Cannabis is thriving in the US, and it’s about to enter a critical time as Americans prepare to vote.

With the US presidential election right around the corner, the Investing News Network (INN) talked with a few experts to determine what investors can expect regardless of the outcome.


The presidential election this year will see President Donald Trump face off against Joe Biden, Democratic nominee and former vice president. On November 3, voters will cast their ballots to decide whether or not Trump gets another four years in office.

In this article, INN examines the ways the cannabis business may move forward in the case of a Trump re-election. Click here for our coverage of what could happen in the event of a Biden victory.

The Trump administration’s history with cannabis

Sentiment on the cannabis industry was mixed in the US after Trump’s win in 2016 — after all, Canada had yet to legalize the drug for recreational use, a move that has since paved the way forward by offering a roadmap to approach the novel drug industry.

During his campaign, Trump had sent mixed signals as to his personal level of interest in terms of cannabis policy, and after his election the confusion continued.

The biggest opposition and real moment of concern for the US industry came as Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, reinforced his strong stance against the drug and its legalization at any level.

The disdain for cannabis from Sessions began early and included the infamous phrase, “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” said during a Senate hearing in April 2016.

Sessions’ biggest aggression against cannabis came early in 2018, when he removed a technical federal protection for cannabis state programs, enacted during the second term of Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama. At the time, this decision sent cannabis stocks tumbling, a clear sign of the concern investors held about the impact Sessions could have on the marijuana industry and its growth.

In November 2018, Sessions resigned as attorney general, a move that again moved the needle for cannabis investments, only this time the trend was upwards.

Sessions’ departure was so well received by the industry that a room of investors even clapped and cheered to the sound of Sessions leaving the Trump administration.

Trump’s back and forth with cannabis didn’t end there, as he’s made comments on the development of cannabis regulation bills, including the STATES Act.

“I know exactly what (Colorado Senator Cory Gardner) is doing. We’re looking at it,” said Trump in mid-2018. “But I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”

Most recently, US Congress has been pushing for a vote on the MORE Act, which would deschedule cannabis under the federal government perspective.

However, like the STATES Act before it, the new legislation is expected to stall at the Senate due to the majority leadership of Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. That would prevent the bill from getting a signature from Trump and being enacted.

What does Trump think about cannabis now?

Earlier this year, a report in the Chicago Tribune indicated that according to Trump’s campaign spokesman, Marc Lotter, the president maintains a conservative mindset for the drug.

“I think the president is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent — a parent of a young person — to make sure we keep our kids away from drugs,” Lotter said at the time.

“They need to be kept illegal, that is the federal policy.”

Matt Carr, chief trends strategist at the Oxford Club, told INN that in the event of a Trump re-election he expects cannabis businesses, particularly at the state level, to continue at the same pace.

Effectively, given the lack of a federal framework, individual states have tackled the cannabis industry by either directly enacting policies or by leaving the issue to voters and asking them to determine whether or not to move forward with state programs.

This version of the market has created a fractured rollout in which no intrastate commerce is allowed. What’s more, for the companies big enough to operate in multiple states, every operation can feel like a totally different corporation.

“If Trump wins, do we have federal legalization in the next couple years? Probably not,” Carr said. “Because I think they control the White House and then the Senate; that’s kind of difficult.”

Despite these challenges, multi-state operators have established a footprint while engaging investors and gaining ground in conversations around best bets on cannabis stocks.

While being excited about the potential for federal reform, a duo of cannabis experts at fund manager Purpose Investments aren’t holding their breath for big changes given that cannabis in the US is growing with or without policy changes.

In a note issued to investors, Greg Taylor, chief investment officer and portfolio manager with Purpose Investments, alongside portfolio manager Nawan Butt, wrote:

Although there may be hurdles in cannabis reform in the US, the trajectory of current sales growth is unaffected by this. We continue to see outsized growth in most states as operators have worked out how to optimize within the current constraints. Any reform at the federal level will cause a step function in valuations of these operators, but explosive growth can still continue under current regulations.

