I’ve given my initial take on what a Donald Trump presidency may mean for the cannabis industry and I remain hopeful that our political clout is too powerful for any president to derail, no matter how menacing Trump’s cabinet looks to be. Of course, it is too early for anyone to know, but we have some of the brightest minds in the movement given it their best shot.
One of those minds is my good friend and colleague Sam Chapman, founder of New Economy Consulting, a firm out of Portland, Oregon, advising cannabis industry clients. Here’s a snippet of Sam’s feelings (which I tend to agree with completely) he posted on NEC’s website:
This election has shown that Cannabis is starting to rapidly dissolve as a partisan issue
If there is one big take away from the this election that deserves some serious examination, it’s the fact that we elected Trump as President, yet cannabis still won HUGE, across the nation. This lends credence to something I’ve been saying for several years now: cannabis will not be a partisan issue for much longer. Anyone, especially Republicans these days, that comes out hard against cannabis is risking mid-term political suicide in my opinion. Will Republicans still rail against cannabis in certain instances where it is safe to do so? You bet. Are the number of places where it’s safe to have hard anti-cannabis stances dwindling? Absolutely. Just look at any updated national cannabis map and you can see the momentum we’ve gained this election cycle. Will Republicans be able to hold off passing meaningful reform now that California has legalized and is coming online? Time will tell, but I seriously doubt it.
Trump’s public stance on cannabis has been focused on respecting states rights
Trump has stated on the record several times that he believes strongly in states rights, and will continue to do so when it comes to cannabis. Below are some quotes from Trump on cannabis and states rights. H/T to Marijuana Majority for compiling these!
All in all, let’s not jump the gun too quickly on how we think this will play out for the cannabis industry. I believe there will be hiccups, but not road blocks. We are too far down the path to be forced backwards now, we can only be diverted to different paths toward the same goal of eventually ending prohibition for all.
Sam makes some great points and I encourage reading his entire blog. I would like to tack on the importance of Florida legalizing medical cannabis and how imperative it is the state’s medical program gets implemented. It is one thing for a Trump Administration to choose to target cannabis providers acting legally under California, Oregon or Washington law, but it is another thing to trample the will of the voters in Florida, a state Trump needed to win to defeat Hillary Clinton in the Electoral College and will be a must-win state for the Donald to secure a second term.
I will continue to hold out hope that the overwhelming electoral victories for cannabis in 2016 have given us too much momentum to fail, regardless of the POTUS. But we must all remain as vigilant as ever to protect our political and cultural gains.