IAnthus CEO On Marijuana Legalization In U.S. And Canada: A Good Model Makes The Decision Easier
Federal marijuana legalization is coming to Canada in 2018. However, the decision does not impact only the socialist dreamland, but also a bunch of other countries in the U.N., especially its neighbor, the United States.
Considering that Hadley Ford, CEO of iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc(CNSX: IAN) (OTC:ITHUF), a cannabis-focused financing and advisory firm, knows both markets — as the company raises capital in Canada and invests it in the United States, Benzinga reached out to ask him about the issue.
A Good Model
Benzinga: How does legalization in Canada impact the United States?
Hadley Ford: Anything that happens globally, whether it’s Canada, Germany, Uruguay, Israel or Australia — any market that is moving in a positive fashion medically or recreationally in the cannabis world, just helps with the trend. Moreover, I think it helps with the overall thoughts of politicians.
If Canada becomes fully recreational, that’s going to give a better level of comfort to U.S. politicians that it is not such a far-fetched idea. You have a fellow democratic society that has voted to go in that direction, and guess what? They didn’t see the entire country blow up.
No one ever likes to be first, but if you have a good model that has gone ahead of you and it’s been successful, that makes the decision that much easier.
So, strategically we think it’s a big positive and that, ultimately, people will look to the great white North and use that as a model to give some comfort to move toward full legalization across all 50 states down here.
However, this won’t happen overnight. It’s going to take the Canadians 18 months to figure out what they’re doing. Then they’ll have to get used to the idea.
But, over the five-year time horizon, it’s a net positive towards regulatory improvement here in the United States.
BZ: You just mentioned full legalization across all 50 states in the United States. Do you see federal legalization coming? Is Canada helping in any way?
Ford: So, if you go state by state, there are positive indicators. You have a lot of momentum that way: you’ve already got 28 states with pretty good medical cannabis programs, eight states that have full recreational programs and probably another 14 states that have one of those high-CBD or epilepsy-type rules on the books for using cannabis.
From a federal perspective, you’ve got a lot of bills that are always floating around the House and the Senate in some form or fashion to deschedule cannabis…
And, I think having a successful federal model North of the border helps. Maybe it won’t help this year, but I absolutely believe it will down the road.
Having a market that looks very similar to ours and is just across the border, which has had full legalization, which in turn resulted in a boon and a benefit to the citizens of that country — it may actually provide incentive for politicians to actually deschedule and decriminalize cannabis on a federal basis.
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