The legal marijuana landscape is changing at a rapid pace in North America
The legal marijuana landscape is changing at a rapid pace in North America. Back in 1995, Canada, Mexico, and all U.S. states had completely banned the use of medical and recreational pot. Some 23 years later, Mexico has legalized medical cannabis, 30 U.S. states have passed broad-based medical marijuana laws (including nine that also allow adult-use consumption), and Canada has set a date of Oct. 17, 2018 for when recreational pot will be officially legal. To say that times are changing would be an understatement.
Most are rightly focused on Canada’s adult-use legalization, which is the first for any developed country around the globe. With pot being given the green light there, an estimated $5 billion in annual sales could find its way into legal Canadian marijuana channels. This is why Canadian cannabis stock valuations have soared since the beginning of 2016.
However, the outlook for the cannabis industry is very different in the United States. Despite 30 states and Washington, D.C., passing medical marijuana legislation, the federal government has stood firm on its classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. This classification means that pot is wholly illegal, considered to be prone to abuse, and has no recognized medical benefits.
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