The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has received the spotlight as of recent as a top official states any individuals who work or invest in the recreationally legal cannabis industry, will be treated as though they are illegal drug traffickers when trying to gain entry into the U.S. The massive irony behind this stems from the legal standing of cannabis in more than 30 U.S. states with nine of those having recreationally legal marijuana as well.
The move by the border agency has been stated by some to simply be a show of power and federal rule over the border, but it also highlights the need for a large amount of legal reform to take place throughout the federal government. Polls were taken in the past year or so have shown an overwhelming amount of support for the use of cannabis medicinally or recreationally, and that support has risen exponentially over the past 10-15 years. Although the public backing of cannabis legality is evident, the federal government has yet to take a stand as to how they are willing to change.
The short-term response to this news was recorded as a small drop in the prices of some of the top stocks in the cannabis market. Given the infancy of the industry, much of the market still responds to speculative news occasionally. As the morning progressed, however, many of the leaders in the industry have seen their prices return to normal. Small speed bumps like this news have continued to play an adverse role in the cannabis market, allowing for news to be precedent over the intrinsic value of the companies. The hopes are that over the course of the near future, news like this could begin to play a smaller role in how investors value the cannabis market overall.
The federally illegal standing of cannabis in the U.S. means that those who work or invest in the cannabis sector in Canada could be treated as though they are a drug dealer or working for some sort of cartel, despite the market being legal for many years at this point. This is not to say that anyone who does work in this industry could potentially deny their participation in such, but the publicized move by the border agency seems to be more of a power play to show the U.S.’s need to continue its failed decades long “War on Drugs” now being led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
As cannabis in the U.S. continues to be normalized by the growing amount of domestic legal industries, it seems as though moves like these will continue to be in opposition to what the majority of the U.S. wants, and clearly what Canada would like to see. The hopes are high that in the near future, the U.S. can begin to follow in public opinion, and open up its cannabis markets to that of its northern neighbor, allowing for peaceful trade and industries that could continue to work in tandem.