There are a handful of top challenges and prospects for cannabis professionals in 2019. Cannabis professionals will be able to participate in many different business opportunities, but with it comes various challenges that need to be addressed. We have put together some of the top challenges for 2019 that cannabis professionals need to pay attention to. Check out the overview below.
The Federal Government
Is there a possibility that there will be a breakthrough of the federal government to embrace marijuana legalization? Most people don't think so; while others are optimistic. In any case, if marijuana reform does not take place at the federal level, there might be issues that cannabis professionals have to deal with such as having the feds raid your dispensary, even though, you might be operating legally. Another challenge is banking services, which has plagued the cannabis industry due to the fact that most banks are federally regulated. Senator Cory Gardner who is a Republican representing the state of Colorado found that marijuana reform was not easy as he was rebuffed when he recently tried to attach his States Act to the approved criminal justice reform bill. There are some insiders in the cannabis industry that do believe in the legislation that would permit states to establish their own approach to marijuana legalization; resolving federal tax and banking issues. Many are hoping that since the Democrats now control the house, it will make things better. Moreover, there are ten cosponsors of the bill in the senate that are backing it. So, there is hope.
William Barr, New Attorney General
It is not going to be easy to predict what the new Attorney General of the United States will do as it relates to giving cannabis professionals hope for the future. William Barr is unpredictable and so the cannabis industry is holding its breath to see what the new AG will do. In the early 1990s, Barr was hard on drug offenders while he was part of the Bush Administration. In an op-ed that Barr wrote recently, he praised the former Attorney General, Jeff Sessions on his stance on hardened policies against drug dealers. However, with the newly passed criminal justice reform bill, drug offenders will have more relaxed sentencing rules. At the Senate confirmation hearings, Barr took the high road and indicated that he would allow states to govern and regulate their own laws and so this looks good for cannabis professionals. It might be a wait and see game at this point.
Keeping An Eye Open
Even though, there were some gains in 2018 regarding the cannabis legalization advocacy and movement, many states are still left without having any marijuana reforms. Many cannabis professionals are paying attention to states like New York, Illinois and New Jersey as these states are seriously considering and actually holding discussions on legalizing recreational marijuana.
Since Canada has fully legalized weed, cannabis professionals are seeking to get onboard and earn some of the profits. However, they may need investors who are still watching and waiting to see what happens to the stock market and trading on the Securities Exchange. Anyone entering the industry must raise capital and investors have to be sure that there is a return on investment before they take the bait.
The State of California
As the state of California has opened up the recreational marijuana market, it will open more doors for cannabis professionals. However, the regulatory nuances are still being worked out as it relates to licensing, decriminalization and taxes. In other words, the recreational marijuana industry is not ripe and industry regulations not yet finalized. Setting up a marijuana business might mean waiting for stabilization or taking the risks.