Cannabis investors should be pleased with the results of the first presidential debate.
According to RealClear Politics, a UK-based website that lets non-U.S. residents bet on the outcome of the U.S. presidential election, Joe Biden had a 55% chance of victory before the debate. But after the debate, Biden’s probability spiked to almost 60%.
This little spike on the chart has important implications for the U.S. cannabis industry and cannabis investors.
Joe Biden isn’t the most cannabis-friendly Democrat. However, a Biden presidency would likely be a big step forward to the U.S. cannabis industry.
Joe Biden Wants to Decriminalize Cannabis
Joe Biden has stated many times that he plans to decriminalize cannabis. This would mean that possession of cannabis would no longer be classified as a criminal offense with potential jail time. Instead, cannabis possession would be an ordinance violation and offenders would receive a ticket.
This falls short of the federal legalization that many cannabis advocates and consumers had hoped for. However, it is still another solid step forward in the path to broader legalization measures.
Joe Biden Wants to Reschedule Cannabis
Perhaps more important than decriminalizing cannabis, Biden has said he will reclassify cannabis from a schedule 1 drug to a schedule 2 drug.
The federal government says that schedule 1 drugs have no medicinal value with the high potential for abuse. That’s why heroin and cocaine are currently classified as schedule 1 drugs.
Reclassifying cannabis as a schedule 1 drug would open the door to more investments in medical research and it could possibly let big banks such as Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WF) provide banking services to the cannabis industry.
Kamala Harris is More Pro Cannabis than Joe Biden
Kamala Harris has a checkered history on cannabis. As the attorney general of California, Harris sent 1,900 people to jail for cannabis possession.
However, Harris’s position on cannabis has evolved significantly since then and she now supports full federal legalization. Here are some more details from marijuanamoment.com.
But it remains the case that Harris is the chief Senate sponsor of the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act—a comprehensive piece of legalization legislation that includes various social equity and restorative justice provisions. “Times have changed—marijuana should not be a crime,” she said when introducing the bill. “We need to start regulating marijuana, and expunge marijuana convictions from the records of millions of Americans so they can get on with their lives.
It’s unlikely Harris will influence Biden into full legalization, but her position on cannabis should nudge Biden in the direction of more reform.
The Golden Trifecta – The Presidency, the House, and the Senate
The optimal scenario for the cannabis industry and investors is a Joe Biden victory, Democrats maintaining control of the House, and Democrats taking control of the Senate. With the election just a month away, there is a strong probability this could happen. Here are some more details from the Washington Post.
Republicans have a slim, three-seat majority in the Senate that they’re trying to hold on to in November. And they are in for a battle to do it: There are 13 chances on this list for Democrats to flip Senate seats and just two for Republicans.
Democrats’ path to the majority is to net at least four Senate seats or net three and win the White House to get the majority, but that requires going through some Republican-leaning states. For now, the most competitive races remain largely unchanged from our last rankings in August. We’ll update these rankings again between now and November.
In this scenario, it becomes likely that democrats would pursue federal legalization in 2021.
The Big Picture on Joe Biden and Cannabis
The U.S. presidential election is only one month away. After the first debate, the probability of a Biden victory increased.
Biden isn’t super cannabis-friendly like some other Democrats, but his victory would definitely advance legalization efforts in the U.S.
If this scenario does unfold, it would be a win for the U.S. cannabis industry and cannabis stocks should perform extremely well in 2021.
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