Vote Heard Round the World
Santa Barbara Independent
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
By R.W. Navis
The news in recent days has been dominated by the presidential election results. Somewhat unnoticed has been California’s passage of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. While this result had been expected for months, if not years, it represents a major shift in influence in the cannabis industry.
The Big Picture
States that have passed legalization are like pilot programs compared to the seismic shift in the market that legalizing marijuana in the sixth largest economy in the world will cause. “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. This is marijuana’s moment, “said ArcView CEO Troy Dayton. The ArcView Group was founded in 2010 and is responsible for a number of groundbreaking ventures in the cannabis industry. The ArcView Investor Network includes more than 550 dues-paying accredited investors who have put more than $85 million behind 131 companies.
California’s Prop. 64 also addressed the issue of prior sentencing with regard to marijuana offenses, joining Oregon as the only state to do so thus far. This did not go unnoticed by David Dinenberg, CEO of Kind Financial. “What I am the proudest of in regard to Proposition 64 is the fact that it deals with justice reform. The only other state with recreational marijuana that has had complete thought on the topic is Oregon. If you are in prison in California today for a nonviolent marijuana offense, tomorrow you can apply for sentence reduction and or parole.” Kind Financial is a leader in compliance technology solutions for the legal marijuana industry.
Santa Barbara County overwhelmingly supported Prop. 64 with 61.2 percent approval. The Cannabis Business Council of Santa Barbara County has been formed to support local businesses. “This is an important day for Santa Barbara County” says Chair Paul Kowalski. “ Agriculture is at the heart of Santa Barbara’s culture and history. and as home to one of the most vibrant cannabis industries anywhere, we now have the chance to enact local laws that create good jobs and comply with the law.” This organization will work with area leaders to implement marijuana regulations in a fair way that serves the voters and at the same time supports farmers and local businesses.
The national election seems sure to have thrown a roadblock to federal approval of the recreational use of marijuana. What seemed like a certainty, possibly in the next four years, under a Clinton regime has now been postponed. Higher courts will offer no help either as the Supreme Court is likely now to become more conservative and less sympathetic to the cause. It looks now like the California cannabis industry will more closely resemble the developments in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon on a much bigger scale.
Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada joined California in legalizing recreational use, and Florida passed a very liberal medical marijuana initiative. Of note, all the states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana were carried by Clinton in the election. How will a new administration, with possibly Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christie as Attorney General, view these developments? The president-elect himself has waffled on the issue, so he could well be swayed by insiders. Stay tuned.
Celebration in Vegas
There are a number of important cannabis events coming up this month in Las Vegas. The ArcView Group will be hosting the first post-election gathering of high net worth investors in Las Vegas November 14-15. This is the premier gathering for deal flow and will be held at the M Resort & Spa on the way into town. MJIC, a private investor holding company, will follow this with its own World of Cannabis Summit at the Palms Hotel November 15-16. This event is designed for those interested in investing in cannabis with a wide-ranging program. Visit WorldofCannabisSummit.com for complete details.
Then, to cap off this week comes the granddaddy of all cannabis shows. The 5th annual Marijuana Business and Conference Expo will be held at the Rio Suites Hotel & Casino November 16-18. Everyone of importance in the industry attends this show and there is sure to be a special buzz going around this year. Visit MJBusinessConference.com for more information.