Favorable Cannabis Outlook for 2018


Mar, 2018 by Cannabiz Wholesaler

Lawmakers and State AGs Signal Favorable Cannabis Outlook for 2018

Founded in 2014 by Steve Janjic and Adam Martin, the company also has offices in Sacramento, CA, and Toronto, Canada. There are 30 employees.

Revenues from the marijuana industry are poised to exceed $20 billion dollars by 2021. These figures are separate from the revenue generated by “ancillary businesses,” which provide services to support the industry, whether in the areas of public relations, data processing and analytics, or otherwise.

Despite the cash flowing directly from the plant-touching businesses in this industry and the boost in revenues to already existing ancillary ones, due to the federal government’s classification of marijuana as an illegal Schedule I drug, financial institutions that would otherwise provide services to state licensed cannabis businesses are reluctant to do so because of the criminal and civil liability risks they face under the “Controlled Substances Act” and other federal banking statutes. This failure to provide financial services to many of these businesses has left them targets for criminal activity and prevented the responsible tracking of large amounts of money across the country for taxation and other purposes.

With 8 states and the District of Columbia allowing recreational use of marijuana by adults over 21 years of age, and 29 states and several US territories having legalized the medical use of marijuana, less than 2 weeks after the decision by Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, with respect to marijuana enforcement that rescinded the “Cole Memorandum” along with other Department of Justice guidances concerning cannabis enforcement policies, a bipartisan group of 19 state AGs responded with a request to Congress.

Specifically, they were asking for the implementation of banking laws and regulations to ensure accountability in the marijuana industry such as the “Safe Banking Act” (SAFE), so that these billions of dollars could be moved into the regulated banking sector and give law enforcement the ability to monitor these transactions. Through this legislation the AGs are seeking a safe harbor for depository institutions so that financial products and services may be lawfully offered and provided to a covered business in a state which has its own structure of state laws and regulations for engaging in the business of cannabis.

Another proposed piece of legislation related to this effort is the “Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect State Act of 2017” (CARERS). Both of these pieces of legislation (SAFE and CARERS) will likely be reintroduced in the 2018 legislative session. From these state AG actions to those by US senators who have either sponsored or co-sponsored the abovementioned legislation, or who participated in the creation of the “Congressional Cannabis Caucus” in 2017, it demonstrates a growing consensus amongst legislators and law enforcement to support increased legalities for the cannabis industry.

PARTICIPATING 19 STATE AGS

1. AK – Jahna Lindemuth
2. CA – Xavier Beccerra
3. CO – Cynthia Coffman
4. CT- George Jepsen
5. DC – Karl A. Racine
6. Guam – Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson
7. HI – Doug Chin
8. IA – Tom Miller
9. IL – Lisa Madigan
10. MA – Maura Healey
11. MD – Brian Frosh
12. ME – Janet T. Mills
13. ND – Wayne Stenehjem
14. NM – Hector Balderas
15. NY – Eric T. Schneiderman
16. OR – Ellen F. Rosenblum
17. PA – Josh Shapiro
18. VT – T.J. Donovan
19. WA – Robert W. Ferguson

By: Deanna Clark-Esposito, Esq. • Clark-Esposito Law Firm, P.C. • 211 E. 43rd St, Seventh floor New York, NY 10017
917.546.6997 • www.clarkespositolaw.com • deanna@clarkespositolaw.com

Disclaimer: This content of this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as creating a lawyer-client relationship with either the author or the Clark-Esposito Law Firm, P.C. May be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states.

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