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GTI, Curaleaf Execs Discuss What The Election Means For The Cannabis Industry

November 5, 2020 10:31 am
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GTI, Curaleaf Execs Discuss What The Election Means For The Cannabis Industry

Despite the veil of uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Presidential election, the cannabis industry remains upbeat with the votes it received in five key states.

"People have spoken on cannabis" by taking a "green way last night," Dina Rollman, SVP Government and Regulations Affairs at Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX:GTBIF), said Wednesday after Election Day.

Rollman expressed her thoughts on a Zoom call hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic. She was joined by Ed Conklin, SVP Government Relations at Curaleaf Holdings Inc. (OTCQX:CURLF).

As Tuesday night went into Wednesday morning, news broke that all cannabis legalization initiatives — in Arizona, Mississippi, New Jersey, Montana, and South Dakota — had passed.

"It's a great time to be in this industry," Conklin said.

In a one-hour panel discussion, the three cannabis experts shared their thoughts on what's next for the cannabis industry, including deregulation at both federal and state levels.

A Big Win For Cannabis

As of today, roughly 31% of the US residents "will live in a state with a legal adult-use cannabis," Rollman said. "A majority of the country has now spoken."

Conklin pointed out that New Jersey was the "first domino to fall out" and that states like New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania will likely follow suit.

New York would pave the way for the others, he says, since cannabis is poised to be in Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget for 2021.

Conklin added that the current health crisis had devastated the state's budgets and that cannabis tax revenues would mitigate the damage.

Over the next couple of years, states like South Carolina, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Maryland would legalize cannabis, either for adult use or medical, both speakers suggested.

Blue, Red, Or Green Wave?

Many expected a so-called blue wave Democratic sweep of the Oval Office and Congress. That would have led to greater support for federal legalization of cannabis, Conklin suggests.

However, that didn't happen since Democrats lost key Senate races and will remain in the minority. Still, the outcome on Nov. 3 was a "great result for cannabis," as "measured progression in legislation is a great way," Conklin said. 

Even though a Democratic win would "speed up" the entry of the Canadian LPs into the US market, the victory of the opposing party is not a "bad result" for multi-state operators such as Curaleaf and GTI,  Rollman disclosed.

Both speakers also agree that, at this point, there are no potential champions for the industry among Republican Senators — a contrast to Sen. Kamala Harris who is a Democrat.

Harris, who is a Senate Sponsor of the More Act, highlights cannabis as a priority. She is someone who could drive federal cannabis reform, Rollman stated.

Nevertheless, there are indications that Republican senators could support federal reforming, including the SAFE Banking Act and similar banking reforms, considering they will be overseeing "massive cannabis economies..which is right now happening on a cash basis," she added.

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