President Biden announced his run for second term with Vice President Kamala Harris yesterday and it was definitely new for the cannabis industry. Reaction is defiantly mixed on social media with still a small ray of hope he will move cannabis legalization forward. There has been constant rumors for the last year of rescheduling, presidential acts and public support of SAFE banking…and yet nothing significant to help the businesses that help people consume. And with nothing to strategically end the black market.
“If Biden is re-elected, I expect his administration will continue the do-nothing neutral impact on cannabis companies in the United States, which is less than the industry needs today. This will only feed the black market and harm small businesses”, Kyle Shenfeld, President Rainbow RG, one of the leading real estate financiers in the cannabis industry.
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Andrew Cooper at Falcon Rappaport & Berkman and a leading industry cannabis and psychedelics attorney shared “While President Biden’s first term electrified cannabis enthusiasts and industry professionals alike with promises of federal legalization, his announcement that he would be running for a second term was met with little cannabis-related fanfare. Despite his recent initiation of the review process to reconsider the scheduling of cannabis and his pardoning of federal prisoners convicted of simple possession offenses, proponents of legalization remain unimpressed. The fact is that the Biden administration is comprised of disguised prohibitionists. Perhaps it is the administration’s unapologetic distaste for the plant and the Justice Department’s openly aggressive position that had led to the lack of confidence in this administration. While it may not be too late for Biden to win back the hearts of the cannabis industry, repeated broken promises has led many to look beyond this administration for relief.”
It definitely is key to investors in the growing interesting as Ted M. Mottola from Hilltop Vantage Capital points out “As Biden announces his run for reelection with an economic downturn looming, we all hope for a bit more progress to be made on cannabis financial regulation. Capital constraints are becoming tighter everyday for “normal” businesses, and that is only amplified for cannabis and cannabis adjacent businesses. Both companies and investors are waiting for that next tipping point that will allow a fresh flow of capital to move the cannabis sector to the next phase of its maturity.
If the current administration does not make progress during this term, or the potential second term, they will lose the opportunity to craft legislation in their preferred structure and risk the opposing party building it in its own framework.”
Advocates are calling for an expansion of Biden’s marijuana pardon, specifically, one that includes immigrants that have been deported due to these types of offenses. Biden’s pardons affect nearly 6,500 Americans. Still, these pardons only affect US residents and citizens.
On the Democratic side, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has been pushing Biden and his administration to legalize cannabis and make medical marijuana available to suffering veterans. In the “politics makes strange bedfellows” category – she is on the same page as GOP Congresswoman Nancy Mace.
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Green Market Report founder and publisher Debra Borchardt, the leading cannabis business site states “I think if he gets elected there will be a good chance of some movement for legalization. When you don’t have to worry about reelection, you can take more risks. I am cautious optimistic in a second term”.