’

Is the United States’ 100-year old “cannabis wall” about to be torn down?

Last week, The Seed Investor pointed cannabis investor to an historic moment: Congress scheduling a formal hearing to seriously discuss and debate putting an end to 100 years of (absurd) cannabis Prohibition.

This is about more than just personal liberties and “free enterprise”. Already, the legal cannabis industry is billed as “the fastest growing industry in the U.S.” and now also the fastest-growing job creator. Legalizing cannabis at the national level would turbocharge such growth.

The Seed Investor noted other, recent changes that showed how momentum continues to build in the U.S. for cannabis legalization at the national level.
 
  • Congress voted to block enforcement of federal anti-cannabis criminal statutes in cannabis-legal states
  • Congress passed a provision allowing banks to service lawful cannabis businesses
  • Oregon passed the first state legislation to authorize cannabis exports between cannabis-legal states
  • Two Oregon Reps have introduced a bill in Congress to permit cannabis trade between cannabis-legal states
And all of this has come in just the last month.

This Congressional hearing commences today. But as big as this fact is by itself, perhaps what is even more important is the tone and agenda for this hearing, as reported by Marijuana Moment.
 
The panel has released few advance details about the meeting’s scope, but its title alone—”Marijuana Laws in America: Racial Justice and the Need for Reform”—indicates that the debate will go beyond merely whether to legalize and instead delve into specifics on charting the best path beyond prohibition.

Yes.

This will be more than merely preliminary talks to advance national legalization of cannabis. This is also about correcting a mistake: cannabis Prohibition. Acknowledging the victims. Acknowledging the need for (positive) reform of cannabis laws – at the national level.
 
“For the first time in recent history, the Judiciary Committee is going to be having a candid conversation about what reform should look like and how federal criminalization impacts the existing tension between state-legal programs and what changes in federal policy will impact and influence future reform efforts made at the state level to end the practice of otherwise law-abiding adults being put into handcuffs or discriminated against and treated like second-class citizens,” Justin Strekal, political director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment. [emphasis mine]

Huge.

For virtually an entire century, “talking” about cannabis in any sort of formal Congressional setting simply meant parroting 100 years of now discredited anti-cannabis propaganda. This hearing will (apparently) be completely different.

Cannabinoids, the active ingredients in the cannabis plant, are safe. The human body naturally produces cannabinoids – to promote and maintain human health. Mothers pass cannabinoids naturally to infants in breast milk, to promote infant health.

Now, instead of more tired propaganda about ‘the Demon Weed’, Congress is going to discuss how to take this benign, valuable substance from the courtrooms to consumer shelves – all across America.

As Marijuana Moment observes, a wide range of proposals are expected to be tabled, some quite conservative, others much more progressive.

Is the end of cannabis Prohibition coming to the United States? Debate is now beyond that point. Incredibly, historically, Congress is now simply focused on “how” and “when”.

A recent projection from BDS Analytics for the U.S. cannabis industry (June 2019) estimated revenue growth from the $9.8 billion recorded in 2018 to $30 billion by 2024, representing a CAGR of 20%. That’s impressive, but it’s based upon the continuation of a state-by-state evolution of cannabis commerce – with zero trade between states.

If (when?) Congress legalizes cannabis nationally, then all those numbers and projections go out the window. They will be replaced by much bigger numbers as regulatory clarity begins to emerge.

Today is an historic day for the cannabis legalization movement. For cannabis investors, it’s an important step in taking this fast-growing industry to an entirely new level.