Why States Need To 'Flick The Legal Switch' On Cannabis Amid COVID-19 – Benzinga

The coronavirus outbreak has prevented most businesses from remaining open for the foreseeable future, slamming local economies and devastating state tax revenue.

This grim scenario should be enough to convince states that were previously anti-cannabis to change their tune, according to David Hess, the co-founder of investment firm Tress Capital.

“Whereas several years ago some debate was possible, there is now indisputable data that state legalization equals job creation and tax revenue,” Hess told Benzinga. “Cannabis is simply one of the few sectors that governments can identify where with the flick of a legal switch, revenue and employment can be found.”

In certain states, medical cannabis is legal. In others, it’s available for recreational use as well. But the drug remains federally illegal and will likely remain that way so long as President Donald Trump is office.

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Despite the varying policies and confusing rules, cannabis businesses — per Benzinga’s coverage — continue to generate significant tax revenue in various states, including Michigan joining Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Virutally every industry has come to a halt due to the pandemic, and they will likely remain that way since social distancing quidelines and other quarantine measures have been extended to the end of April. Many cannabis companies, however, have remained open and put various delivery and drop-off services into action to abide by county and state rules.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, for example, is allowing curbside pickup for green card holders, while limiting the number of people inside a store at once. In Nevada and other states, cannabis dispensaries were not listed among the “non-essential” services in any risk mitigation guidelines.

Turns out, social distancing

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