It’s 2017, and marijuana is legal in the United States. No, you can’t just light up a joint and blow smoke into a cop’s face. If you happen to live in a select few states offering legal recreational cannabis or the dozens of states that allow medical cannabis, you can get high in your own home without breaking the law.
Last November, when Donald Trump was elected to become the 45th President of the United States, cannabis users and policy advocate feared the worst. They thought cannabis’ newly legal status would be immediately nullified and all the hard work would amount to nothing. While this is still the fear of many, cannabis’ semi-legal status in the U.S. is still here after several months.
Recently, a few exciting things happened in the legal weed space that could not only change the industry, but expand it beyond its current reach. Here’s everything that’s happening to legal weed in America.
Recreational marijuana might be coming to Vermont.
Vermont’s House of Representatives voted in favor of getting rid of any penalties for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. This vote actually happened without a public ballot vote, and was decided entirely by elected officials. Though the bill doesn’t set up a timetable for when adults of age could purchase cannabis, the bill instead kick starts the creation of committees tasked with figuring out the legal cannabis particulars. Cannabis will eventually become a legal, taxable item for purchase in Vermont, and companies in the space could conduct business there. The bill needs to get on the governor’s desk first before it becomes a law.
Medical marijuana is here to stay.
Part of a spending bill that recently passed congressional approval might secure medical cannabis’ future in the United States. According to Section 537 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice, along with the DEA, cannot use any funds to prevent state from implementing their medical marijuana programs. This is an important turn of events, as Sessions is a noted opponent of any use of cannabis. The existing states that passed medical marijuana programs can now continue to implement them without running into roadblocks from the DOJ.
You can buy a weed ETF.
$HMMJ is a Toronto Stock Exchange-based exchange-traded fund that follows the North American Medical Marijuana Index, an aggregate of publicly traded companies in the medical marijuana business. If you have a broker or brokerage, you can actually buy $HMMJ and invest in medical marijuana (without buying medical marijuana, of course). It’s worth noting that $HMMJ has declined since it launched, and is currently down 7.41% in just a few short months. (To learn more about HMMJ, read our guide.)
More companies are entering the weed business.
Scot’s Miracle-Gro Company ($SMG) doesn’t just make plant food. The company smartly entered the cannabis growing industry by investing in and purchasing cannabis-related startups. The company is down nearly 9% since the beginning of the year, but their diverse investments have been paying off thanks to the legal weed boom. (To learn more about Miracle-Gro’s weed investments, read our article here.)