California’s legalization of recreational marijuana products starts January 1, and pot stocks are rising ever higher on the news.
As the legalization trend gains strength, some pot companies are setting up as multinational franchises on the heels of Canada’s announcement of marijuana legalization coming July 2018. Among those are Green House Brands North America, which has a joint venture in Canada with Canopy Growth and Organa Brands.
Dan Ahrens, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of AdvisorShares Investments, said in an interview that the industry is in its “infancy” and “just getting started.” Ahrens also noted that there is some overlap among the alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis industries, and expects mergers and acquisitions will be coming.
There are a number of other states in the U.S. that are likely to vote to legalize marijuana products in some form in 2018. Included among those are Utah, where there is a well-funded effort to qualify a medical marijuana measure on the state’s November ballot and where 75% of the state’s registered voters approve of medical marijuana legalization. If the conservative state does vote to approve medical cannabis, it would send a strong message that the issue is not a partisan one and could help push the needle on nationwide legalization in the U.S., which would be very good for pot stocks.
Indeed, 2018 is likely to be the most active year to date for marijuana legalization. Lawmakers in several states have already prefiled bills for new sessions beginning in January. Vermont and New Jersey are two states that are seen as the most likely to pass pot legalization bills through their legislatures next year.
A number of other states are preparing bills to end the prohibition of marijuana. Included among them are Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, and Rhode Island, any or all of which could send legalization legislation to their governor’s desks within months.
With states across the U.S. taking steps toward legalization, it’s likely marijuana stocks will continue to reach new higher highs in 2018.