Election Day 2016: The “Tipping Point” for Cannabis Industry
November 8, 2016 proved to be a historic day for the growing legal marijuana industry.
Voters in seven states approved new marijuana programs, increasing the tally of states where marijuana can be legally consumed. California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada now have approved recreational use policies, and Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota passed medical marijuana initiatives. Arizona’s recreational initiative was the only that failed to pass on Election Day.
As of this year’s general election, 28 states and the District of Columbia have some sort of legal marijuana program in place. The quickly growing market is predicted to generate $20 billion in revenue by 2020, according to Marijuana Business Daily.
“This is really day one of a decade-or-more-long process of bringing this industry into the light and getting rid of the illicit market,” said Richard Miadich, one of the authors of California’s Proposition 64. The initiative received substantial financial support from Sean Parker, Napster co-founder and cancer philanthropist.
California’s legalizing adult recreational use means that the entire West Coast is now a part of the legal marijuana industry, reflecting the region’s history for social and political progressiveness. But, the victories for marijuana this year were certainly not limited to the West.
“Western states have led the way on legalizing marijuana but the victory in Massachusetts powerfully demonstrates that this movement is now bicoastal and soon to be national,” Ethan Nadelmann, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, noted. “Indeed, I’d wager that the next states to legalize marijuana will also be in the Northeast.”
The seven states that most recently legalized marijuana in one form or another will create billions of dollars in tax revenue, see more jobs created, and place increased pressure on the federal government to abandon the war on drugs and reschedule marijuana.
Ben Larson, co-founder of an Oakland marijuana startup accelerator, called the election’s results the “tipping point” for the marijuana industry.
“It will likely open up the sizable market that will put the pressure on the federal government to deal with the scheduling and banking issues, and may be the key to unlocking much more investment and talent waiting on the sidelines,” Larson said.
The new markets will likely not be fully functional for at least a few years. For more information regarding the “tipping point”, [Click Here].