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Legal weeds win big in elections



Voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota have eliminated adult use of marijuana, bringing the total number of states that have approved marijuana for that purpose to 15.

“They got through it overwhelmingly,” said John Hudak, a cannabis policy expert and deputy director at the Brookings Institution. they are not a close race ”. “This is a huge win for cannabis.”

Most industries estimate Arizona and New Jersey as billion-dollar markets over the next few years and companies like Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF) and Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) made their moves well ahead of Tuesday̵
7;s elections to make sure they took advantage.
Mr. Joe Bayern, the company’s president, said Curaleaf, which runs marijuana businesses in 23 states, has been investing heavily to increase its production and retail footprint in both states.
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Scotts, known for its horticulture and horticulture business, has in recent years invested heavily in acquisitions of companies in the hydroponics sector, a landless horticultural process common to cannabis growers of all sizes.. Scotts contributed $ 800,000 to an effort to legalize recreational cannabis in New Jersey, according to state electoral finance records.

“With New Jersey, we don’t just look at the New Jersey setting, but the Northeast corridor as a whole,” Jim King, Scotts’s executive vice president of corporate affairs, told CNN Business in an interview. problem.

‘Siege New Jersey’

Industry members and analysts say New Jersey is likely to trigger the domino effect of legalization measures in the Northeast, particularly in New York and Pennsylvania.

And if those dominoes fall, that’s fine for the Illinois-based people Cresco Labs (CRLBF)There is cannabis growing, manufacturing and retail operations in Massachusetts and medical marijuana-legal states like New York and Pennsylvania, said Cresco CEO Charlie Bachtell.

Cresco has taken an active approach to anchoring its businesses – farming centers, production facilities and Sunnyside clinics – in regions that boast “good regulations that are well-established by many people. donate.”

“We’ve got New Jersey siege,” Bachtell said.

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Bachtell also expressed optimism about state measures affecting the federal landscape as a whole.

“With every new state that passes or passes an adult marijuana law, you will have to think that you have two more senators representing states that have cannabis use laws,” Bachtell said. big.

Bethany Gomez, CEO of Brightfield Group, a market research and analysis firm that specializes in the cannabis industry, projects that the US medical and recreational cannabis industry will reach revenue 19 billion dollars this year, rising to $ 24 billion by 2021 and – with this week’s addition and capable newcomers like New York – reaching $ 45 billion in revenue by 2025.

However, the industry faces hurdles at the federal level.

The Republican-led Senate, Mitch McConnell, will mean that cannabis legislative measures will remain dead in the country, especially under the Biden administration.

“Mitch McConnell is a ‘no’ one-man machine,” says Hudak. “This is just something [he] dislike. He saw no political interest. “

That’s not good for the industry, whose members say key regulatory loopholes need to be addressed for businesses operating in the state’s legal system that trade in an illegal product. federal. Cannabis businesses say they cannot easily bank or have traditional finance because they have to obey 1980 tax laws designed to punish drug dealers; they have difficulty insuring their business; and they are not eligible for federal disaster aid.

“It’s a big and stinking problem with 1 million acres of the emerald Triangle,” said Tiffany Devitt, CannaCraft’s consumer and government director, based in California’s Sonoma County burned down ”Care By Design, Hi-Fi Hops and AbsoluteXtracts. She is referring to a large cannabis production area in Northern California that has been hit hard by the recent wildfires in the state.

However, there is reason for the optimism, Devitt said, noting potential similarities with an end to alcohol ban and the desire during the Great Depression to spur economic growth.

“You can see a similar trajectory playing out with cannabis, under which our economic problems facing us as a nation are awakening people to the fact that the industry The cannabis industry can actually benefit the general community from the employment perspective, “she said.


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