So much for Donald Trump being a businessman and putting America first.
By allowing federal attorney-general Jeff Sessions to rescind “an Obama-era federal policy that provided legal shelter for marijuana sales in California and five other states that have allowed recreational pot,” as the Los Angeles Times put it, he has placed hundreds of budding businesses (pun intended) at risk of federal prosecution and thrown the American industry into doubt.
And he has probably made a lot of illegal pot growers and sellers in the black market very happy, too, notes Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) in the same report.
While California, Colorado and other U.S. states are vowing to fight any interference by federal authorities, Canadian medical pot companies — and those who invest in them — are applauding the “misguided policy” move by Sessions because “it also cements the fact that we will not be bumping into U.S. competitors with access to public markets as we expand around the globe,” as Cam Battley, executive vice-president of Alberta-based Aurora Cannabis, said in a statement in a Marijuana Business Daily report. The same sentiment has been expressed by industry insiders in more mainstream media reports as well.
Many analysts also think more capital from the U.S. will flow into Canadian cannabis companies in the lead-up to legalization of recreational pot in Canada this year, which will further help their global expansion.
And that’s what it really is all about for some Canadian cannabis companies these days, as their pot stocks soar amidst heavy trading. Investors are already pricing in the global moves of companies like Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis and others, who are making inroads in Europe, Australia and other places. Potential sales in Canada will not be enough to justify the current stock market valuations of these companies, but investors see a much bigger pot of gold across the water — and the only concern now for some is that Canada might have trouble meeting global demand. Hence, cannabis companies are sprouting up across the land.
But the United States will be left behind in the global cannabis industry. Sure, the black market there will continue to thrive and some will be making money. But little or none of it will be going into income tax and sales tax coffers.
Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions have effectively moved to set back, if not kill, a nascent industry in the United States that could have brought billions of dollars into the economy per year if companies would have been allowed to compete in the global arena.
And they are helping to make Canada the world leader in the cannabis industry.
One has to wonder what Donald Trump the businessman was thinking when he gave Sessions the go-ahead.
Photo: Jeff Sessions speaks at a campaign event for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Aug. 31, 2016. (Wikipedia)