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Cannabis could be a boost for Biden

Plus, Florida cannabis companies make deals

Good morning.

Happy hump day, Cultivated readers. If you’re holding Tilray stock, you’ve probably had a pretty good few days. If you’re waiting for Biden to legalize it, you’re probably still pretty frustrated but at least there’s hope on the horizon as we’ll get to below. 

- Jeremy Berke & Jay Rosenthal

💡What’s the big deal?

The President needs a boost with young people

Driving the news: President Biden needs help reaching young voters, so his administration is turning to cannabis reform.

Only about 30% of 18-to-29 year olds view Biden favorably, according to recent polls. And in a recent Gallup poll, nearly 80% (!) 18-to-34 year olds want cannabis legalized. 

What they’re saying: “What’s good about this issue is it’s clean and it’s clear and it cuts through,” Celinda Lake, a pollster for Biden’s 2020 campaign who now works for the Coalition for Cannabis Scheduling Reform, an industry trade group, told The Los Angeles Times

Back up: Biden directed federal agencies to review cannabis’s status as a Schedule I drug last year. While we’re still waiting for the Drug Enforcement Administration to actually rule on the change, the administration isn’t waiting. 

As a little kick, Biden discussed cannabis reform at the State of the Union a few weeks ago. Then, Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a roundtable discussion in the Roosevelt Room at the White House dedicated to cannabis reform.

And top Congressional Democrats like Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer have continued to beat the drum for cannabis reform, albeit the narrow SAFER Banking Act, a banking bill. 

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, so to speak. 

What’s next: Well, we’re still waiting for the DEA to do, well, anything. And we’re also waiting on Congress. But Biden leveraging the bully pulpit to push the issue could be crucial. 

Our take: Biden himself is an octogenarian. While his proposed reforms don’t go nearly far enough for our liking — or to the liking of advocates and the industry — it’s a pretty stark turn for a former drug warrior.

Election year presidents are political creatures. When issues poll as strongly as cannabis among the potential young voters a president needs, it’s almost inevitable the administration will respond.


🥊 Quick hits

A new report from financial analyst Pablo Zuanic shows that some Canadian cannabis companies could see up to a 300% jump in their valuation if Canada’s proposed excise tax changes go into effect. Read the full report here

A study published in the journal Drug & Alcohol Dependence found that a compound found in some cannabis strains, D-limonene, can reduce anxiety associated with consuming too much THC. 

📰 What we’re reading

Will marijuana hurt my heart? | Hartford Healthcare

📈 Earnings round-up

Edmonton, Alberta based cannabis firm Nova Cannabis reported its fourth quarter and full-year results yesterday. The company reported net earnings of C$3 million on C$259 million revenue for the last fiscal year.

🤝🏻 Deals, launches, partnerships

AFC Gamma said it will lend $34 million to Florida cannabis company Sunburn Cannabis. We’ll find out if Florida’s legalization initiative will be on Florida’s ballot tomorrow. 

In other Florida news, Ayr Wellness said it is upsizing its mortgage for its Gainesville, Florida facility by $8.4 million, increasing its principal to $48.4 million. The company says it will continue to invest in its Florida business.

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