Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you’re having a great holiday weekend. In this week’s Marijuana Market Update, I zoomed out on the industry to look at states that are most likely to legalize cannabis in 2021 — and why I think that will happen early in the year.
First, let’s focus on why I believe adult-use legalization is coming to more states in 2021.
70% of U.S. Lives in a State With Legal Cannabis
If you recall, five states passed cannabis legalization measures on Election Day: Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, Mississippi and New Jersey.
Now, nearly 70% of the U.S. population lives in a state where cannabis is legal for medical or recreational use, or both:
But many of us want to know: What’s next?
First, the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on a bill to virtually legalize cannabis at the federal level.
It might pass the House, but it’s likely dead on arrival in the Senate.
We should see it more as a symbolic vote — a signal to the incoming administration that it needs to consider federal legalization.
But as I’ve said before, I don’t see that coming to fruition for another three to four years.
So, that leaves it up to the states for the short term, at least.
Legalizing and decriminalizing cannabis use state by state opens up new markets to cannabis companies.
It doesn’t remove the restrictions they face to get critical bank funding. (Banks can’t fund cannabis ventures while it’s illegal federally.)
Pressure on States to Legalize Cannabis in 2021
However, I expect the Election Day vote to put pressure on other states to take a hard look at adult-use legalization.
For many, this is no longer a moral issue but a practical one.
Look at the Northeast, for example.
With New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approving adult-use cannabis, the pressure is now on surrounding states to do the same.
Watch my Marijuana Market Update now to find out the compelling reason more states will need to consider cannabis legalization — and which five states are most likely to lead the charge.
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Coming up soon, we’ll have more on The Bull & The Bear podcast and our Money & Markets Week Ahead, so stay tuned.
Until next time…
Research Analyst, Money & Markets
Matt Clark is the research analyst for Money & Markets. He’s the host of our podcast, The Bull & The Bear, as well as the Marijuana Market Update. Before joining the team, he spent 25 years as an investigative journalist and editor — covering everything from politics to business.