The CannaBit Blog
MARIJUANA DATA & TRENDS
Having attended this past week’s National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) Conference in Oakland, Calif., the most memorable takeaway was the speech given by the former Mexican president, Vicente Fox. While through my experience in the industry I have attended any number of cannabis industry-related events where politicians have spoken, this marked the first time I ever heard any former head of state come out so favorably in support of cannabis.
The speech was, predictably, partly political in nature. His opinion about President Trump has been pretty well carved out by this point, and Fox again pulled no punches in his criticism of either the president or his administration. But what was especially striking during this address was how effectively he presented the case for cannabis internationally.
In complimenting the NCIA attendees for their professionalism, and noting how much such conferences have evolved just within the past few years, Fox reinforced the importance of mature leadership amid this sector, and the need for demonstrating it by respecting the rule of law. His passionate rhetoric in this regard was what particularly engaged by his audience.
- In 2016, the Viridian Cannabis Stock Index grew 236%, partly fueled by opportunities created by the ten new states that passed medical and adult use laws last November.
- The index declined briefly after the election due to investor concerns about how the Trump Administration’s cannabis policy might be different than the Obama Administration’s. However, the market quickly recovered, and growth continued into the New Year.
- On February 23, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer suggested the White House may make a distinction between medical and adult-use cannabis, signaling there might be greater enforcement of adult use laws.
- The statement sparked the biggest decline in the index in 18 months, wiping out almost all the gains made since the beginning of 2017.
- Fears of increased federal enforcement were further stoked by Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ letter to Members of Congress requesting the elimination of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment. This amendment prevents the Department of Justice from interfering with state medical cannabis programs and prosecuting individuals and businesses who are operating in compliances with their state’s medical cannabis laws.
- The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment is up for renewal in September; this pivotal vote will influence the possibility of federal intervention in medical cannabis markets and add fuel to the ongoing debate on federalism and state’s rights in enforcing cannabis policy.
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