Majority of Cannabis CFOs Think Biden Doesn’t Support Cannabis

New report shows several data points about CFOs, including their lack of confidence in the Biden administration.
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Most financial leaders in cannabis don’t trust the Biden administration, new data suggests. On December 14, GreenGrowth CPAs announced the cannabis industry’s first 2021 Cannabis CFO Survey—a 22-page analysis containing business and market outlook data from over 75 cannabis industry CFOs, CEOs, founders, controllers and other financial roles in 20 markets across the United States. 

The report showed a lack in confidence about commitment on federal cannabis reform from President Joe Biden’s administration, and it provided some fascinating details of how people in financial roles in the cannabis industry differ in opinion from members of other industry sectors. 

Financial leaders were asked their perspective on the cannabis business environment, progress recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and outlook on raising capital and assessing the potential impact of the Biden administration. “The answers were volunteered by financial leaders throughout the cannabis ecosystem,” GreenGrowth CPAs Chief Marketing Officer Kristofer Lenz told High Times. “We sent emails to our internal distribution list ([over 40,000] mix of clients, prospects and folks who signed up for our newsletter), posted on social media and conducted personal outreach to industry partners who also shared within their networks.”

Notably, over 62 percent of respondents doubt support from the Biden administration. Specifically, President Biden doesn’t have a great track record on cannabis like most other members of the Silent Generation. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki reaffirmed last July that President Joe Biden opposes cannabis legalization—putting him at odds with top Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Cory Booker.

GreenGrowth CPAs provided four highlights from the 2021 Cannabis CFO Survey:

  • 70.2 percent of cannabis operators feel the cannabis business environment is improving (but only 28 percent of cultivators agree)
  • 18.2 percent of operators are stronger financially today than before the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 79.2 percent of operators are planning to raise capital, 19.5 percent through an IPO/RTO go-public transaction
  • 62.4 percent don’t think the Biden Administration supports cannabis, and 41.6 percent think we are 5+ years away from federal legalization

One problem is the difference in opinion between how cannabis operators in general feel about the health of the cannabis business environment compared to cultivators in particular. While over 70 percent of operators believe the cannabis business environment is improving, just 28 percent of cultivators agree. 

“In the last six months, wholesale prices have absolutely plummeted due to oversupply, lack of demand, a lot of other issues, and you can really see in the data, the impact it’s having,” Lenz explained. “There is the East and West divide. Essentially we’re going through this sort of peak and valley evolution in the market. When new markets come online, there’s a lot of pent-up demand, a lot of licenses.”

Lenz explained the difference between newer and older state markets. “So there’s Illinois, Massachusetts, in these sort of newer markets, where the wholesale price is high, demand is really high, and this vision of cannabis capitalism—as people are imagining it—is really thriving,” he said. “But in more states that are older, we’re seeing a valley form. It’s actually happening in Colorado, California, especially where the more and more cultivators come online, the more sophisticated those cultivation opportunities are, the more flower is hitting the market, but the demand is not necessarily catching up.”

This could be perhaps due to the “collapse” of the wholesale value of cannabis crops in California, partly due to sky-high taxes, fees and light-deprivation weed. Growers in the Emerald Triangle in Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity Counties, for instance, are calling this an “extinction event.”

The insights in the 2021 Cannabis CFO Survey were self-reported a blend of multi-state operators, retailers, cultivators and ancillary service providers throughout the cannabis industry. The report is free for download at the GreenGrowth CPAs website.

The report shows the amount of distrust with the priorities of the Biden administration among financial leaders in the industry. Keep in mind, however, that no president can directly remove cannabis from control under the Controlled Substances Act, but he could, however, order executive agencies to consider either altering the classification of cannabis or change their enforcement approach.

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  1. From the article:

    >>>”“In the last six months, wholesale prices have absolutely plummeted due to oversupply, lack of demand, a lot of other issues, and you can really see in the data, the impact it’s having,”

    No one in the cannabis industry wants to acknowledge the elephant in the living room – the unjustified, outrageously high price of marijuana. – The majority of the price black market dealers charge is comprised of the “prohibition premium” – that amount which compensates the seller for the risk of going to jail.

    With marijuana legalized, that risk is gone and so SHOULD the premium. But legal sellers have glommed onto it as if they were still risking their lives. – That’s simply universal price gouging. – Professional growers have admitted it costs about $6.00 an ounce to produce sun-grown marijuana. Clearly, charging $300 for that ounce is nonsense and predatory exploitation.

    The closest legal product to marijuana is tobacco. Marijuana should float a little above the price of fine tobacco. So, after the dust settles on re-legalization, especially after we end the federal prohibition, average quality marijuana will sell for $25 to $40 an ounce, and it will be sold wherever more harmful beer and wine are available.

    The false idea that selling marijuana entitles people to become instant millionaires is a large part of the problem that is blocking progress to complete legalization.

    It’s just a plant.

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more. Price gouging and all of the rest of the ‘Capitalist’ plans to make people get rich quick is a reason for plummeting sales and overabundance. Then add state intervention, taxes, and medical cards to the mix. It’s not worth it. Might as well as grow your own for personal use. It’s much easier on you and your finances. I don’t need someone else’s opinion or the guiding hand of capitalism to make my choices.

      1. Right. — Science and widespread experience have shown marijuana has no significant harms. — Hence, the only regulation it really needs is to prohibit sales to children and require basic sanitation, as we do for all produce.

        Unfortunately, many people live in circumstances where they cannot grow their own. I want my Walmart weed! 8^)

  2. In my opinion the government stands to make more money off Cannabis than Politicians would. Therefore is why I feel politicians stay out of Cannabis issues many times.

    1. Polls show 68 – 70 percent of all Americans want to end the monstrously destructive, insane war on marijuana consumers. More than 90 percent approve of medical marijuana. Now, even a majority of Republicans want to end this sick, witch hunt. – So why do we still have it?

      Because police and prosecutors build their careers and empires on the fraudulent marijuana prohibition. Because industries like alcohol and pharmaceuticals don’t want the competition. Because other interests like the bogus “treatment” quacks, the drug testing industry and the prison industries depend on it for their life’s blood. Because many banks and shaky corporations couldn’t exist without the laundered money. Because it’s a Republican tool weaponized by Richard Nixon to attack and oppress Blacks and Progressives. — But we’re still winning. 8^)

  3. He is an old school drug warrior straight out of the eighties. He is against cannabis legalization and nothing will get that out of that brain washed noodle. The ONLY slim chance legalization has is with Camala. And I doubt that. There is a hidden force behind this federal illegality. I think it is the force of stupid and that force will never go away.

    1. The force is big pharma. Their drug sales have and will continue to plummet as more states legalize this wonder drug/herb that anyone can grow along side their tomatoes.

  4. Drug use is MY business not anyone else. If the time come if the situation gets out of control that is why there is counsel and rehab. NOT PIGS

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