The ultimate guide to legalization

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Marijuana plants are seen at Ganja Farms marijuana store in Bogota Reuters


Welcome to Insider Cannabis, our weekly newsletter where we’re bringing you an inside look at the deals, trends, and personalities driving the multibillion-dollar global cannabis boom.


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Happy Friday readers,

If you caught the VP debate this Wednesday, you probably heard Sen. Kamala Harris’ comment about cannabis decriminalization. This sent stocks soaring the following morning (read Jeremy’s coverage here), though we shouldn’t be surprised considering Harris co-sponsored the MORE Act, a bill to federally legalise cannabis and expunge criminal records, in the Senate.

It’s a strong signal that if Joe Biden wins, the Democratic administration would back cannabis reform.

And cannabis reform is a major subplot of the November 3 election. Here’s everything you need to know, in a cool graphic.

-Yeji


Here’s what we wrote about this week:

The ultimate guide to marijuana legalization: Here are all the states voting on cannabis reform in November, the probability of success, and which stocks could benefit the most

With less than a month to go until the election, cannabis executives, investors, and activists are focused on five key states.

To put together this ballot tracker, we tapped a variety of sources to explain the nuances of each state’s ballot measures and where polling stands. We relied on analysts from the investment bank Cowen, who generated probabilities for how likely each ballot measure is to pass.


Medical cannabis giant Columbia Care just made a major move into recreational pot as it gears up for ‘high appetite’ in states poised to legalise

The giant medical cannabis company Columbia Care is laying the groundwork to profit from a new wave of cannabis legalization that could be on the horizon. Columbia Care, which operates in 10 states, is building on its medical-roots image by launching a national recreational brand, called Seed & Strain.

The move comes less than a month before four states — New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana — will vote on legalizing cannabis for all adults, and amid a backdrop where cannabis brands are gearing up to build out national footprints.


Kamala Harris just said her administration will decriminalize marijuana if Biden wins, and cannabis stocks are soaring

Cannabis stocks soared after Sen. Kamala Harris said a Biden administration would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Curaleaf, Harvest Health & Recreation, and Aphria are among the top gainers, though the entire sector seems to have been energised by Harris’ statement at the debate.

Deals, launches, and IPOs


Policy Moves

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, who has already pardoned over 11,000 individuals for cannabis-related offences, said on Tuesday that he plans to pardon more individuals in the coming months as part of a larger effort to create a “more equitable criminal justice system.”
  • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said on Wednesday that the state will finally allow recreational marijuana sales, by allowing a bill passed by Vermont’s legislature to take effect without his signature. Vermont legalised cannabis in 2018 for adults over the age of 21 but did not specifically allow commercial sales within the state.
  • In other Northeast cannabis news, recreational cannabis sales officially began on Friday morning in Maine after the state legalised marijuana in 2016.

Research and reform

  • Using cannabis before surgery could increase pain, require more anesthesia, and complicate recovery, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists on Monday. The researchers say it’s important to let your doctors know if you have used cannabis prior to undergoing a procedure so they can adjust accordingly and that more research is needed.

Chart of the week

In the second quarter of 2020, cannabis prices on Ontario’s Cannabis Store (OCS) beat out flower prices on the illicit market for the first time. The drop in prices comes in conjunction with a growing market takeover from the legal market: OCS says that in Q2, legal sales made up 25.1% of the total market, compared to 24.7% in Q1.

The price of legal pot is dropping in Ontario

What we’re reading

‘No more tears left:’ How wildfires are ravaging the West Coast cannabis industry (CNN)

A long road: Weed goes on sale years after approval in Maine(Associated Press)

Uninsured marijuana industry battles looters and flames(Politico)

Mother’s little helper is back, and daddy’s partaking too(The New York Times)

Tobacco giant Altria is securing technology in new frontier: Marijuana (Forbes)