• Ted Ohashi

What is Trump's position on legalizing medical marijuana?

This cannabis market looks like it needs another stimulus to move to higher levels. It could easily be another Constellation/Canopy investment that moves the market to a new level. Or it could be something that none of us particularly expecting. A pleasant surprise from President Donald Trump following the midterm elections. The upcoming election results won’t matter much. If the Democrats retake power in the House or Senate, cannabis legislation will pass easily. Even if they don’t, there will be many Democrats who support such a change.

Trump’s position on cannabis has been fairly clear although not necessarily committed. The President favours medical marijuana and had taken the position that the states should determine local regulations on recreational marijuana. Even in the relatively short period of time since the election, the mood of Americans has changed and it seems to be more favorable toward cannabis than ever before. Not only that, the message has gotten through to the politicians and Republicans are coming out in favor of it as a way to garner badly needed votes.

Last week Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California said he had it on good authority that President Trump will make medical marijuana federally legal in the next legislative session. Rohrabacher is no stranger to advocating for cannabis. The Rohrabacker-Blumenauer amendment is the one that prohibited the Justice Department from spending funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws. The amendment co-sponsored by Democratic congressman Earl Blumenauer failed six times before it was finally passed as a rider to the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill for fiscal 2015 and was renewed in 2016. This was the amendment that Attorney General Jeff Sessions urged congressional leaders not to renew. It was renewed once more in 2018.

Rohrabacher said last week that he has been talking to sources in the White House and those close to the President. He said, “I have been talking to people inside the White House who know and inside the president’s entourage… I have talked to them at length. I have been reassured that the president intends on keeping his campaign promise.” By this he meant that the President would legalize medical marijuana at the national level and allow states to decide the legality of recreational use.

Rohrabacher is a Republican member of the House of Representatives representing California’s 48th district. As a Republican in a mostly Democratic voting state, he is in a tough fight to hold his seat in November. But if he’s correct, the cannabis stocks, especially the U.S. oriented stocks could be in for a major boost in the spring.

In recent weeks the cannabis stocks have been wobbling higher as if hoping for a reason to renew a strong advance. Certainly a move like this on the part of the U.S. lawmakers would provide such a boost. The question is will Trump dump Sessions before making this happen?

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