As the man in the Oval Office continues to bellow, threaten, lie and display increasingly unstable behavior, let us at least be optimistic about marijuana.
As the saying goes: Follow the money.
Even as our president continues to hand over the store to his family and friends, legal weed is on a roll that won’t be easily stopped.
Arcview Market Research, according to its most recent report, predicts the marijuana industry will continue to grow at a compound annual rate of 27 percent through 2021.
Troy Dayton, CEO of Arcview, said the momentum of the past few years won’t be stopped by the Trump administration, reported Bloomberg News.
Talk about optimism
Arcview goes so far as to say that cannabis is arguably the fastest growing industry in the world.
It bases such commentary by following the money: Regulated marijuana sales in North America totaled $6.9 billion in 2016, a 30 percent increase from 2015.
Sales are projected to increase to $21.6 billion by 2021, hence the 26 percent compound annual growth rate.
The industry will continue registering double-digit growth rates over the coming four years, despite the instability and ambiguity coming from the White House, says Arcview
And in spite of Trump’s waffling—and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ non-waffling disdain for weed—Dayton, and others in the industry, say a crackdown is unlikely because the pot movement is just too popular.
Also, the resources necessary to go after it are just not there.
“It’s just so politically unpopular, it would be silly,” Dayton told Bloomberg News.
As it is, some 71 percent of voters say, “the government should not enforce federal laws against marijuana in states that have legalized medical or recreational use,” according to the most recent Quinnipiac University poll on the topic.
The feds’ hands are also tied by legislation.
Jeff Sessions has said he agrees with parts of the Cole Memorandum that allowed states to develop markets without federal interference.
“The Cole memorandum set up some policies under President Obama’s Department of Justice about how cases should be selected in those states and what would be appropriate for federal prosecution, much of which I think is valid,” Sessions told reporters recently in Richmond, Virginia.
Even if Sessions were to rip up the memo, Congress passed an amendment to an appropriations bill in December 2014 that makes it impossible to use Justice Department funds to interfere with state implementation of medical marijuana.
Recreational sales, for now, are unprotected, but that could change too, according to Dayton.
The Arcview report also showed that illegal weed sales declined in states with legal programs.
Of the $56.1 billion in overall weed sales in North America in 2016, 88 percent of was on the black market.
Globally, Arcview expects growth to continue on a similar trajectory.
“We’ve got all these other countries that are passing more laws and also other states, and presumably the federal government could end marijuana prohibition as soon as 2021,” said Dayton. “There’s never been a market that’s grown at 20-plus percent growth each year for 10 years, right? But that’s possible here.”
So, the question is: Why would the current White House dweller, who sees himself as the consummate businessman, want to ruin such a good thing?