These are heady times for the marijuana industry. Consider:
The cannabis industry’s largest conference — MJBizCon — is expected to draw more than 20,000 attendees to Las Vegas this week, and it has been called America’s fastest-growing trade show. The Nevada Dispensary Association predicts marijuana taxes could contribute $1 billion to state coffers over seven years, and Canada has legalized recreational sales nationwide. And Jeff Sessions, a vocal critic of marijuana, just resigned as U.S. attorney general.
“Having such an outspoken opponent of marijuana in charge of federal enforcement kept me up at night,” said Dan Anglin, CEO of CannAmerica Brands, which makes edible marijuana products and operates in Nevada and two other states.
With Attorney General Jeff Sessions gone and Rep. Pete Session, R-TX unseated things could be looking up on the federal level.
“It is really looking hopeful that the president is paying attention to the will of the people on this issue and will make a move on this issue now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is gone,” Anglin said.
Support comes from
Marijuana still being listed as a Schedule 1 drug by the federal government causes a lot of problems for the fast-growing industry, Anglin said.
Most banks still do not allow marijuana businesses to use their services. There is also the problem of getting investment money.
“It takes a lot of creative financial management to be in the industry in the first place. And access to capital is virtually impossible with it being federal illegal,” Anglin said.
Beyond finances, Anglin said the federal criminalization of the industry means surplus product cannot be moved from one state to another.
“Federalization and lifting the interstate ban on cannabis will help alleviate some of these problems and provide more access to cannabis across the country,” he said.