Industry Insider On Marijuana Legalization In Texas: Cannabis Reform Might Come Sooner Than People Think

Benzinga recently published an interview with cannabis industry insider Joel Milton. The CEO at Baker Technologies, one of the leading tech platforms for marijuana dispensaries and brands, often dubbed “the, inc. CRM of pot,” went into the company, its products and a recent $1.6 billion financing round.

In this second piece, we’ll look into Milton’s comments regarding the political and legislative situation around cannabis right now.

The Risk

“There is always a risk,” he began. “That said, the majority of Americans are very much in favor of cannabis legislation reform [...] Clearly it’s an issue that spans party lines.”

“Furthermore, Republicans are known for respecting states’ rights. That’s like pretty core to the Republican platform, more so than even the Democrats are known for. So, states are very convincingly putting this on the ballot and it’s being passed. Eight of the nine states that had legislation reform on it this past November went forward with it. So, I think it’s very clear that the states want this,” he continued.

“You look at the tens of thousands of jobs, and billions of dollars in tax revenue that has come in, and it is very hard for someone like Trump, who one of his main platforms is job growth, America first, job creation — Well, here is an industry that is creating tens of thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue. How can you go against something that’s clearly working? The only reason, honestly, is fear and ignorance. I hate those strong words, but the reality is that if you listen to comments from Jeff Sessions they are unfortunately just that.”

The Future

The good news is that ignorance is being replaced with education. “Especially if you look at the younger generation, people are more open-minded. So again, I think the future of cannabis is very safe,” Milton went on.

“As for what happens in the next four years, maybe the government will do something that moves things backward a little bit or slows things down, but this industry isn’t going anywhere,” he concluded.

Benzinga: Could you share your view of which states you think will legalize next? 

Milton: One of our largest sources of traffic right now is from the state of Texas. I don’t know if it means anything, but it does mean that it’s obviously a huge state with three of the top 10 largest cities by population.

It is known as a fairly conservative state — However, there are a lot of people from Texas who are coming to our website poking around and interested in cannabis.

The same way we saw Florida, which also is a red state that recently voted for cannabis legalization, it wouldn’t shock me if cannabis reform comes to Texas sooner than people might think. 

BZ: What about California? What do you see going on there?

Milton: California is obviously a pretty interesting market. It’s been a gray medicinal market for 20 years now — I think California is a perfect example of why clear legislation is actually a good thing; rules are good.

If you have this murky, un-clarity around “well, cannabis is sort legal medically, but we’re not really going to regulate it,” then you have pop-up delivery drivers selling things sort of unlicensed, there is not great quality control, a lot of people don’t pay taxes, and many of the businesses operate in ways other than a more clear-cut retail store front should operate.

So, as a more clear-cut guided system comes into place, I think there is going to be a ton of opportunity in California.

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Why Education Could Be The Biggest Beneficiary Of Cannabis Legalization

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