Election Commentary and Conference Call with Congressman Blumenauer (D-OR)
Cannabis policy at the state level has shifted significantly in recent years as States have moved to legalize both medical and adult use. I recently had the privilege of participating on a private zoom call with Congressman Earl Blumenauer, the U.S. Representative for Oregon’s 3rd congressional district since 1996. Congressman Blumenauer spent about an hour updating a handful of value add/strategic investment firms in the cannabis industry regarding the aftermath of our Nation’s Presidential Election.
Congressman Blumenauer has been leading the charge for cannabis reform and safe access for medical cannabis patients for over 40 years. He continues to promote allowing states to enact existing cannabis laws without federal interference, removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and creating a regulatory and taxation framework similar to what is in place for alcohol and tobacco. He has fought for the removal of the ban on industrial hemp and supports immediately removing tax and banking barriers to allow legitimate businesses to operate in states that have legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use. He fights hard to ensure veterans who use the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) services have access to medical cannabis in accordance with state laws. Congressman Blumenauer supports ending roadblocks and expanding medical cannabis research to better inform doctors about the benefits and risks, and supports keeping the DEA out of state medical cannabis programs entirely. Like all of us on the zoom call, Congressman Blumenauer supports a path to increasing equity within the legal cannabis marketplace, expunging federal cannabis use and possession convictions, and reinvesting in communities most impacted by the federal drug prohibition policies.
In February 2017, Congressman Blumenauer established the Congressional Cannabis Caucus with Representatives Dana Rohrabacher, Jared Polis, and Don Young. The Caucus is a formal forum for members of the House to discuss, learn, and work together to establish a better and more rational approach to federal cannabis policy.
Our Nation may be heavily divided as far as most policies go, however when it comes to Cannabis, Congressman Blumenauer reminded us that “the forces are aligned and people on both sides of the aisle are starting to understand the power of this issue”. “The benefits of a legalized, taxed cannabis industry are impossible to ignore...States stand to collect Billions of tax dollars”, said Blumenauer.
“Cannabis helps politically, It was cannabis that made it possible for Joe Biden to cross the finish line in Arizona”. Congressman Blumenauer underscored the significance of 28 consecutive successful ballot measures and believes cannabis reform will likely happen in this next congress. While the Congressman does favor interstate commerce, in particular seeing huge opportunity for neighboring legal States like NJ and NY or OR, WA and CA as examples of where that could begin, he would ultimately rather see a full legal framework established at the federal level. Congressman Blumenauer agrees that the cannabis industry will likely outperform the NFL by 2025 and applauded investors seizing the opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
We close 2020 with 47 States now having some form of legal cannabis framework, 15 of those States now permitting adult use. The dominoes will continue to fall, paving way for continued growth of the global legalized sector. Tress Capital has been at the forefront of the cannabis industry and continues to be a thought leader providing unparalleled support and guidance to our portfolio companies and to investors seeking responsible allocation and management. Tress has always been purpose driven and will continue to drive, create and facilitate lasting impact within and beyond the cannabis industry.