Article by Sean Williams, Motley Fool
Believe it or not, legal marijuana is one of the hottest industries on the planet right now. Roughly two decades ago that would have been almost impossible to believe, with just 25% of respondents in Gallup’s 1995 survey showing favorability toward legalizing cannabis nationwide. Comparatively, almost two-thirds of those surveyed by Gallup in October 2017 now favor the idea of legalizing adult-use cannabis.
Furthermore, a separate poll from the independent Quinnipiac University in August 2017 found 94% approval for legalizing medicinal cannabis, compared to just 4% who opposed the idea. This is why three-fifths of all U.S. states now have medical marijuana laws on their books, and more than 90% allow the use of cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, for select ailments.
You’d think with support like this that the United States would be leading the charge of progressivism on cannabis, but it’s actually quite the opposite. Congress has dug in its heels on cannabis in the U.S., leaving its Schedule I classification firmly in place. This means marijuana remains wholly illegal, prone to abuse, and has no recognized medical benefits. It also means businesses involved in the weed industry in the U.S. can’t take normal corporate income-tax deductions, per U.S. tax code 280E, and that access to basic banking services is extremely limited, if not cut off entirely.
Five reasons Canada’s recreational weed bill will become law by June
Instead, we’ve seen Canada take the lead in advancing their cannabis industry. In April 2017, bill C-45, known more commonly as the “Cannabis Act,” was introduced in the Senate as a means to legalize recreational marijuana. Should this bill become law, Canada would be only the second country in the world, the other being Uruguay, and the first developed country overall, to legally allow adults over 18 to purchase marijuana for personal use. In total, we could be talking about the addition of $5 billion or more in annual sales.
The big question, of course, is: Will it pass?
Though nothing is a given when it comes to politics, I’d consider it an all but foregone conclusion at this point that the Cannabis Act will be signed into law by sometime in mid-June. How can I be so confident in its passage? Here are five reasons to bolster the argument for passage.