Legalized marijuana made some great gains in 2016.
28 states have legalized medical marijuana and eight of them have legalized it for recreational use also. The trend is unstoppable. US cannabis laws are changing, That is more than half the country and there is more to follow. This has been great for users all over the country but is especially good for investors.
No stopping now!
Groups endorsing the changes are not sitting back on their laurels. Anything but. They are looking forward to more states joining the green rush. 2017 could provide fertile ground for change in a few more states. Which ones could it be? Well we looked around and will try to speculate as to the most likely to embrace the change. Petition groups are already eying initiatives for 2017.
Most likely we’ll see Vermont moving forward. New England is a ripe climate for ending the prohibition with Maine and Massachusetts making the move in 2016 to pro-pot.
In the spring of 2016 the Green Mountain State almost legalized recreational use of marijuana in their assembly. The state already has a medical marijuana program in place. So it is easy to build on. The state is experiencing a severe opiod problem and some of the dissenting politicians were fearful that pot would heighten the problem. Groups are trying to educate the leaders on the fact that marijuana has been found not to be a gateway drug. The bill had the backing of Gov, Peter Schumlin and Attorney General William Sorrell but still fell short of the needed votes. Recent polls of voters from the Vermon Public radio show that 55% of the populace want marijuana legalization while only 32% oppose. However Lt. Gov. Phil Scott is a major opponent. Schumlin is on his way out but his likely predecessor Scott will be a stumbling block for the movement. The general assembly convenes on Jan 4 and we are looking to see S.B.241 revised and reintroduced. This time around could be different.
Missouri is in the Medical Marijuana hunt and supporters were saddened when only 23 signatures kept the initiative off the ballot in 2016. There was another initiative that was proposed by a group known as New Approach Missouri that fell short of the goal by 2,242 signatures after Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander invalidated more than 10,000 signatures in the final days. There is another advocacy group called Show-Me cannabis that is pushing for legalization. 2017 could prove to be drastically different after the changes around the country in this years election. Since election day Kander has been changing his views, He has called for the state assembly to address the medical marijuana issue directly and pass a bill in favor of it. Cannabis advocates are regrouping and no matter what the assembly does we may see it on the ballot there in 2017.
Arizona was very close this year to passing recreational use. Their Proposition 205 initiative failed by only 2%. Arizona passed a medical cannabis measure in 1996 when it still wasn’t very popular around the country. In the years gone by the climate has changed and with such a close loss last year we will probably see a movement again this year. Activists will keep the movement alive while it is hot. The small percentage of voters that were undecided will be their focus. In 2010 the states already Medical Marijuana measures received a boost with reforms that are giving more patients access to need medicine. The state has about 100 dispensaries operating so there is already an infrastructure for the coming business to work with which is a good sign for ending the prohibition there. Look for a yes vote this time around.
North Carolina is in the running for making a move to medical marijuana next year also. This state decriminalized pot in 1977 long before many others. Decriminalization is always the first step before legalization and after their long experience they are ready to take the next step. In 2014 Gov. Pat McCrory signed a law giving state universities the right to conduct clinical trials on CBD oil. This was a great move for the advocates of medical cannabis. We will probably see an initiative on the ballot there in the coming years. Pollsters give it a 50-50 chance for voters.
This all looks good for the coming years to advocates for medical a recreational use. This sets the stage for the end of the prohibition on cannabis. It also opens up all the investment opportunities. Watch the cannabis stocks take off in the near future as the US cannabis laws change and the industry grows. Experts are expecting this to be one of the largest growth markets in history like the dot com explosion. So if you’re up for a real wild ride jump on the wagon.
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Thanks for stopping by, Dennis Darragh