2:52 pm ET November 29, 2016 (Benzinga)
“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had the same position on cannabis, which was that it was really up to the states to decide,” Troy Dayton CEO of the ArcView Group and famed legalization advocate told Benzinga in a recent interview.
“Hillary Clinton went a little bit further to say that she thought it should be rescheduled, and Trump spoke very positively about medical cannabis, saying that he knew people who it was helpful for,” he added.
Will Things Change?
Benzinga asked, “So, are things going to remain the same?”
Marijuana legalization initiatives also won very decisively in eight out of nine states on Election Day. “Some of our biggest wins were in the red states: Florida, North Dakota, Arkansas, Montana—,” Dayton responded when questioned about the near future. “So, I think it would be political suicide for Donald Trump to go back on a campaign promise on a hugely popular issue like this. And so, while the appointment of Jeff Sessions for attorney general is certainly concerning, given that Jeff Sessions is one the biggest opponents of marijuana legalization and marijuana in general in Congress, it is my hope, and certainly my endeavor to try to make sure that Jeff Sessions follows the will of the voters and the will of the president.”
Law & Order
Moreover, the chief executive pointed out, there’s another point in favor of marijuana supporters: “The Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which is now a law, is likely to be renewed,” Dayton said.
“And that stops the Justice Department from spending any resources going after anybody following state law when it comes medical marijuana.”
Dayton continued, “I believe we have the support of Congress –even with a Republican controlled Congress — to expand those protections to the adult use in states as well — which I think will happen in short order.”
“Given the other law and order priorities of this administration, there is a real limitation on their resources; they can’t just get more resources into the Justice Department, and they simply do not have the resources to thwart state law in 28 states that have some form of legalized cannabis,” he went on.
“So, I think that, given that this issue did better than any Republican did in the election, this is a real opportunity for the Republicans to take a hugely popular issue away from the Democrats. And, given the support among Republicans for states’ rights, I think that we will be okay.”
“That being said, under a Trump administration, we have no idea how he’s actually going to govern. And so, anything is possible.”
In another recent Benzinga interview, 420 Property CEO Ryan R. George said he was “not worried at all” about a Republican government. “I think everybody has somewhat spoken, and they want this industry to bring more jobs into the economy […] If you look at the map of the United States […] more than half of the states have cannabis laws,” he voiced.
Also quite recently, Benzinga asked Alan Brochstein, founding partner at New Cannabis Ventures and founder at 420 Investor, about plays in the marijuana industry against such an uncertain backdrop. The expert mentioned a few Canadian Licensed Producers, including AURORA CANNABIS IN COM NPV (OTC: ACBFF), APHRIA INC NPV (OTC: APHQF), METTRUM HEALTH COR COM NPV (OTC: MQTRF), ORGANIGRAM HLDGS I COM NPV (OTC: OGRMF), SUPREME PHARMACEUT COM NPV (OTC: SPRWF) and CANOPY GROWTH CORP COM NPV (OTC: TWMJF), as well as “the only” biotech stock in the space, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC- ADR (NASDAQ: GWPH).
The Opioid Epidemic
Finally, thinking about the surging number of indicators that suggest that, even at a federal level, the government increasingly believes that cannabis products are more of an option for pain treatment, versus opioids, Benzinga asked about marijuana and opioids.
“I think that… cannabis is proving to be a very powerful tool in both fighting addiction as well as creating alternatives the use of opioids, or at least reducing opioid usage for pain. And also, when there is such an opioid epidemic in the country, it becomes more and more difficult to justify a war on cannabis, since it’s a misuse of resources,” Dayton concluded.
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