Acreage Holdings CEO Believes Bill to Legalize Cannabis Will Pass This Year
At least one insider in the United States market believes that the country will legalize cannabis on the federal level this year. Kevin Murphy, CEO of Acreage Holdings, said that cannabis legalization in Canada had an “extraordinary impact” on the industry.
“I believe 2019 is going to be the year,” Murphy said. “From our vantage point it’s very straightforward and we couldn’t be more pleased to be leading as the largest player in the United States.”
That bill is the STATES Act, which would effectively legalize cannabis. It will allow cannabis companies in the US to operate within the law. This would provide more freedom for growth including eliminating banking hurdles to raising capital on US stock exchanges.
In December, the US legalized hemp, which many saw as a step towards full cannabis legalization. Almost immediately, cannabis-based beauty products began popping up in national department store chains like Neiman Marcus.
Canada Leading the Way, But Canabis Legalization in the US Could Change That
It’s clear that Murphy sees the STATES Act and cannabis legalization as another step towards competing head to head with Canadian companies.
“Canada is leading not only in the compassion and care side of it, they’re also leading in the capital markets aspect of the business,” Murphy said. “The United States has been a leader in so many different things, but today sadly the U.S. is so woefully behind in their compassion and care with cannabis.”
How with that affect the Canadian market? Given past experience, Canadian cannabis companies may be scrambling to compete with companies from much bigger markets in the United States. However, many are already counteracting that by setting up operations in other areas of the world. At least four major Canadian cannabis companies are in the process of expanding into Europe.
So, with cannabis legalization in the US be a boon or a bane for Canadian companies? We’ll only know sometime after they legalize cannabis.
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