CANNAINVESTOR Magazine September / October 2016 - Page 28

WHAT HAPPENED TO ECOFORMING – DID THE DEA RULING TO NOT RESCHEUDLE PULL THE PLUG?

Not at all. Ecoforming as explained in previous issues is analogous to Terraforming the Marijuana’s industry’s political, social, and economic environment. The DEA ruling to not reschedule marijuana was quickly met by five key Ecoforming events:

(1) The Democratic Party has endorsed pursuing a “reasoned pathway to future legalization of marijuana and is looking for the drug to downgraded in the Controlled Substances Act”.

(2) As mentioned, as part of its overall ruling, the DEA also removed the monopoly status granted with respect to growing marijuana for research purposes. Increased research may result in marijuana demonstrating a real medical use in treatment – such an outcome may be a precursor for rescheduling. The full ruling effectively relaxes aspects of being included in Schedule 1. John Hudak, of the Brookings Institution, clearly stated:

“scheduling is a really misunderstood part of drug policy. Classification simply changes the rules by federal researchers, or researchers conducting federally approved studies, would have to abide by. It has no impact on the legal cannabis market”.

(3) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th District ruled on August 16th that the Department of Justice (DOJ) “cannot use federal funds to prosecute people or medical marijuana businesses as long as they are in compliance with state law”. This may be a milestone ruling as agencies under the DOJ include the FBI and the DEA.

(4) As of August 17th, 25 states (and the District of Columbia) have legalized medical marijuana and as many as 10 more states could vote on marijuana measures in the fall. 4 states have currently legalized recreational marijuana with more expected after the ballots are counted this fall.

(5) Both Canada and Mexico are pursuing more progressive laws and regulations governing the legalization of cannabis. Legalization by two neighbouring countries may result in hundreds of millions of dollars flowing to those countries for investment and tourism. Various online references from August suggest that the legal cannabis industry in the U.S. currently employs as many as 150,000 workers in an industry that is expected to exceed a $7-billion-dollar valuation for 2016 and surpass $35 billion in only a few years’ time.

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