Ongoing Global Marijuana Legalization Battle Boosts Economies, Cannabis Stocks, and Support Groups

Updated on March 2, 2018
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Finance journalist • Interests: crypto, crowdfunding, tech, marketing • Stocks: biotech, healthcare, commodities, IT • Whiskey enthusiast.

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The legalization of marijuana is gaining momentum globally as more communities are seeing the positive effects of cannabis-related products both medicinally and economically. On the economic side, marijuana legalization—for either medical or recreational use—would boost the U.S. economy in the long run.

A study by research firm New Frontier Data revealed that legalizing marijuana would lead to the creation of 1.1 million jobs by 2025. The increase in jobs also means a rise in payroll taxes. Taxing it as a legal commodity means additional income for the government in the form of sales tax and business tax from the marijuana industry.

In fact, in 2015, 18,000 jobs were created due to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. The additional jobs translated to $2.4 billion in economic activity. That same year, the state received $121 million from marijuana industry revenues—a number expected to increase to $150 million by 2020. These funds can go to areas of the community which need financial support such as education and charities.

Overall, the market in North America is expected to hit over $20 billion in five years with the legalization of recreational pot use in areas such as California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada.

Companies benefit from legalization

According to a study conducted by Green Market Report and Consumer Research Around Cannabis, McDonald’s will gain the most from cannabis legalization. Among the 27,500 weed users, more than 40 percent claim they visited the chain store within the last month. McDonald’s popularity among cannabis enthusiasts is mainly due to the sheer number of outlets it has. The company registered a surge in sales where cannabis is legal such as Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.

Another company that is set to gain from marijuana legalization is Tesla. The company is known to produce high-quality batteries which are vital for indoor cannabis production. Marijuana crops tend to suffer if not exposed long enough to sunlight and blackouts spell disaster for cultivators.

Businesses focused on cannabis itself are not to be left behind. Rising star PotNetwork Holding Inc. (OTCMKTS:POTN) can be testament how marijuana stocks are growing alongside the legalization movement. Its subsidiaryDiamond CBD legally sells various cannabidiol (CBD) products in over 10,000 retailers across 50 US states. The company has taken the high-grade CBD it extracts and transformed it into top-quality product lines that cater to various lifestyle needs. Its CBD-infused products include medical supplements, kiddie candies, vaporizers, healing oils, facial cream and pet food, among others.

Thanks to that, its reported revenue for last year reached $14.5 million. It outperformed the forecasted figure by more than $6 million. The Huffington Post also recognized PotNetwork and Diamond CBD as leaders in the in the CBD revolution today.

Meanwhile, the pending legalization in Canada brought good news to Canadian pot stocks. THC BioMed International Ltd. registered a 55 percent increase intraday while CannaRoyalty Corp. surged by as much as 27 percent. As such, the BI Canada Cannabis Competitive Peers Index hit the 16 percent spike which was the highest since November. Canopy Growth Corp. is considered the best performer among Canada’s pot stocks with a 225-percent gain, bringing its market value to $4.9 billion.

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Diverse developments

Independent producers are not the only ones taking advantage of this cannabis movement. Residents, healthcare professionals, and doctors in Ohio can now avail a toll-free helpline for the city’s new medical marijuana program. The state regulators chose Extra Step Assurance to provide a help line that could address any questions about medical marijuana. However, the service provider insists they will not give any medical or legal advice—pharmacists will only provide help on questions about drug interactions, 24/7.

In Germany, The Association of German Criminal Officers (BDK) calls for the legalization of cannabis but admits responsible drug use must be put in place to protect the children, the youth, and motorists. For instance, drivers who are under the influence of marijuana face the risk of getting their licenses revoked.

New Mexico, on the other hand, is heading to the polls to decide if recreational cannabis will be added to the Article 20 of the New Mexico State Constitution. If it passes in the next general election, possession and personal use of marijuana will be permitted if you’re at least 21 years old.

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