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American voters may be sharply polarized over many political issues of the day, but they are increasingly unified on one policy: legalizing marijuana.
Just look at the results of November’s election — every statewide measure to relax marijuana prohibition won. Arizona, Montana and New Jersey voted to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older. Medical marijuana was approved in Mississippi. South Dakota voters backed both recreational and medicinal use.
The marijuana industry appeared headed for a clean sweep on Election Day, with voters approving new markets in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota that could generate more than $2.5 billion in medical and recreational cannabis sales a year by 2024.
New Jersey, Arizona, Montana and South Dakota represented the 12th, 13th 14th and 15th states in the country to legalize recreational marijuana markets, according to media projections.
A senior adviser to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden recently reiterated that, if elected, his administration would pursue decriminalizing marijuana and automatically expunging prior cannabis convictions.
Symone Sanders discussed the campaign’s criminal justice agenda during an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, emphasizing that Biden and his vice presidential running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will prioritize the modest drug policy reform proposals.
The Democratic and Republican national conventions barely touched on federal marijuana reform.
The Republicans didn’t even write a new platform.
And the Democratic platform fell short of supporting the efforts congressional Democrats have made in the past year toward federal marijuana legalization and cannabis banking reform.
Nevertheless, Washington DC lobbyists and industry experts expect Democratic lawmakers – regardless of the election outcome – to push forward with a pro-marijuana reform agenda.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his vice presidential running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) discussed marijuana decriminalization and other drug policy reforms during their first joint interview as a ticket this weekend.
Harris was pressed on her prosecutorial record, specifically as it concerns her previous call for more law enforcement officers in the streets. She talked about policing reform but went on to state that, under a Biden administration, there will be a “policy that is going to be about decriminalizing marijuana.”
On the general election ballot in November, voters will be asked if they want to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey. A Monmouth University poll from April shows 61% of residents are in favor, but advocates on both sides say it’s not a done deal.
“It’s really promising, but there’s a lot of work to do. Educating people that there is a ballot question is important,” said Bill Caruso with NJ United for Marijuana Reform.
New Jersey voters across the political spectrum strongly support the legalization of cannabis and former Vice President Joe Biden for the November ballot.
That's according to a new poll from law firm Brach Eichler LLC that surveyed some 500 registered voters in the Garden State.
Up to 68% of the respondents said they would vote in favor of the initiative to legalize the purchase of cannabis from licensed businesses. Some 26% of those who responded said they would oppose it, while just 6% said they were "unsure."
Delegates of the Democratic National Committee voted down a proposal to include the federal legalization of cannabis in the party’s 2020 platform on Monday. Platform committee delegate Dennis Obduskey of Colorado had introduced an amendment to include marijuana legalization in the platform, but the proposal was rejected by the committee with a vote of 105 to 60.
Democratic challenger Joe Biden is ahead of incumbent Donald Trump by 10%, according to a new general election poll from Rasmussen Reports.
While a potential Biden presidency could pose some challenges for investors, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic said the Democratic platform is good news for U.S. cannabis stock investors.
Full Federal Legalization
The Biden campaign released a 100-page document outlining the Democratic Party platform this week, and Zuanic says there are multiple bullish takeaways for U.S. multi-state operators, or MSOs:
In 27 states, tax revenue budgets are expected to drop by 10% or more. According to Barron’s, Burleson noted that cannabis reform has received attention in nine of those states, saying, “We expect budget concerns to prompt resurgent legalization efforts for these and other challenged states.”