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) manager agrees with Taylor and Butt. “Even if Trump were to win somehow, it’s not a negative for marijuana and at least has all the upside it already has right now,” Dan Ahrens, managing director and chief operating officer with AdvisorShares, told INN.

Ahrens manages the AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (ARCA:YOLO), which engages with US-operating companies publicly listed in the Canadian markets.

The ETF manager expects to see cannabis as a conversation topic this election cycle, regardless of the final result, since five states will be voting on the advancement of cannabis programs.

Investor takeaway

Trump has become an unpredictable figure, and while that has helped spread ideas about the potential for his administration to work on cannabis policy at the federal level, little has come of it.

Whether or not Trump engages with the cannabis industry — for good or bad — remains to be seen.

But experts agree that given a second term of Trump, cannabis will likely remain untouched by federal powers, meaning state programs and the companies working within them will continue to operate and even thrive with growing sales.

The growth of the industry seems poised to continue with or without Trump at the helm of the country.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

Trulieve to donate $20,000 in scholarship funding and $15,000 to support leadership development

Trulieve Cannabis Corp . (CSE: TRUL) (OTC: TCNNF), a leading and top-performing cannabis company in the United States today announced a new partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. Trulieve will donate $20,000 to help fund several college scholarships awarded to students who are attending one of the organization’s member-schools as part of Trulieve’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. The $15,000 in talent funding is earmarked to support TMCF’s internship program, reaching a diverse talent pool of students and alumni from their 47 member-schools to provide immersive experiences at Trulieve.

Keep reading... Show less

The new dispensary expands patient access to Florida’s largest inventory of medical cannabis products

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF) (“Trulieve” or “the Company”), a leading and top-performing cannabis company based in the United States announced today the opening of a brand-new Florida dispensary, the Company’s 80th nationwide. The new location marks the Company’s first in Tamarac and third in Broward County expanding patient access to Florida’s largest and broadest assortment of high-quality medical cannabis products.

Keep reading... Show less

Revive Therapeutics Ltd. (“Revive” or the “Company”) (CSE: RVV, USA: RVVTF), a specialty life sciences company focused on the research and development of therapeutics for medical needs and rare disorders, is pleased to announce an update on the Company’s U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) Phase 3 clinical trial (the “Study”) to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Bucillamine in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.

With its recent $23 million dollar financing, the Company plans to aggressively expand from 14 clinical sites to up to 50 clinical sites to meet the next enrollment goals for the Study in Q2-2020. The Study is a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial and the safety and efficacy data analyzed at each interim analysis timepoint of 210, 400, 600 and 800 completed patients are only made available to the Independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (“DSMB”) for review and recommendations on continuation, stopping or changes to the conduct of the Study. In the event of any serious safety concerns, the DSMB would be notified to determine any risks and provide its recommendations. To date, in this initial 210 interim point there have been no serious safety concerns that required the DSMB to be notified.

Keep reading... Show less

HempFusion Wellness Inc. (TSX:CBD.U) (OTCQX:CBDHF) (FWB:8OO) (“HempFusion” or the “Company”), a leading health and wellness CBD company utilizing the power of whole-food hemp nutrition, is pleased to announce that its common shares have been approved for DTC full-service eligibility in the United States by the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”) and can now be both traded and serviced through DTC’s electronic book-entry system.

DTC is a subsidiary of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. (“DTCC”) that provides clearing and settlement services for the financial markets and settles the majority of securities transactions in the United States. This electronic method of clearing securities speeds up the receipt of stock and cash and thus accelerates the settlement process for investors and brokers, enabling the stock to be traded over a much wider selection of brokerage firms.

Keep reading... Show less

CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN) (CFN Media) partners with FMW Media Works LLC to produce a regular series on the global cannabis markets to air on major financial news networks across the US. Initial segment features leading cannabis analyst and US Multi-State Operator (MSO)

CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the leading media network dedicated to the global legal cannabis, CBD and psychedelics industries, today announced that its inaugural news segment on the cannabis markets, “Cannabis Market Outlook for 2021,” will air on Bloomberg, Newsmax and Fox Business.

Keep reading... Show less